Blood pressure reflects how forcefully your heart has to work to pump blood and to relax between contractions. Healthy blood pressure keeps all of our organs and systems well oxygenated, nourished, and running in peak condition through supply of blood. Unfortunately, blood pressure problems troubles nearly one in three adults globally. Needless to say that maintaining healthy blood pressure levels is critical for optimum health. So here are your top 10 tips for reducing your high blood pressure (& diabetes)
Blood pressure is traditionally expressed in millimeters of mercury. The first number, the systolic value, represents the effort required of the left ventricle to contract and push blood through the circulatory system. The second number, the diastolic pressure, is the force required for your heart to relax. Physicians define High blood pressure as levels equal to or higher then 140 systolic and/or 90 diastolic (140/90 or greater). This can put you at significantly greater risk for several health conditions, including those affecting the heart and kidneys.
For many conventional physicians optimal blood pressure is anything that is less than 140 systolic and/or 90 diastolic, however that is not true. Optimal blood pressure needs to be 120 systolic over 80 diastolic or lower (120/80 or lower). This means that those levels that fall between 120–139 systolic over 80-89 diastolic are in a gray area many more alternative-minded physicians are becoming increasingly concerned about.
Suggested Reading : High BP – A Silent Killer in India.
Suggested Reading : 3 Symptoms of High BP to watch out for.
If your family have a history of High Blood Pressure or Hypertension or if you are concerned about having it, here are 10 tips for Reducing Your High Blood Pressure.
The Top 10 tips to reduce your high blood pressure
1. Monitor & Reduce your Blood Sugar levels
If you have an elevated blood pressure, it might be valuable to check your blood sugar levels. Research has repeatedly shown that there is a strong association between increased sugar consumption and elevated blood pressure. Especially High fructose corn syrup. High fructose corn syrup is made from corn starch. It requires immense processing during manufacturing involving lot of toxic chemicals that are loaded with mercury. These heavy metals over a period of time get accumulated and cause havoc with your body and mind.
These chemicals then get added to all your processed food. Also unlike glucose if fructose is not metabolised immediately, it is converted to fat. It is also a cause of fatty liver. Regular sugar, thirty minutes after consumption, can lower your immunity for upto 5 hours. High fructose corn syrup is estimated to lower immunity for much longer.
Sugar makes you age. High fructose corn syrup even more so. Dr. Ron Rosedale, M.D., states that insulin sensitivity in the most important marker for an increased and improved lifespan. So higher your blood sugar the lower your length and quality of life.
The following foods routinely contain high fructose corn syrup:
• Most carbonated beverages and other sweetened drinks
• Baked goods
• Canned fruits
• Jams and jellies
• Salad dressings, ketchup
• Dairy products
• Anything with the similar label as – “Added natural and artificial flavour”
• Anything with the similar label as – “Added seasonings”
You can normalize your blood sugar levels by avoiding all kinds of sugar, all food with added high fructose corn syrup (processed food) and grains. If you cannot avoid all grains reduce them to a single small serving accompanied by good fats such as organic unsalted butter, ghee or cold pressed extra virgin olive oil.
Numerous studies have shown that regular exercise can reduce blood pressure. Anaerobic exercises such as walking, running, swimming, cycling etc. are most suitable for reduction in high blood pressure. Also if possible, exercise outdoors in parks or gardens, away from traffic and pollution. And do remember to take off your shoes. Grounding to the earth calms the sympathetic nervous systems, improves blood viscosity and blood flow which in turn helps balance blood pressure
3. Optimize your Vitamin D levels
Lack of vitamin D has is a causative factor for Syndrome X, insulin resistance, obesity, elevated cholesterol and triaglycerides as well as high blood pressure.
Stephen G. Rostand, MD, The University of Alabama, in his article “Ultraviolet Light May Contribute to Geographic and Racial Blood Pressure Differences” states that:
• the farther we are from the equator the more our blood pressure.
• blood pressure is high in winter than in summer, when there is lack of sunlight.
In both cases the lack of vitamin D causes an increase in the parathyroid hormones which in turn causes an increase in blood pressure.
4. Lack of Sleep
Individuals who are chronically sleep deprived are at an increased risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease and stroke. Because of the increased risk of obesity, there is an increased risk of heart disease.
Sleeping allows the body to heal and repair itself. According to Harvard Medical School, quote – “Studies have found that a single night of inadequate sleep in people who have existing hypertension can cause elevated blood pressure throughout the following day. This effect may begin to explain the correlation between poor sleep and cardiovascular disease and stroke. For example, one study found that sleeping too little (less than six hours) or too much (more than nine hours) increased the risk of coronary heart disease in women.”
5. Optimize your gut flora
A team of researchers from the The Johns Hopkins University and Yale University have suggested that gut bacteria are part of a complex system that maintains the body’s blood pressure. They have discovered a specialized odor-sensing receptor usually present in the nose, that can also be found in blood vessels throughout the body. In the gut, this receptor reacts to small molecules generated by bacteria by raising blood pressure.
Another study from The Griffith Health Institute, found that individuals consuming high amount of probiotics in form of yoghurt had reduced blood pressure. The probiotic consumption, on an average, lowered the systolic blood pressure (the higher number) by 3.56 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure (the lower number) by 2.38 mm Hg.
Furthermore the study showed that any supplementation less than 100 billion colony-forming units per dat did not give the benefits. Thus more than 100 billion colony-forming units probiotics a day was necessary to trigger the cardiovascular benefits and it was only seen in those who consumed probiotics regularly for at least eight weeks or more.
6. Eliminate caffeine
Numerous studies have now proven that caffeinated drinks like coffee can increase your blood pressure if you suffer from it.
7. Vitamins C and E
Many studies have now indicated vitamin C and vitamin E allow for reduction in blood pressure. They are best obtained from diet, but if it cannot be obtained from diet alone for some reason, remember to supplement Vitamin E only in its natural form and not the synthetic one. Natural vitamin E starts with “d-” (for example : d-alpha-tocopherol), while synthetic vitamin E starts with “dl-” on all labels. Also only buffered vitamin C must be used as supplement.
8. Anulom Vilom Pranayam
Anulom Vilom Pranayam is an alternate nostril breathing exercise. It works by increasing nitric oxide in your blood, which can open constricted blood vessels and lower your blood pressure. If alternate nostril breathing is uncomfortable you can do the same from one nostril only.
Those suffering from heart problems or blood pressure (high or low) should avoid retention of breath. They must do the Anulom Vilom pranayama without holding the breath. It is best done on an empty stomach in the morning.
9. Say No to Junk Food & Use Natural Rock Salt
With diet, start by limiting sodium consumption to 1,500 to 2,300 mg a day. Next, eliminate all processed food, which is almost always very high in sodium and low in nutritional value. In addition, avoid foods high in sugar and trans fats. Focus on eating mainly whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes and lean proteins like poultry and seafood. In fact, research shows that protein can have a positive impact on blood pressure.
10. STRESS REDUCTION
Stress can have a profoundly negative impact on blood pressure levels. Fortunately, using stress-reducing techniques have been shown to be highly effective in reducing blood pressure levels. Several of these include deep breathing, meditation, qigong, yoga and tai chi.
Follow what you feel you can adopt and let us know your feedback. We will be very happy to hear from you.