Lowering blood pressure is critically important. For every slight notch higher you are at longer term risks of heart disease and stroke. If you aren’t good about getting to the gym, if you do smoke, if you are over weight, then decreasing blood pressure by eating these things is even more important. Generally diets that are high in fruits and vegetables and non-fat dairy products are associated with the least heart disease and thus the best blood pressure. However some foods and nutrients will actually lower blood pressure
1. Consume more potassium. Everyone can dutifully recite ‘watch the salt’ when it comes to blood pressure management, but few people can name actual foods that can help lower blood pressure when you eat them, although quite a few have excellent research behind their beneficial qualities of adding potassium. The highest sodium consumers also need a bit of extra potassium. Bananas are good for this.
2. Chokeberry juice? In some research trials this juice can both lower cholesterol and control your blood pressure, but the research studies are unfortunately inconsistent.
3. Get more calcium in your diet, either dairy, or supplement. The DASH trial looked at various nutritional strategies besides just the lowering of sodium and the increasing of potassium, and in this study calcium in the diet was shown to lower blood pressure. This means that the addition of calcium supplements can lower blood pressure. Gynos always advise consultation as too much calcium can cause other medical problems. Fiber lowers blood pressure, especially if it comes in the form of oats, so if you are planning a great breakfast for your blood pressure: eat oatmeal.
3. Increase amino acids. If you don’t know which ones, you may need to get tested for your blood levels, and this can be done through serum blood tests or study your functional vitamin levels with nutritional testing we offer at Women’s Health Practice. For lunch consider a shake with amino acids: taurine and arginine are the two that have been shown to lower blood pressure the most.
4. Oatmeal. Generally whole grain consumption is healthy for all aspects of cardiovascular disease. Research has really failed to show definitively that grains other than oats will specifically reduce high blood pressure and thus lower heart disease. The problem is getting the right type of diet study!
5. Decrease alcohol overall., but for blood pressure some red wine seems to be better for blood pressure and prevention of cardiovascular disease. We are talking moderation!
6.Garlic is both helpful to your heart and blood pressure. So for dinner: this is easy: red wine and something flavored with garlic, for us it may be our favorite pasta dish, if you keep your portion in moderation, or sub out spaghetti squash, it’s even better for your blood pressure.
And finally a Women’s Health tip: actually measure your blood pressure at home now and then, just to fact check that your health strategies are working!
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