A grim statistic: nearly half of the adults in the United States have high blood pressure or are taking medication for high blood pressure, caress the CDC. That’s about 108 million Americans. While you should always consult your doctor before upgrading your dietary supplement regimen, Research shows that certain nutrients can help lower high blood pressure.
Lifestyle changes can also make a dramatic difference in lowering high blood pressure. “There are many general healthy habits that can help lower high blood pressure,” said Kristin Gillespie, MS, RD, LD, CNSC, Consultant to Exercisewithstyle.com. She said this includes:
- A healthy diet high in nutrient dense foods and conservative in sodium, simple sugars, and processed foods.
- Incorporate regular exercise into your routine
- Get enough sleep
- Look for ways to reduce stress, such as meditation or yoga
Reducing or quitting alcohol consumption and smoking cessation are also important healthy habits (with a number of other health benefits beyond lowering high blood pressure).
Now when it comes to your diet and supplementation, learn more about how magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, potassium, vitamin C, and calcium can all play a role in lowering high blood pressure. Read on, and to learn more about how to eat healthily, don’t miss out on the 7 Healthiest Foods You Should Eat Right Now.
You may have heard that magnesium can help you sleep and relieve anxiety, but it can also help keep your blood pressure at healthy levels. “There is a growing body of literature supporting the effectiveness of magnesium in preventing and treating high blood pressure,” says Gillespie. “This is viewed as a result of increased nitric oxide production. Nitric oxide acts as a vasodilator in the body, causing the blood vessels to relax and widen, increased blood flow and decreased blood pressure.” For more information on magnesium, see 19 Benefits Of Magnesium You Didn’t Know You Needed.
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“Omega-3 fatty acids have several functions in the body, including strengthening blood vessels. A reliable research source suggests that they too might be able to lower blood pressure, ”said Shannon Henry, RD, with EZCareClinic, which provides walk-in and online health services for weight loss plans, nutritional / diet therapy, and treatments.
For omega-3s through your diet, look for oily fish like salmon and sardines, nuts and seeds, chia seeds and walnuts, noted Henry. Check out these: 26 Best Omega-3 Foods to Combat Inflammation and Support Heart Health.
“Potassium is widely known for its effects on blood pressure; many studies have supported an association between increased potassium intake (either from food or supplements) and decreased blood pressure, ”says Gillespie, adding that this is due to the fact that potassium works to stimulate the excretion of sodium from the body and so relax the blood vessels. A healthy, balanced diet should make it easy to get enough potassium. Give the bananas, please. And avocados, sweet potatoes, and spinach.
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Who would have thought that this vitamin could potentially help keep high blood pressure in check? “Research has shown that people with low vitamin C levels are more likely to have high blood pressure than those with optimal levels,” said Gillespie. “In a literature review of eight studies, vitamin C supplementation was linked to a significant reduction in blood pressure. Researchers have suggested that this is because vitamin C acts as a diuretic, removing excess fluids and salt from the body, ultimately lowering blood pressure. “
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“The human body needs calcium for strong bones and to strengthen blood circulation, muscle contraction and heart rate,” says Henry of the important mineral.
Most people get all of the calcium they need through their diet, Henry said, calling out canned foods high in calcium like milk, yogurt, cheese, leafy green vegetables, and oily fish. It’s worth noting, however, that “a 2015 review found that increasing calcium intake can lower blood pressure, but only marginally. The authors recognize that more study is needed before doctors can be sure how it works and how.” a lot of people should take it “. “Added Heinrich.
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