Beta-blockers are a type of drug that can reduce stress on the heart. Fish, garlic, berries, and certain vitamins and amino acids are all natural sources of beta-blockers.
Doctors usually prescribe beta-blockers to treat cardiovascular conditions such as angina and hypertension, which is also known as high blood pressure. However, they can also help prevent or manage other conditions, such as migraine and anxiety.
Beta-blockers work by blocking certain hormones in the nervous system that manage the body’s stress responses. This can cause a person’s heart rate to slow down, easing stress on the heart and reducing blood pressure.
Read on to learn more about natural sources of beta-blockers, their benefits, and who should take them.
Natural sources of beta-blockers include widely available fruits, vegetables, spices, herbs, and supplements.
According to an
- calcium-channel blocker
- angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor
Celery may help lower blood pressure in a similar way to a beta-blocker by
According to a
This review found that eating pulses reduced blood pressure in people with and without hypertension.
According to the British Heart Foundation, garlic contains heart-healthy nutrients such as selenium, manganese, vitamin B6, and vitamin C.
Experts believe garlic can lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels because it contains an antioxidant called allicin.
In a 2020 review, garlic supplementation lowered blood pressure enough to reduce the risk of experiencing cardiovascular problems by around
People commonly use hibiscus in folk medicine to treat hypertension.
According to this study, compounds in hibiscus reduce blood pressure by increasing nitric oxide production, opening potassium channels, blocking calcium channels, and acting as a diuretic.
Saffron is a spice from the Crocus sativus flower. A
The research also found that this spice contains compounds that reduce the heart rate in guinea pig hearts.
Fish, poultry, starchy vegetables, and most types of fruit can contain vitamin B6.
Vitamin B6 may also block angiotensin receptors and widen blood vessels.
Another natural source of beta-blockers is potassium, according to the above study. Low fat dairy products, potatoes, coconut water, and bananas are all sources of potassium.
Potassium may lower blood pressure by reducing sympathetic nervous system activity, blocking hormones that raise blood pressure, and widening blood vessels.
L-arginine is a semi-essential amino acid that helps produce nitric oxide, an important chemical in relaxing muscle cells and reducing blood pressure.
Many types of nuts, seeds, meat, poultry, and leafy green vegetables contain high amounts of L-arginine.
The organization recommends eating fish rich in omega-3 at least twice a week or taking a 1 gram daily omega-3 supplement.
Fish that are high in omega-3 include:
There are very few risks from eating most fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, fish, or meat unless a person is allergic to them.
Most herbs and spices also carry minimal risk of negative side effects if people consume them in moderation.
However, some fruits, vegetables, and nuts can be high in calories, fat, or sugar.
Other herbs and supplements may also interact with prescription medications or other supplements.
A person should contact a doctor to check it is safe for them to take herbs or supplements.
Beta-blockers work by blocking the release of adrenaline and noradrenaline.
This slows the heart rate and reduces the force with which blood pumps through the body.
Beta-blockers may also reduce blood pressure by reducing the production of the hormone angiotensin II, which can increase blood pressure.
There are two primary types of beta-blockers: nonselective and selective.
Nonselective beta-blockers block adrenaline and noradrenaline in the heart and other parts of the body. This may cause undesirable side effects, such as increasing the risk of asthma attacks.
Selective beta-blockers are more common because they specifically target the heart tissues, which reduces the risk of side effects.
According to a
This can include:
- high blood pressure
- congestive heart failure
- tachycardia, also known as a fast resting heartbeat
- arrhythmias, also known as an irregular heartbeat
- coronary artery disease
- aortic dissection, which refers to tearing in the aorta lining
Beta-blockers can also sometimes help manage, prevent, or treat:
- certain types of tremors
- portal hypertension
Beta-blockers come in three forms:
- oral pills
- eye drops or ointments
The type of beta-blocker that people use depends on their condition, how severe the health issue is, and whether they have a chronic illness.
There are many different brands of beta-blocker, including:
- acebutolol (Sectral)
- atenolol (Tenormin)
- betaxolol (Kerlone)
- bisoprolol or hydrochlorothiazide (Ziac)
- bisoprolol (Zebeta)
- metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL)
- nadolol (Corgard)
- propranolol (Inderal)
- sotalol (Betapace)
Beta-blockers can cause a range of
- low blood pressure
- slow heart rate, or bradycardia
- cold hands and feet
- nausea, vomiting
- stomach cramps
- erectile dysfunction
- hyperglycemia, or low blood sugar
- sleep changes
- heart block
- dry mouth and eyes
If a person has concerns about any side effects, they should contact a doctor.
If the side effects worsen or do not improve with over-the-counter or home remedies, an individual should also contact a healthcare professional.
Beta-blockers may not be safe for everyone.
People with a history of the following conditions should talk to a doctor before using natural beta-blockers:
- heart conditions
- slow heartbeat
- low blood pressure
- chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Raynaud’s disease
- torsades de pointes
- conditions that cause edema
Many foods, herbs, spices, and supplements contain ingredients that mimic the effects of beta-blockers. These natural sources of beta-blockers are widely available and are safe to consume in moderation.
Although the American Heart Foundation
People should contact a doctor before changing their diet, starting a new supplement, or trying beta-blockers for the first time.