According to WebMD, hypertension or high blood pressure is a common condition that’ll catch up with most people who live into older age. When it’s too high, it raises the heart’s workload and can cause serious damage to the arteries. As a result, over time and uncontrolled high blood pressure increases your risk of heart disease, stroke and kidney disease.
While, too many people resort to prescription drugs to lower their high blood pressure, there are also natural options.
In fact, the right combination of nutrients and diet modifications that are right for you can lower your blood pressure once and for all.
Find out which nutrients to cut back on and which to increase to lower your blood pressure
#1: Lower your sodium levels: While you’ve probably heard that cutting way back on salt intake is an important step in lowering high blood pressure, this severe restriction is less a “universal recommendation” than it once was.
In fact, some researchers have found severe sodium restriction actually increases your risk of premature death. So “it’s wisest for each person with high blood pressure to determine individually through trial and error whether or not salt restriction makes a difference,” says Dr Jonathan Wright of Nutrition & Healing.
Hint: More often than not, it does.
#2: Increase your potassium: Since higher potassium does reduce stroke risk, it’s advisable that you take extra potassium if you have high blood pressure, even if it doesn’t lower your actual blood-pressure numbers.
As vegetarian diets contain considerable potassium and less sodium, potassium supplementation for “vegetarian hypertensives” may be less necessary. But, for non-vegetarians, 300mg-500mg daily is advisable.
In addition, juicing vegetables and low-sugar fruits like apples and pears is an excellent way to make potassium more available for absorption. In fact, drinking 700ml or more daily can eliminate the need for you to take potassium capsules and supplies many other important nutrients.
#3: Up your calcium and magnesium intake: According to Dr Wright, for some individuals, about 1g (1,000mg) of calcium daily can reduce blood pressure by five to ten points. And for others, calcium makes very little difference. That’s because it appears to work more often for those with insulin resistance.
But “if you supplement with calcium, it’s important to balance it with magnesium. Suboptimal magnesium intake is relatively common, since the major sources are green vegetables,” says Dr Wright.
Magnesium by itself can lower your blood pressure since it helps relax muscles, including those of the smaller blood vessels. It helps to dilate them and improve blood flow. Supplementing with 300-400mg daily is usually sufficient.
There you have it. Lowering your blood pressure is as simple as cutting back on some nutrients and increasing your intake of essential nutrients like potassium, calcium and magnesium.