Vitamin E Vitamin E


4 Drug-Free Ways to Manage Your Blood Pressure

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola

Blood Pressure

Anyone who’s been told they need to manage their blood pressure has probably already heard most, if not all the four different suggestions that news agency has for lowering your numbers. They’re all good ideas — especially exercise and maintaining a healthy weight — but I have a different take on two of them. Here they are:

1. Exercise — Nobody could take fault with this idea. Exercise is good for everyone, whether you have high blood pressure (BP) or not. But, if your BP numbers are topping the charts, it goes without saying that even a daily walk can get you on the right path to a lower reading.

2. Maintain a healthy weight — Again, metabolically, your body responds to what your weight is and should be. Pack on the pounds and you’ll see your BP go up, so maintaining a healthy weight is good advice.

3. Practice yoga — There’s lots of good science supporting the benefits of yoga, which can help you and your blood pressure relax through deep breathing, meditation and slow movements, so think about learning this exercise that just about anyone with any level of fitness can do.

4. Eat healthy food — Granted, I don’t think anyone could argue with that suggestion, but I take exception to recommendations that you accomplish it with low-fat dairy products and other low- or no-saturated fat foods. In fact, you should be doing exactly the opposite: Switch out carb-rich foods for sources of healthy fats, such as avocados, grass fed meat and dairy products, olive oil and coconut, to name a few (think: ketogenic diet) and watch your weight and blood pressure both go down

Other foods that can help lower your blood pressure include arugula, flaxseeds, beets or beetroot juice, celery and cooked tomatoes. Asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and spinach, along with wild-caught Alaskan salmon and nuts and seeds like almonds and walnuts will also help. From the fruit choices, pick blueberries, apples, apricots, peaches and plums in moderate amounts.

And, yes, as the featured article suggests, most definitely cut back or eliminate completely all refined sugars (which come mostly from processed foods) and reduce your use of table sugar as well. And guess what? Two other foods known to dilate blood vessels are garlic and watermelon. Sun exposure or vitamin D supplementation can address vitamin D deficiency, which is associated with both arterial stiffness and hypertension.

Other healthy ideas that I advise include cutting back on caffeine and avoiding alcohol, quitting smoking, and learning how to address your stress. Stress can be relieved through that yoga program mentioned above or, if you’d like to give it a chance, the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) can also ease negative emotions.