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For many people, high blood pressure is their first indication that they’re heading down a dangerous path that can lead to heart attack and stroke.
Since heart problems run in my family and high blood pressure is just the beginning, it’s something I’ve been cautious about my whole life — and feel it’s important to talk to my other family members and friends about.
So today I’d like to share with you a simple program I follow, that so far (knock on wood) has helped me naturally keep my healthy blood pressure numbers where they should be.
I’ve broken it down to 7 important points…
#1 – Salt
If you’re like me, you love anything salty. But, that salt is doing you no favors when it comes to your blood pressure.
It’s okay to season your food using high-quality salts like sea salt and Himalayan pink salt but you should avoid high sodium, processed foods like the plague.
#2 – Alcohol
If you want to drink, be sure to do it only in moderation. That’s because alcohol can narrow your arteries and raise your blood pressure.
What’s the magic number?
One drink per day or less for women at any age or for men over the age of 65 and two drinks or less for men under 65.
#3 – Sugar
According to scientific studies, sugar may be even worse for your blood pressure than salt.
Avoid high sugar foods whenever possible and be sure to read the labels on the food you buy to check for hidden sugars. Companies have gotten really sneaky and often hide sugars in food labeled low-fat.
#4 – Trans fats
These partially hydrogenated fats are found in processed foods from donuts and frozen chicken pot pies to potato chips and store-bought frosting. And, they can raise your blood pressure and increase your risk of a heart attack or stroke.
#5 – Caffeine
Too much caffeine can raise your blood pressure. Put a total ban on energy drinks and sodas.
But when it comes to coffee, if you drink in moderation (a couple of cups a day), you might actually benefit from a heart-protecting protein known as p27. According to research, caffeine promotes the movement of p27 into the mitochondria of the cells lining your heart and blood vessels.
If you do choose to go decaf for your coffee and tea fix, be sure to buy organic only since the non-organic versions are decaffeinated using a toxic chemical process.
#6 – Blood pressure friendly food
What should you eat? The answer is plenty of fresh fruits, veggies and lean proteins (especially omega-3 rich proteins like salmon, mackerel and sardines).
Other foods to include in your diet are ones that contain lots of fiber, like whole grains and legumes and foods rich in potassium which lowers blood pressure, like melon, avocado and bananas.
And, if you’re looking for a sweet treat, skip the ice cream and try heart-healthy dark chocolate instead with at least 70 percent cocoa.
#7 – Supplements that support healthy blood pressure
Part of any healthy diet is supplementation with nutrients, like vitamins, minerals, herbs and such, and it’s no different when it comes to watching your blood pressure.
Supplements that can help support blood pressure health include:
- Vitamin K2 – This vitamin promotes healthy blood flow and blood pressure by helping to keep your arteries clear, elastic and pliable.
- Grape Seed Extract – Packed with heart-healthy polyphenols, grape seed extract activates nitric oxide in the lining of your blood vessels to relax your arteries and promote a healthy blood pressure.
- Pterostilbene – Found in blueberries, pterostilbene is a powerful antioxidant that helps block the creation of Angiotensin II – an enzyme that stiffens the walls of blood vessels.
- Green tea extract – The phytochemicals in green tea have been proven to reduce oxidative stress and soothe inflammation and support your cardiovascular health.
My go-to source for all four blood-pressure supporting supplements is Peak BP Platinum™.
If you’re not on blood pressure meds yet, take the steps above to help promote naturally healthy blood pressure, and hopefully, you can keep it that way. If you are on medication, talk with your doctor first about how to introduce these healthy alternatives into your lifestyle instead.
- Accurate measurements of sodium intake confirm relationship with mortality — Brigham and Women’s Hospital
- Alcohol is bad for blood pressure — Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology
- Study Suggests Sugar Is Worse For Blood Pressure Than Salt: Really? — Forbes
- No more trans fats to raise blood pressure! — Hello Heart
- Hypertension Risk Status and Effect of Caffeine on Blood Pressure — Hypertension
- How Potassium Can Help Control High Blood Pressure — American Heart Association, Inc.