Eat a plant-based diet. More plants and less meat is the best way to eat for a healthy heart and blood vessels.
Avoid salt NaCl. Too much sodium in the diet, mostly from adding salt to foods, is associated with water retention and increased blood pressure. Replace table salt with Himilayan or clean sea salt. This is a balance of many minerals needed by the body.
Eliminate high fructose corn syrup. Those who consume more than 74 grams of fructose daily (you’ll get that much in two cans of sugary sodas) had a 77 percent chance, more than double the national average, of becoming hypertensive.
Add superfoods. Dark chocolate and other superfoods like pomegranate that are high in flavonoids make blood vessels more pliable. Berries are high in anthocyanins, a type of flavonoid that helps relax blood vessels.
Increase magnesium, potassium, and calcium. High blood pressure is associated with high sodium and low potassium. Magnesium and calcium help relax blood vessels.
Take fish oil. Omega-3 fatty acids can decrease triglycerides, blood pressure, and platelet aggregation, reduce inflammation, and improve vascular integrity.
Take coenzyme Q10. Taking coenzyme Q10 improves glucose metabolism, lowers insulin, and reduces blood pressure.
Optimize vitamin D level. Vitamin D regulates calcium metabolism and may be a determining factor in regulating blood pressure. Low vitamin D levels are associated with increased risk for cardiovascular disease and hypertension.
Get enough resveratrol. Resveratrol improves glucose metabolism and protects blood vessels. 2 glasses of red wine is good for you.
If you’re too heavy, take off pounds. If you’re underweight, add some muscle. Obesity is considered a primary factor in developing hypertension.
Move more. Sitting too much and too long disrupts metabolism, contributes to weight gain, and promotes cardiovascular disease. Physical inactivity is associated with a higher risk for hypertension.
Exercise regularly. Exercise is a cornerstone therapy for the prevention, treatment, and control of hypertension. If you have high blood pressure exercise daily with moderate intensity for about 35 minutes. For best results, supplement endurance activity with resistance training.
Stop smoking. Cigarette smokers tend to have more severe forms of hypertension. Even one cigarette makes your blood pressure temporarily increase.
Don’t drink too much. Having more than three drinks elevates blood pressure.
Manage stress. Stress contributes to high blood pressure in a mosaic of ways. Acute stressful events make blood pressure spike. Chronic psychological stress imbalances the autonomic nervous system resulting in sympathetic stimulation causing blood vessels to contract. Stress disrupts the balance of hormones associated with managing blood pressure.
Is your blood pressure too high? If it is, start with a plant-based diet, weight loss, and take fish oils. Add some of the other ways to lower blood pressure listed above if basic changes are not enough.
Don’t under estimate the consequences of hypertension. If you’re over 40, get your blood pressure checked regularly. I learn from my patients. Even a single patient that beats the odds, who defies conventional medical wisdom and gets better, can teach doctors a lot. I know that the body adjusts itself, that we can return to normal physiology at any age, and much of the time we can do it without drugs.