High blood pressure is pandemic across the western world, especially in the United States and Western Europe, due to a wide range of unhealthy dietary and lifestyle variables. The blood pressure is an actual increased pressure in the blood of the arteries and veins, and increases the risk and danger of heart attacks, strokes, and other serious health problems. Despite such serious concerns surrounding high blood pressure, it is a condition that can be managed and reversed in those willing.
Do I have high blood pressure?
Blood pressure is measured in systolic and diastolic pressure, which is the pressure during the heart beat itself (systolic) and between pumps (diastolic). A healthy blood pressure is about 110/70-120/75. 130/80 is considered pre-hypertensive and 140/90 (either 140 or above, or 90 or above being enough to qualify by itself) is hypertensive (high blood pressure). There are many self-testing devices that can tell you your blood pressure, and so to can most medical professionals. Regular testing is vital.
How can I lower my blood pressure naturally?
There are many medications to help with lowering dangerously high blood pressure, and these medications definitely have their place, but they also have a series of serious side effects that are not good for your health. If you are in a serious medical situation your doctor can help weigh the benefits with the drawbacks, but the key is to keep an eye on your blood pressure and make sure it doesn’t get high in the first place, and aggressively working to get it down with natural and safe methods if it gets higher than it should be.
- Regular exercise is one of the single best ways to lower your blood pressure. Ask your cardiologist or primary medical professional for suggestions on how best to exercise safely, or sign up with an appropriately qualified personal trainer.
- If you smoke, drink one alcoholic beverage a day (one beer, one glass of wine, one ounce of liquor), or live a stressful lifestyle (or don’t handle stress well) these are three simple and profound (even if difficult) aspects of your lifestyle that can make a serious difference in your blood pressure and heart health. Quit drinking, quit smoking, and find a way to deal with stress.
- Diet is a major and serious cause of high blood pressure. Minimize your sugar (especially fructose when not from fruit sources, and high fructose corn syrup) and refined carbohydrate intake (white breads, rice, and pastas), and avoid any pre-made food, especially fast food. Sodas and sugary deserts are definitely a minimal treat (not once a day, but maybe once every few weeks!). Grains in general should be greatly reduced.
- Increase your intake of colorful and fibrous fruits and vegetables. Up your intake of omega 3 fats in particular, be it from supplements like cod liver or fish oil, or from whole food sources such as fatty fish (salmon and tuna for example), or hemp chia and flax seeds and oil. Nuts and avocados are also excellent fair.
- Calcium, cocoa, broccoli, celery, garlic and cayenne pepper are also known to lower blood pressure naturally and safely.