Avoid processed foods
Avoiding processed foods helps you naturally eliminate two of the biggest culprits behind elevated blood pressure—salt and sugar.
Although you’re probably not surprised to hear about salt, you may wonder about sugar. There are actually three ways that sugar raises your blood pressure:
1- Sugar and refined carbohydrates lead to obesity, which is a high blood pressure risk factor.
2- Sugar can promote sodium retention, which can increase blood volume and cause hypertension.
3- Sugar is a very inflammatory substance, and having excess glucose in your bloodstream can cause arterial inflammation and elevated insulin, which can ultimately drive up your blood pressure.
Concentrate on real foods, especially lots of fresh vegetables, meats, fish, and poultry. This will also help ensure that you get more potassium—which is as important as reducing salt for blood pressure.
Limit your intake of grains, including pasta, bread, and rice. Although grains do provide nutrients, they also turn to sugar upon digestion, so, in the end, they’re as harmful as a cookie as far as your blood pressure goes.
And get that old, tired idea out of your head that all saturated fats are bad.
Your heart needs saturated fats during times of stress. Just make wise choices—meats and eggs (preferably organic), coconut oil and real butter—not margarine.
Get enough Omega-3 essential fatty acids
Omega-3 essential fatty acids have been medically PROVEN to help lower blood pressure, and increasing numbers of doctors are advising their patients to up their Omega-3 intake.
One of the best ways to engage this natural anti-inflammatory and help lower blood pressure is to take a very high-quality fish oil.
Take a stroll or a jog
Regular exercise has been shown in countless studies to help lower blood pressure.
Now, don’t let the word “exercise” make you cringe! Take baby steps and make it enjoyable (after getting your doctor’s OK of course).
For example, you can start by walking for 30 minutes 4 times a week. Eventually, you’ll see the difference in how you feel and can strive to build up to 45 minutes. After that, who knows? Eventually, you might find yourself jogging or running (and watch your blood pressure and weight come down too!).
That’s exactly how I started running 24 years ago, by the way—by first walking, then jogging and finally running…and I’ll be completing my second full marathon on October 9th! If you’re wondering, my blood pressure is consistently 110/60 without ever needing meds.
Balance your gut flora
Your gut flora actually helps lower your blood pressure in several ways!
It supports proper digestion and regular BMs, which helps ensure wastes and toxins are properly eliminated instead of getting reabsorbed into circulation and stirring up inflammation in your arteries.
It encourages healthy cholesterol levels by “eating up” excess cholesterol and moving old, worn-out cholesterol out with your BMs.
And it helps manufacture B vitamins which control your blood homocysteine level.
Having a diet rich in fresh vegetables, fermented vegetables, plain yoghurt and kefir or taking a prescribed full-spectrum probiotic can help keep your gut flora strong and in a healthful balance.
Quit the butts
This should probably be obvious, but if you smoke, please, PLEASE stop.
Within 20 minutes of quitting smoking, your blood pressure begins to drop; within 2-3 months your circulation improves, and within a year your excess risk of coronary disease is cut in half!
Stress and hypertension go hand in hand, so do whatever you need to do to reduce stress in your life.
Regular exercise is a natural stress reducer as well as a great way to lower blood pressure, so that’s another good reason to put those sneakers on.
If you find you’re overwhelmed and chronically stressed, then get the help you need with a counselor or therapist.
Get enough vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is crucial for your body to lower your blood level of homocysteine. If homocysteine is instead left unchecked and builds up in your blood, it can increase your risk of high blood pressure and atherosclerosis.
Get your B12 and homocysteine checked