Foods that naturally lower blood pressure

When talking about blood pressure, there are a few numbers to keep in mind. Voltage is measured with two units. The highest, the first, indicates your systolic pressure. The lowest, second number, is your diastolic pressure.

A blood pressure of 120 over 80 for example (120/80) means that you have a systolic blood pressure of 120 and a diastolic blood pressure of 80. Systolic pressure is the highest pressure in the arteries.

It is when your ventricles contract, at the beginning of the cardiac cycle. Diastolic pressure is the lowest blood pressure, and corresponds to the resting phase of your cardiac cycle. You should ideally have a blood pressure of around 120/80 without medication.

If you are over 60, your systolic pressure is the most important cardiovascular risk factor. If you’re under 60 and don’t have any other major risk factors for cardiovascular disease, your diastolic pressure seems to be a bigger risk factor.

Beet juice, magnesium

In case of high blood pressure, a healthy diet can have a positive impact. Here are some examples.

Beet juice has a beneficial effect on blood pressure. In a small placebo-controlled study, drinking one glass (25 cl, or 8.5 ounces) of beetroot juice daily for one month reduced the systolic blood pressure of participants fed hypertension by 8 mmHg, and their diastolic pressure of 4 mmHg on average.

High blood pressure is usually associated with insulin resistance, due to a diet that is too high in sugar. When your insulin levels rise, your blood pressure also rises. Insulin stores magnesium, but if your insulin receptors are weakened and your cells become insulin resistant, you cannot store the magnesium which is eliminated from your body with urine. Magnesium stored in your cells expands muscles. If your magnesium levels are too low, your blood vessels constrict instead of relaxing, and this constriction raises your blood pressure.

The recipe for hypertension: sugar, fat, little fiber

Fructose increases uric acid which raises your blood pressure by inhibiting nitric oxide in your blood vessels. (Uric acid is a by-product of fructose.

In fact, fructose typically raises uric acid levels within minutes of ingesting it.) Nitric oxide helps your vessels maintain their elasticity, so removing it causes blood pressure to rise.

If you are in good health, and possibly remain so, the rule of thumb is to consume no more than 25 grams of fructose per day, or even less. If you are insulin resistant and/or have high blood pressure, do not consume more than 15 grams of fructose per day until your problem is resolved.

A diet of processed foods high in net carbs (non-fibrous carbs, such as sugar, fructose, and grains) and trans fats (margarine and vegetable oils) is a recipe for hypertension.

Instead, make whole foods, ideally organic, the heart of your diet. Consider swapping non-fibrous carbs for healthy fats found in avocados, organic butter, organic egg yolks, coconuts and coconut oil, raw nuts such as walnuts, pecans or macadamia, grass-fed meats and pasture-raised poultry.

Watch your sodium/potassium ratio

It is your diet as a whole that is essential to controlling high blood pressure, not just reducing salt (sodium) intake. Mineral balance is an important part of the equation, meaning most people eat less sodium and more potassium, calcium and magnesium. A high potassium level attenuates the effects of sodium.

If you can’t or don’t want to reduce your sodium intake, consuming more potassium may help. But the best is to do both. It is indeed very important to maintain a good potassium/sodium ratio in your diet, and high blood pressure is just one of the many side effects of an imbalance.

A diet based on processed foods guarantees you, so to speak, an unbalanced ratio, and too high a rate of sodium compared to potassium. Ditching processed foods in favor of whole foods automatically improves this ratio.

Soups and vegetable juices for good vegetable absorber

Stock up on veggies, vegetable soups or juices are easy ways to increase your veggie intake, and many NO3 rich veggies (which raise your NO levels) do just fine, including beets, kale, celery, spinach, carrots, etc. Garlic, rich in allicin, leeks, shallots and chives also help to improve blood pressure, and are easy to incorporate into salads and various dishes.

Optimize your vitamin D levels and boost your animal omega-3 intake The best way to boost your omega-3 intake is to eat fatty fish. Wild Alaskan salmon, sardines and anchovies are good examples.

* Presse Santé strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO EVENT can the information replace the advice of a healthcare professional.

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