Did you know that 70 million Americans struggle with high blood pressure? That is about 1/3 of the population!! This condition costs our country 46 billion dollars each year. What if I told you there was a way to reduce blood pressure naturally? Well, read ahead because there are multiple things you can do to support and regulate your own blood pressure.
As with most health issues, there are a number of contributors to high blood pressure, which is also known as hypertension –genetics, age, stress, exercise, weight, diet, and other lifestyle factors. There are also a number of positive changes you can make to support healthy blood pressure levels naturally, and in turn, take control of your health!
Before delving into tips and suggestions for reducing blood pressure naturally, I want to touch on some basics. Simply put, blood pressure indicates the pressure in the arteries as blood pumps out of the heart and as it rests. The American Heart Association considers 120/80 to be a normal blood pressure reading. Anything above that is pre-hypertension, with 140/90 entering high blood pressure levels.
High blood pressure and hypertension are interchangeable terms. High blood pressure is exactly what it sounds like – there is a large amount of force or pressure on your arteries as your blood pumps. This can stretch and weaken blood vessels, exhaust the circulatory system, jeopardize sufficient blood flow to organs and tissue (including brain and kidneys), and cause scarring – which will likely form plaque build-up and/or clotting as cholesterol and blood cells get caught in the tears.
Often times, your heart, brain, eyes, and kidneys will be permanently damaged before there are noticeable symptoms of hypertension, other than your blood pressure reading. In addition, hypertension is a major cause and contributor of heart attack, heart failure, stroke, and kidney failure.
It is likely that your blood pressure will increase with age, so even if you are not concerned by it now, any person of any age would benefit from a lifestyle that encourages healthy blood pressure levels! In fact, many of the tips below will not only support blood pressure, but your overall health and wellness.
Top 3 upgrades:
1. Switch to Himalayan pink salt:
The reason we have been led to believe that salt is bad for us, especially our blood pressure, is because the research often comes from studies that use table salt. This stuff is chemically produced lacking the essential trace minerals naturally occurring in salt, and as studies have shown, it is bad for you. Pink salt on the other hand is nutrient dense. It will regulate blood pressure, and support overall heart health.
2. Use turmeric and ginger as natural anti-inflammatory and pain relievers.
If you frequently use over-the-counter pain medications, such as Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Advil, Motrin, Aleve, etc. you may be risking increased blood pressure, according to the Mayo Clinic. Turmeric and ginger are known to be just as powerful in relieving pain and reducing inflammation, and even combat some negative side effects of the above meds. Try making a big batch of my Healing Chai Tea to have on hand instead of reaching for Tylenol.
3. Upgrade your fats – omega 3s and omega 6s
The American diet tends to be heavy on the side of omega 6s (corn, soy, canola, safflower, sunflower oil, and other processed vegetable or hydrogenated oils) and neglectful of the omega 3s. It is said that our ancestors evolved from a 1:1 ratio of omega 6s to omega 3s, in comparison to today, where our ratios are as off balance as 20:1. If you think you might be on the heavier side of the omega 6s, cut down on these, and up your omega 3s. Go for some flax seed or oil, and high quality fish oil.
Other things to add:
1. Juice: a beet, celery, and ginger combo has been shown to reduce high blood pressure.
2. Healthy fats: in addition to flax and fish oil, add avocado and coconut products.
3. Blueberries: the antioxidants in blueberries support heart health in many ways, including strengthening the lining of you circulatory system, which is directly affected by blood pressure.
4. Fermented foods: sauerkraut, kefir, and other fermented foods are rich in vitamin K2 and help support healthy gut flora, which in turn, supports heart health.
1. Spend time in the sun! Vitamin D supports your body clock, which in turn helps regulate sleep. Poor or insufficient sleep is linked to high blood pressure, as well as weight gain or trouble losing weight.
2. Meditation and other stress relief strategies. High levels of stress are linked to hypertension. Choose a positive form of stress relief to add to your daily routine!
Things to avoid:
1. SUGAR, SUGAR, SUGAR (and things that turn into sugar).
Bread, potatoes, rice, pasta, and corn are all processed like sugar. Sugar is one of the biggest culprits of unhealthy blood pressure levels, in addition to numerous other health issues. Many professionals in health and medicine are now recommending no more than 25 grams of sugar a day, comparing this to a can of soda that has 40 grams of sugar.
Coffee, alcohol, and smoking have all been shown to contribute to high levels of blood pressure.
3. Processed foods
Processed foods have added ingredients, flavors, colors, etc. that can negatively affect our health. As discussed above, table salt is a common additive, and so is sugar (aka high fructose corn syrup, malodextrin, lactose, dextrose, dried cane juice, rice syrup, etc) – both harmful to blood pressure levels.
4. Blood Pressure Medication
Unless necessary, use blood pressure medication as a last resort, as it can actually shorten your life. Hopefully this post helps you find natural ways to reverse your blood pressure, so that you don’t have to resort to it.