5 Nutrients to Lower Your Blood Pressure (Part 1)

Blood pressure issues are at an all-time high in our society today. Close to one-third of adults in the US have high blood pressure, which increases your risk of a heart attack, stroke, aneurysm, damage to your kidneys and erectile dysfunction (1).

While raised blood pressure runs in families and can occur as a result of another medical condition, such as kidney disease or Cushing’s syndrome, there are other risk factors that it is possible for you to control.

Risk Factors For High Blood Pressure

Some people produce insufficient nitric oxide, which usually helps your blood vessels to dilate, reducing the pressure under which your blood travels through your vessels (2, 3, 4). Drinking heavily and using certain illicit drugs also cause your heart to work harder, so reviewing your lifestyle can help reduce your blood pressure readings.

Carrying excess body weight pushes up your blood pressure directly, though if it causes you to develop insulin resistance – which can also occur as a result of inactivity – this also contributes to raised blood pressure.

However, addressing your dietary intake to aid weight loss isn’t the only recommended change to your diet to get your blood pressure under control. While many people are aware of the need to cut back their sodium intake, which is found in salty foods, to keep their blood pressure in check, there are a number of protective nutrients that promote a healthier blood pressure. Although these are all available in supplement form, increasing your dietary intake of them is preferable.

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Potassium

This mineral works along with sodium to control your body’s fluid balance; sodium draws water into your blood, raising the pressure, while potassium has the opposite effect. By increasing your intake of potassium-rich foods, while reducing your intake of those high in sodium, you are more likely to achieve a favorable blood pressure (5). Foods high in potassium are an important part of the DASH diet, which the American Heart Association recommends to lower blood pressure (6).

Ensuring your diet is rich in fruit and vegetables will help you increase your potassium intake, but nuts and seeds are also a good source of this mineral. However, if you have chronic kidney disease, it may not be appropriate for you to increase your dietary potassium intake, so seek medical advice.

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Magnesium

Although magnesium supplements lower blood pressure by encouraging the muscles in your blood vessels to relax, these supplements are poorly absorbed and digestive upset is a common side-effect (7). This is one reason why I generally prefer a powder form to drink or a liquid transdermal form of magnesium supplementation such as Magnesium oil or Magnesium cream.

It is always advisable to up your intake of foods rich in magnesium. Green leafy vegetables, nuts and pulses are among the best sources of dietary magnesium.

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To be continued…

Source: Dr jockers