Lowering High Blood Pressure Naturally | Diet | Part 2

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Welcome to part two of this blog series on lowering high blood pressure naturally.
Today’s blog post is focused on diet. What to add in and what to remove or reduce for improved heart health.
Don’t worry. It’s not always necessary to make dramatic changes to your eating habits. Simply adding in or swapping out certain things can make a huge difference in lowering your blood pressure!

Lowering high blood pressure naturally - vegetables laid out

No. 1 – Eat the Rainbow

Make colour the focus of your diet. Aim to eat as many fresh, colourful fruits and vegetables as you possibly can. The more variety the better!

These colourful foods are rich in antioxidants and nutrients which are notoriously good for your heart health.

Enjoy colourful foods, ranging from:

  • beta carotene-rich orange carrots and red/orange peppers
  • lycopene filled red tomatoes and watermelon
  • curcumin filled yellow/orange turmeric
  • detoxifying cleansing greens
  • anthocyanin-rich beets
  • resveratrol filled mulberries
  • white foods loaded with anthoxanthins to help lower cholesterol and blood pressure like onions, cauliflower, mushrooms

Learn more about these foods here: Foods to Naturally Increase Your Skin’s UV Resistance

And don’t forget fermented foods!

Include some raw foods here and there and munch down some fermented foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut and/or kefir. These will help to boost enzyme levels which ultimately help with the digestion of food and assimilation of nutrients.
Plus they make your plate full of colour and flavour. I love mixing purple sauerkraut through my salads or preserved lemons into a dish. Yum!

Try kombucha or water kefir if sauerkraut isn’t up your alley. It’s easily flavoured with whatever you like!

Lowering high blood pressure naturally - banana chopped and flying

No. 2 – Get Enough Potassium

Eating a healthy diet that is rich in fruits, veggies, whole grains, quality protein and fat will help you keep your blood pressure balanced. They’ll also provide you with heaps of Potassium.

This mineral is key in helping the body maintain healthy blood pressure.

It does this by easing tension in the blood vessel walls and balancing out the amount of sodium in the cells.
If you don’t consume enough potassium via your diet, or you lose too much potassium due to dehydration or other health conditions, sodium can build up in your blood. We’ll talk about the ill effects of excess sodium on blood pressure next.

Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of potassium. Try adding the following:

sweet potatoes | potatoes | cooked broccoli | cooked spinach | mushrooms | peas | pumpkin | cucumbers | bananas | cantaloupe | raisins | prunes and dates.

Beans and legumes are another great source, as are fish, meat and poultry. Nuts, seeds, brown and wild rice and some wholegrain pasta also offer some.

A proper balance of potassium is critical for good heart health.

Lowering high blood pressure naturally - pink salt on dish with wood scoop

No. 3 – Ease Up On The Salt

The effect of salt on blood pressure varies from person to person and it also can differ depending on the source of the salt. By which I mean, is it natural salt added mindfully to enhance flavour or is it coming from processed foods? It makes a difference.
Generally speaking, adults should aim to consume around 5g of salt a day. That’s basically a teaspoon. However, this can be considerably less if you have greater sodium sensitivity.

The reason salt has a reputation for raising blood pressure is that salt makes your body hold onto water. If you eat too much, you can end up holding too much water. This extra water in your blood means there is extra pressure on your blood vessel walls. As a result, your blood pressure is raised. 
If you already have high blood pressure, too much salt will raise it even further.

Ease up on the salt is the simple answer. If you have a cheap processed salt in the cupboard, swap it out for an organic or natural salt, such as Sea Salt or Himalayan salt.

Then try some alternatives such as Herbamare or celery salt to slowly add-in. These offer that salty flavour but have significantly less sodium in them.

You’ll also want to keep an eye on labels of anything you purchase, just to make sure you’re keeping your intake on track.

coffee being poured into cup and surrounded by coffee beans

No. 4 – Keep An Eye on Your Caffeine Intake

Caffeine can have a pretty profound effect on blood pressure, regardless of whether or not you have high blood pressure or not. Caffeine is a vasoconstrictor, which means that it decreases the size of blood vessels and thus raises blood pressure.

It also has an effect on the adrenal glands which after caffeine consumption can release more adrenaline, which causes an increase in blood pressure.

The blood pressure response to caffeine differs from person to person and is also affected by the person’s tolerance to it.
I actually wrote a little blog post series about coffee called 5 Ways to Upgrade Your Coffee. Here I go into detail about why I don’t think caffeine is the evil it’s often portrayed to be, and how we can incorporate it safely.
If the idea of giving up coffee is an absolute horror story, I recommend giving these posts a read. Then you’ll see if you can upgrade your coffee and make sure that you’re consuming it in a way that is actually beneficial to your body and not sending it into panic adrenaline mode.

If you’re knocking back 8 cups of coffee a day, then swapping a couple out for some green tea or matcha tea would be an excellent start. Then eventually add in some other beverages like nettle, dandelion, fennel or peppermint tea.
Even if you’re still drinking 2 cups of coffee a day, the added antioxidants from green tea will be hugely beneficial to your health. Then you add the mineral levels from the herbal teas and you’re well on your way!

To learn more about these herbal teas, I recommend giving my previous blogs a read. Here I go into detail about each herb and why they are so good for you.

Lowering high blood pressure naturally - garlic bulbs

No. 5 – Help your Heart with Herbs, Roots and Resins

Speaking of herbal teas, herbs are an excellent addition to the diet for heart health.

There are a plethora of plants that are helpful to lower blood pressure, but I can only choose a few for this blog post.

Hawthorn

Let’s start with one in particular worth mentioning, and that is hawthorn. The deep red fruit of the Hawthorn, more commonly known as Crataegus are amongst the most familiar of hedgerow berries. This berry has a long history of use for protecting the heart. Its traditional use is to improve blood circulation and balance blood pressure. Hawthorn helps to gently tone the heart tissue and improve the flow of oxygen to the heart.

Try Jan de Vries Hawthorn-Garlic Complex to naturally support your heart function if this herb sounds up your alley.

(Talk to your doctor if you are considering taking Hawthorn Garlic Complex alongside other heart medication.)
Alternatively, we also have hawthorn tea.

Garlic

Garlic is another plant found to be effective in helping to reduce high blood pressure. It’s rich in many compounds that may benefit your heart and lower inflammation. It contains sulfur compounds, and one, in particular, is allicin. This helps to increase blood flow and relax the blood vessels. The end result of these combined is hopefully lowered blood pressure.

Turmeric

Next up is Turmeric. Turmeric is a highly powerful herb with a plethora of amazing health and healing properties. It’s antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and loaded with nutrients. Read more about it in my blog post here.
There are studies suggesting turmeric can have a great effect on lowering blood pressure.
It is important to talk to your doctor before taking turmeric if you’re on any medication for blood pressure.

four sigmatic hot chocolate and reishi

Adaptogen Herbs

Adaptogens calm and nourish the adrenal glands and support all the processes that are controlled by the adrenals — from blood sugar and immune system regulation to hormones and blood pressure. The beauty of adaptogens is that they know what you need.

Here are some of my favourites:

Let’s dig a little more into Reishi.

Reishi mushrooms are so marvellous for the human body, I find it hard to shorten this paragraph!
If you want more details about this shroom, check out my blog post here.

In short, Reishi mushrooms support the cardiovascular, nervous and immune systems. They are rich in antioxidants, and it’s these beauties that to help protect against oxidative damage. And as we know, oxidative stress may be a contributing factor for high blood pressure.

Reishi’s polysaccharides are credited to lowering blood pressure, stabilising blood sugar and even lowering cholesterol.

Other herbs/spices/roots/resins worth mentioning include cinnamon, horsetail, valerian, hibiscus, nettle, dandelion and tulsi.

wine bottle and 2 wine glasses

No. 6 – Reduce Alcohol Intake

Although no one has yet to pinpoint the exact link between high alcohol consumption and high blood pressure, there is definitely one there.
If you have the occasional drink here and there, it’s generally not a problem. The real issue is when high amounts of alcohol are consumed.

If you are somebody that needs a drink to relax every night, drinks regularly or pretty fiercely at the weekend, watch out.
Although the exact reason that alcohol has this effect on blood pressure remains elusive, it’s still known to raise it.
It is generally recommended that people with high blood pressure drink in moderation.
We do know that cutting back on heavy drinking can lower both your systolic blood pressure and your diastolic blood pressure. 

And that’s it for Part Two of Lowering High Blood Pressure Naturally | Diet | Part 2
Check out part 1 here if you missed it:

And read on further to parts 3 and 4 here:

Emily Nöth

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*Please note that while we are knowledgeable about our products and nutrition, this blog should never be a substitute for medical advice and attention

Please remember that you should always obtain the all-clear from your doctor before starting any new supplement plan or diet if you’re on any medication


* If you have been diagnosed with heart disease, these steps do not constitute an alternative to proper medical care.