According to a recent Harvard study, high blood pressure contributes to more than 15% of the deaths in the United States. Often causing no symptoms, high blood pressure increases the risk of heart attack and stroke, as well as aneurysms, cognitive decline and kidney failure. According to the American Heart Association, over 30% of Americans have high blood pressure and don’t even know it. Is it time to check your blood pressure?
Here are 5 easy steps to lowering blood pressure that can be started today…
Sleep Away High-Blood PressureThe image of a hard charging, go getter putting in long hours with little rest is stereotypically American. In much of our society, the idea that a man would need more than a few hours of sleep per night is viewed as a weakness. It is unfortunate, but true, that our cultural norms form the very basis of many of our health issues. In searching the literature, one cannot find a single study that suggests anything less than 7 hours of sleep for an adult male is essential. In fact the range of 7-9 hours is most often cited as the optimal amount of sleep for the adult male.
In fact, according to the Huffington Post, new research shows that getting less than seven or eight hours a night (as an adult) increases your risk of high blood pressure, along with a host of other problems such as encouraging weight gain. This makes sense. Physiologically, anything that increases inflammation or contributes to chronic inflammation is going to negatively affect the cardiovascular system. Sleep is, hands down, the body’s most effective way of digesting excess stress hormones from your day. If you don’t get enough sleep, your stress hormones stay elevated and this increases inflammation throughout your body. This causes your arteries to narrow and even constrict, which results in higher blood pressure.
Want to sleep better but not sure where to start…Try reading 5 Tricks That Will Have You Sleeping Like a Baby
Let Food Be Thy MedicineBy now you’ve heard the rant; Industrial food production and the Standard American Diet (SAD) made up of low fat, high carbohydrate, processed foods has lead to the current epidemic of overweight and hypertensive Americans.
According to the Mayo Clinic, blood pressure often increases as weight increases. Being overweight also can cause disrupted breathing while you sleep (sleep apnea), which further raises your blood pressure.
Weight loss is one of the most effective lifestyle changes for controlling blood pressure. Losing just 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms) can help reduce your blood pressure.
Besides shedding pounds, you generally should also keep an eye on your waistline. Carrying too much weight around your waist can put you at greater risk of high blood pressure.
Master your table with these 6 invaluable resources...
Power WalkHypertensive patients who went for fitness walks at a brisk pace lowered pressure by almost 8 mmHg over 6 mmHg. Exercise helps the heart use oxygen more efficiently, so it doesn't work as hard to pump blood.
Prevention suggests that you get a vigorous cardio workout of at least 30 minutes on most days of the week for low blood pressure. Try increasing speed or distance so you keep challenging your ticker.
Not sure how to get started? Check out the American Heart Associations walking program to lower blood pressure
The DASH Diet
The healthy DASH diet plan was developed to lower blood pressure without medication in research sponsored by the US National Institutes of Health.
The first DASH diet research showed that it could lower blood pressure as well as the first line blood pressure medications, even with a sodium intake of 3300 mg/day! Since then, numerous studies have shown that the DASH diet reduces the risk of many diseases, including some kinds of cancer, stroke, heart disease, heart failure, kidney stones, and diabetes. It has been proven to be an effective way to lose weight and become healthier at the same time. It is full of fabulous, delicious, real foods.
Beyond changing your diet to minimize exposure to foods that increase blood pressure and emphasizing foods that reduce blood pressure, a number of nutritional supplements have been consistently demonstrated to reduce blood pressure...
Stronvivo is a pharmaceutical grade combination of Arginine, Citrulline, Carnitine, Magnesium and Zinc. Stronvivo was designed to improve the health of the endothelium, the lining of the blood vessels and to relax the cardio vascular system. Stronvivo works by increasing Nitric Oxide which is required as part of the biochemical ‘cascade’ of events that result in vasodilation, or how blood vessels widen by themselves to regulate blood flow and blood pressure.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is an antioxidant that is made in the human body. CoQ10 is needed for basic cell function. CoQ10 levels decrease with age and may be low in people with cancer, certain genetic disorders, diabetes, heart conditions, HIV/AIDS, muscular dystrophies, and Parkinson's disease. Some prescription drugs may also lower CoQ10 levels. CoQ10 in the body can be increased by taking CoQ10 supplements. CoQ10 is oil soluble so it is best to use in gel cap form. There are two types of CoQ10; Ubiquinone and Ubiquinol. Both have shown to be effective but Ubiquinol is the naturally occurring form. The typical dosage is 200 mg per day but that can be doubled or even tripled if you need more cardiovascular support.
Omega-3 - Few nutrients have been studied as much as Omega-3 fatty acids. They have been shown to have many powerful health benefits for your body and your brain. One major benefit is their ability to improve risk factors for heart disease. Research indicates that Omega-3s can lower triglycerides from 15-30%. Omega-3s can reduce blood pressure and inflammation. Additionally Omega-3s can raise HDL the “good” cholesterol and keep blood platelets from clumping together.
The active ingredients in Omega-3s are EPA and DHA. You want to look for supplements that provide those components in a 1.5:1 ratio of EAP:DHA. EPA is the component that is most supportive of the cardiovascular system, DHA offers brain support. There are 3 sources of Omega-3s including Fish oil, Squid Oil and Krill Oil. The very best supplements contain all three.
Garlic - Garlic could help cut blood pressure by 10 per cent – but only if you take it in the form of tablets, claim scientists. Twelve weeks of treatment with garlic tablets led to a ‘significant’ cut in blood pressure, slashing the risk of a heart attack or stroke, according to a review of evidence. Researchers claim those with hypertension, or high blood pressure, could control their condition better by adding garlic to conventional medication.
Several things to consider when taking Garlic supplements… Your supplement must contain at least 4000 mpg of Allicin, the medicinal component of Garlic. Additionally, look for Enteric Coated tablets. The coating allows the tablet to pass through the stomach without being digested. Finally, avoid odorless garlic tablets. In order to be odorless, the ingredients must be cooked at very high temperatures and that process breaks down and renders the ingredients ineffective.