There are certain spices which can help you control your escalating blood pressure. On this World Hypertension Day, we tell you how these kitchen companions help.
Turmeric: Containing an anti-oxidant known as curcumin, turmeric can effectively lower your blood pressure levels. It also protects against vascular dysfunction in the body. Moreover, turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties that help keep hypertension caused by inflammation (leads to stiffness in heart arteries) at bay. High blood pressure leads to change in your blood platelet count triggering clot formation in the arteries. Turmeric can potentially prevent change in your platelet count due to this condition. Add turmeric in your recipes.
Ginger: A study published in the Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology states, “Ginger helps lower blood pressure through its blockade of voltage-dependent calcium channels”. Ginger can effectively decrease muscle contraction and arterial blood pressure. Also, it is known to prevent blood clot formation in your arteries and blood vessels. Apart from these, ginger comes with other benefits as well. It can treat nausea, reduce muscle pain and help patients with osteoarthritis with its anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger can help you fight chronic indigestion as well. You can add ginger in your soups, and noodles or vegetable dishes. It can be added in desserts or tea as well.
Cayenne Pepper: Also known as red pepper, cayenne pepper has a compound called capsaicin that gives it a spicy flavour. “Capsaicin affects sensory nerves that work with neuro-hormonal systems to help lower blood pressure,” observes a study published in the journal Current Medicinal Chemistry Cardiovascular Hematological Agents. This key compound in cayenne pepper also help boost your metabolism, reduce hunger, maintain digestive health, and relieve pain. You can have cayenne pepper by adding it to your dishes.
Black Pepper: Black pepper is rich in potassium that helps control heart rate and regulate blood pressure. Also, it is rich in iron which aids in combating low blood pressure. This spice offers some other benefits as well. You can have it to treat indigestion, detoxify your body, and promote weight loss. Moreover, black pepper is used to treat skin exfoliation and keep wrinkles at bay.
Garlic: This easily available spice is endowed with a substance called allicin. Having antibacterial, and anti-hypertensive properties, garlic can effectively bring down your blood pressure levels. It works by helping your blood vessels relax and dilate, facilitating easy flow of blood through the body. According to a study conducted by researchers from the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, the recommended intake is one clove of garlic (contains about 4 grams of allicin) a day. Apart from lowering blood pressure, garlic helps boost your immune system while lowering the cholesterol levels your body naturally with its antioxidant and lipid-lowering properties. You can either have it directly or add it to different recipes.
Cardamom: According to a study published in the Indian Journal of Biochemistry & Biophysics, consuming cardamom daily can significantly reduce your blood pressure levels. Also known as elaichi, cardamom shows promising results against hypertension due to its antioxidant and diuretic properties. Apart from this, it has the potential to enhance the ability of your immune cells to attack tumors. This spice also has anti-inflammatory effects that help cardamom to fight against cell damage. You can include cardamom seeds or powder in tea, soups and in baked goods as well.
Cinnamon: A paper published in National Library of Medicine-National Institutes of Health (US), revealed that eating cinnamon can help reduce systolic blood pressure by 5.39 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure by 2.6 mm Hg. This widely available seasoning can be used by adding it in curries, porridge or any other dish. This spice can also reduce your risk of heart diseases and diabetes by reducing blood sugar level as cinnamon has anti-diabetic properties. Moreover, it has anti-viral and anti-fungal properties that can help treat lung congestion, common cold and thick mucus.