According to statistics from the CDC, around 70 million people–1 in 3 Americans–suffer from high blood pressure. Half of these individuals have their blood pressure under control, probably under some form of blood pressure medication.  Hypertension, or high blood pressure, can be a silent yet deadly disease, one that doesn’t necessarily need to be managed by medication. While there are some rare hereditary conditions that make it impossible to control blood sugar with just exercise and diet, most people have the ability to use dietary strategies as their first line of defense.
How Resveratrol Supports a Healthy Blood Pressure
Resveratrol is a natural plant compound typically found in grapes, chocolate, and almonds. Its antioxidant capabilities have been studied for years, with each study revealing some type of benefit for health. Whether it’s protecting cells and DNA, regulating a healthy blood sugar, or protecting skin from UV damage, there seems to be a wide range of benefits associated with the compound.   A recent meta analysis shows that resveratrol may play an important role in supporting blood pressure health by regulating systolic blood pressure.  While the research is far from conclusive, it does lead many to wonder how powerful plant compounds really are.
One of the emerging areas of research in relation to resveratrol is in the field of healthy aging. Resveratrol may provide similar effects of calorie restriction in terms of cellular protection.  Its effects on blood pressure are not surprising, if you consider the fact that resveratrol may reduce irritation and improve blood flow through vessels. Resveratrol may even support hormones that play a role in blood pressure. Foods high in resveratrol may also contain a number of other beneficial compounds and nutrients, like antioxidants and fiber, that are responsible for supporting blood pressure.
How to Support Blood Pressure Naturally
One of the key ways you can support a healthy blood pressure is by eating right and exercising. I know, pretty boring advice. But eating right doesn’t mean just eating vegetables; in fact, it means avoiding sugars–including high-sugar fruits–in order to avoid the blood sugar spike that inadvertently leads to a rise in blood pressure. Also, just by walking every day, doing yoga, sprinting, or any other physical activity you enjoy, you’re one step closer to a balanced blood pressure ratio. In the past, a healthy blood pressure reading would’ve been 120/80; yet, recent evidence is suggesting that less than 120/80 is ideal. While you certainly don’t want low blood pressure (hypotension), at or above 120/80 may be signs of prehypertension. In this case, consult with your doctor to know for sure.
How do you support blood pressure health? Please let us know in the comments!
- Centers for Disease Control. High Blood Pressure Facts. Centers for Disease Control.
- Szkudelski T, Szkudelska K. Anti-diabetic effects of resveratrol. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2011 Jan;1215:34-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2010.05844.x.
- Aziz MH, Afaq F, Ahmad N. Prevention of ultraviolet-B radiation damage by resveratrol in mouse skin is mediated via modulation in survivin. Photochem Photobiol. 2005 Jan-Feb;81(1):25-31.
- Liu Y, Ma W, Zhang P, He S, Huang D. Effect of resveratrol on blood pressure: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Clin Nutr. 2015 Feb;34(1):27-34. doi: 10.1016/j.cinu.2014.03.009.
- Lam YY, Peterson CM, Revussin E. Resveratrol vs. calorie restriction: data from rodents to humans. Exp Gerontol. 2013 Oct;48(10):1018-24. doi: 10.1016/j.exger.2013.04.005.
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