High blood pressure – or hypertension – increases your risk of heart attacks and strokes, according to the NHS.
One of the most powerful natural remedies for high blood pressure is garlic, said medical nutritionist Dr Sarah Brewer.
Eating just two or three fresh garlic cloves everyday could cut your risk of heart attack or strokes by as much as 40 per cent, she claimed.
Garlic – a type of onion – is rich in allicin, an amino acid that can dilate blood vessels by relaxing muscle cells, said Brewer.
“Allicin and other powerful sulphur compounds formed in aged black garlic have numerous beneficial effects on the circulation,” said Brewer.
“Garlic can decrease blood stickiness by increasing the activity of a natural clot busting reaction called fibrinolysis.
“Together, these actions have a significant, blood pressure lowering effect.
“While its effects start within five hours, and wear off over 24 hours, there is an accumulative benefit so that blood pressure gradually continues to fall over two to three months of treatment.”
Supplementing garlic extracts could also help to reduce blood pressure.
The ideal dose depends on the concentration of extracts used in the capsule, but a typical dose may contain 1,000mcg to 5,000mcg, said the nutritionist.
The coating on some supplements helps to remove garlic odour – so bad breath won’t be a problem.
The best way to check if you could benefit from garlic extract supplements is to get your blood pressure checked.
You can check your blood pressure by seeing your GP, or by taking a home test.
But, there are some signs that you should see a GP.
A pounding in the chest, neck or ears could be a sign that you have high blood pressure.
Untreated high blood pressure can lead to serious diseases, including kidney failure and eye problems.