Top 7 Natural Ways to Reduce Blood Pressure

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Blood pressure is an important measure of your cardiovascular system health and hypertension is on the rise! Over 100 million Americans have high blood pressure, meaning these people have a high risk for both heart attacks, stroke, kidney disease, heart failure, and vision loss.

What is Blood Pressure?

Blood pressure is the amount of force that is put onto your arterial walls when your heart pumps blood through those arteries. Arteries carry blood away from your heart to your organs and tissues.

Blood pressure is measured with two numbers: the top number is called systolic pressure and the bottom number is diastolic. Systolic is the amount of pressure put on the artery walls when the heart pumps out blood and the diastolic is the pressure in between heart beats. So, a blood pressure of 120/80 means the systolic is 120 mm Hg and diastolic is 80 mm Hg. The “mm Hg” refers to millimeters of Mercury, which is used to measure pressure.

Your blood pressure depends on two main factors within your arteries: the amount of blood being pumped and the level of resistance in the artery. If the arteries are narrow, the resistance and pressure will be higher. Your arteries can become narrow as plaque builds along the walls. Check out my blog post “Heart Disease is NOT a Disease of Cholesterol” for more information!

Blood Pressure Ranges

Normal blood pressure is commonly measured as a systolic of 120 mm Hg or below and diastolic at 80 mm Hg or below.

Elevated blood pressure is measured as a systolic of 120-139 mm Hg and diastolic of 80-89 mm Hg.

High blood pressure or hypertension is measured as a systolic of above 140 mm Hg and diastolic of 90 mm Hg or above.

Tips to Reduce Your Blood Pressure Naturally
1. Reduce Your Sugar Intake

Sugar in itself isn’t bad, but it’s the amount of sugar that we consume! Between the amount of sugar and how sugars are refined, they can become very damaging to the arterial walls.

2. Change up Your Fats

The type of fats that we consume and cook with can become highly damaged when they are produced and heated. Rancid fats can become incorporated into our cells and they can build up at plaque sites within the arteries, making them more narrow.

It’s best to focus on healthier fats like coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, and fish. For beef and animal fat sources, be sure to eat organic and grass-fed.

3. Take a fish oil supplement

Fish oils are high in Omega-3 fatty acids, which are anti-inflammatory in the cardiovascular system. American diets are typically high in Omega-6 fats and low in Omega-3 fats. American diets are usually a 20:1 ratio of Omega 6:Omega 3 and ideally we want this to be much lower, closer to a 4:1 ratio or lower. Fish oil supplements are one way to increase Omega-3 fats into our diet.

4. Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a hormone that is made from cholesterol when your skin is exposed to sunlight. It’s important for bone health, but is highly protective against heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Studies show a link between vitamin D deficiency and hypertension. Vitamin D supplementation has also been shown to help reduce hypertension during winter months.

5. CoQ10

CoQ10 is an enzyme used in our cells to help produce energy and acts as a powerful antioxidant that reduces tissue damage from free radicals. CoQ10 is highly protective in many heart related diseases, including a possible decrease in blood pressure.

6. Magnesium

Studies show that Magnesium supplementation can reduce hypertension in high risk patients. Magnesium can help prevent constricting of the blood vessels, thus reducing blood pressure.

7. Garlic

Garlic can increase the production of nitric oxide (NO), which causes smooth muscles to relax. Our arteries are surrounded by smooth muscles, so as NO increases, the blood vessels will dilate. Studies show that garlic can decrease both systolic and diastolic pressures.

Keep in mind that relaxation, stress reduction and movement also help to reduce your blood pressure and always work with your practitioner before changing diet, supplements and introducing exercise.

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