Rebecca loves sharing what she knows about alternative medicine, health, frugal living, fun, animals, and how to live a better life!
This article is not meant to treat a current health condition. Always speak with your healthcare provider before making changes to your health.
Heart Disease and high blood pressure are leading causes of death
In the United States, 1 in every 4 deaths is caused by a heart-related illness. This is grossly preventable in so many ways if people take responsibility for their health. The answer is not in big pharma and heart medications. The answer lies in changing your lifestyle and caring about the work this vital organ needs to do to keep you alive. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women.
High blood pressure can lead to a heart attack. High blood pressure also known as hypertension causes coronary arteries to become restricted and narrowed. When fat and cholesterol build up in these arteries, while being squished and squeezed, the blood flow required by the heart is halted. This is also called atherosclerosis caused by plaque build up. Imagine trying to force water through a pipe full of sewage. The pressure becomes too strong to get through a restricted space. The result of this restriction and blood flow is a heart attack.
There are two MAJOR things you can do to lower your blood pressure when it comes to lifestyle.
1. Reduce stress.
2. Work out.
Obviously, stress affects everyone differently. And even good events the body recognizes as stressful. That can include marriage, getting kids off to college, births. Negative stress is just as bad but the body doesn't decipher them. Death, job loss, relationship problems, health problems, financial difficulty, it all is seen the same way by your body. We all have to live our lives though and life happens, so stress is not avoidable. But taking steps to manage it is.
What can you do to reduce your stress? Start taking better care of yourself. Eliminate negativity when able. Practice breathing, yoga, meditate, take walks. Clean up your diet. Get good sleep. Reach out for support groups depending on your life circumstances. Learn how cortisol reacts in your system so you can manage it.
When it comes to exercise you really only need about 30 minutes a day, once your blood pressure is under control you could reduce that to 30 minutes 3 times a week. There is no need to lift weights and become a fitness champion. You need some vigorous cardiovascular stimulation to keep your heart strong and healthy.
Food is medicine. If your diet consists of fatty fried garbage, meat and potatoes, booze and cigarettes, you'll have more than just heart issues.
When you have high blood pressure there are some changes and restrictions you can make that will help naturally lower it. One is reducing sodium or salt. Excessive salt in the bloodstream causes fluid retention, this makes a bigger load on the kidneys to remove the excess. All the fluid is causing strain on your heart because of the workload created on the kidney blood vessels. They become restricted.
Reduce your red meat intake. Red meat is loaded with cholesterol and saturated fat. Because of this, red meat is associated with high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. Reducing animal protein, in general, is better for the heart. If you're feeling really bold, become a vegan or vegetarian! There are too many delicious healthy greens and veggies to list that will improve your health, not just reduce blood pressure.
Eating a diet that is rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products and skimps on saturated fat and cholesterol can lower your blood pressure by up to 11 mm Hg if you have high blood pressure. This eating plan is known as the dietary approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet.-source www.mayoclinic.org.
Another option is the Mediterranean diet. The approach here? Consume monounsaturated fats mainly derived from olives and olive oil. While adding more fresh fruit, vegetables, low-fat dairy and whole grains.
What can you start eating right away to lower your blood pressure? Bananas, oatmeal, red beets, salmon, mackerel, green leafy vegetables, especially spinach, berries, flaxseed, yoghurt, and skim milk.
What you should avoid right away? Any food high in salt. Boxed and prepackaged food, deli meat, alcoholic drinks, pickles or food processed in brines, bacon (sorry), and low-quality meat.
It's no mystery that smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol is bad for blood pressure.
Nicotine in cigarettes along with all the other chemicals in them raise blood pressure, increase heart rate, narrows and hardens artery walls, and makes it more likely that your blood will clot. So what does that mean? It means it stresses your heart and puts a huge load of work on it while it's trying to keep you alive. Resulting in heart attacks. When you smoke a cigarette, it takes about 20 minutes after that last puff for your heart to return to its regular function.
There is so much controversy on how much alcohol is safe to have or unsafe to have. Some sources say a glass of wine is ok. A few drinks a week is ok. The bottom line is, alcohol (in any form) is broken down by the liver, the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase oxidizes ethanol into acetaldehyde, which is then further oxidized into harmless acetic acid by acetaldehyde dehydrogenase. In simple terms, poison. The reason you get a buzz or high off alcohol is that you are poisoning yourself.
Now, in relation to high blood pressure, alcohol increases blood pressure. A few drinks in one sitting it increases temporarily. Long term abuse or binge drinking causes these spikes to last longer. If you have a long term history of drinking, you should wean off. Suddenly stopping can actually cause an increase in blood pressure for several days. Which increases your likelihood of a heart attack.
Alcohol, again in ALL forms is void of nutrition and full of empty calories. It often causes undesirable weight gain, especially of visceral fat. Visceral fat is extremely hard to get rid of and being overweight increases cardiovascular problems.
So if you already don't drink, great! You've got one leg up on controlling your high blood pressure. If you're a moderate drinker, consider eliminating it from your diet. If you're a heavy drinker, reduce until you can manage not having it at all.
Magnesium deficiency is a by-product of heart attacks. Most people in the United States, are magnesium deficient. Diet also affects acquiring and use of magnesium in the body. The typical diet is not meeting the required daily need. Most people don't eat well and simply don't get it in their diet. If you drink a lot of coffee, or alcohol you will deplete these levels also. It's assumed we can acquire enough of this mineral from food sources, that's simply not the case. First off, most people don't eat the food that it is in, second, we don't absorb it properly. In my opinion, everyone should be supplementing this into their diet, along with vitamin D and B12.
The best way to get magnesium supplemented into your diet is transdermally. That means through your skin. You can do this by soaking in magnesium chloride flakes, or by using a spray of magnesium chloride flakes mixed with purified water. When 1-2 cups are added to a bath it's not only relaxing, which helps lower blood pressure, but it's also replenishing your magnesium. Any type of spa bath will help lower blood pressure because it's stress management. This should be done 2-3 times a week for 15 minutes each interval.
Foods high in this essential mineral are whole wheat, quinoa, dark chocolate, almonds, cashews, peanuts and avocados. How often are you eating those?
Magnesium is important for bone formation and calcium absorption. It also is good for heart health, migraines, diabetes, PMS, sleep, muscle cramps/spasms, kidney health, mental disorders, anxiety, and many other issues. Magnesium is required for more than 300 biochemical reactions and 600 enzymatic reactions in the body. This is something you need daily.
If you're going to supplement magnesium in your diet, research the various types and consider adding more then one. The following types have different responses in the body. Malate, Chloride, Glycinate, Threonate, and Citrate.
Magnesium and blood pressure
Magnesium Supplements May Help to Lower Blood Pressure. ... The researchers found that taking 368 mg of magnesium supplements daily for three months reduced people's systolic blood pressure by an average of 2 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg), and reduced their diastolic blood pressure by an average of 1.8 mm Hg.Jul 11, 2016 -source-www.livescience.com
There are many supplements that help reduce high blood pressure. I emphasized magnesium because of the other huge benefits that mineral has as well as the importance of it.
But that is not the only supplement you should consider.
Others include Omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin D, Folate/Folic Acid/B9, L-Citrulline, PQQ, and Coenzyme Q10.
Good Drinks to Lower Blood Pressure
There are quite a few beverages you can drink to help keep your blood pressure at optimum levels. Most of these are teas. Green tea, which is full of L-theanine is an excellent tea even if you don't have high blood pressure. L-theanine will lower stress. Hibiscus tea, this won't make a drastic improvement but it will lower high blood pressure for those that only have it slightly elevated. Olive leaf tea and Hawthorne Berry Tea are also good choices. As well as beetroot juice, pineapple and celery.
If you think you can't afford a good juicer, think again. Aicok makes a brilliant masticating juicer, available on Amazon for about $100. It's also really easy to clean, which most are not! So you'll have no reason to delay or procrastinate juicing.
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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2019 Rebecca
VIDYA D SAGAR on November 01, 2019:
Hi Rebecca, thanks for sharing. I will surely try Co enzyme Q10. I have already started vitamin D.
Rebecca (author) from USA on October 31, 2019:
Hi Vidya, magnesium, Co enzmye Q10 will be a huge help too and vitamin D.
VIDYA D SAGAR on October 26, 2019:
Nice article, good tips. I have been suffering from Hypertension for quite some time now. I am a vegetarian and do not have any vices but the stress as a working professional and a sedentary lifestyle caused it. I want to try the magnesium that you have mentioned. And more importantly, exercise and a Mediterranean diet will be very effective I believe.
Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on June 21, 2019:
Very interesting. I just started magnesium a few days ago and your article makes me doubly glad I did.
Gupi on June 09, 2019:
Thanks for sharing those tips :)
Cheryl E Preston from Roanoke on April 28, 2019:
Great ideas. thanks