Five Tips to Help Reduce Blood Pressure
I love to hear from people who read this column! My goal with this writing and sharing is to make a difference in your lives and in your health. So, when I received an email from Joe this week, I wanted to thank him and address one of the things he and his wife are working on: managing blood pressure. Here are five tips to help reduce blood pressure.
Because a significant risk factor for heart disease is blood pressure that is consistently higher than normal, this is important to monitor. When your blood pressure is consistently high, your heart is forced to work much harder. Over time, this eventually weakens the heart muscle. Today, I want to share a few simple ideas that may help Joe and others moderate blood pressure levels.
Avoid processed food. Our Standard American Diet is not beneficial for any aspect of your health, and that includes your blood pressure! Instead, following a basic Mediterranean diet is a good way to get on a better dietary path. The way I eat is most similar to a Mediterranean diet, but with modifications that work for me, help keep my chronic depression at bay and control my weight. In my next book, “The Major Method”, which I am writing now, I detail how I eat to keep myself healthy both mentally and physically.
A Mediterranean diet focuses on whole fresh food; fruits, vegetables, fish and small amounts of lean meat. I think when we think of a Mediterranean eating style, many of us think bread and pasta, but these are more processed and should be kept to a minimum if eaten at all.
An additional bonus is that in the past fifty years, studies have shown that eating in this manner reduce the incidence of a wide range of other ills as well.
Remember to use apple cider vinegar (ACV). ACV has the ability to reduce blood pressure and significantly improve heart health. I like to drink a tablespoon of it in water with a squeeze of lemon and a tablespoon of tart cherry juice. I hope you’ll try it; it’s really very tasty. I have it in the morning, and health advocates suggest having it three times a day to help with blood pressure.
Chia seeds! Yes, the same chia pet chia seeds! Chis seeds can actually help lower blood pressure. Becaue chia seeds are igh in omega 3 fatty acids, they can work as a blood thinner and are believed to decrease blood pressure. You can sprinkle them on salads, mix in smoothies and I have a recipe or two for Chia Pudding on my website in the recipe section.
Moderate your alcohol consumption. Drinking too much alcohol too frequently can indeed raise your blood pressure. More than three drinks at one time increases your blood pressure, and drinking too much on a regular basis can really affect your blood pressure in the wrong direction. I’m not say you have to stop drinking; just be sure you are controlling your alcohol consumption.
Niacin. The health care providers differ on this one, but there is enough evidence out there that I take niacin. Studies have shown that niacin can boost levels of good HDL cholesterol and lower triglycerides as well as dilate blood vessels. It has the ability to raise blood sugar however, so consult your health care professional before adding this or any other supplement to your health regimen.
By the way, fish and sunflower seeds provide natural sources of niacin, too.
I hope these five tips to help reduce blood pressure will help you focus on eating more healthfully and will contribute to a better blood pressure reading in your future!
If you need/want to discuss further, I am available to you. You can email me: Cheryl@ThinStrongHealthy.com
How may I serve you in your quest for optimal mental and physical health?
Cheryl A Major
Cheryl A Major lives in Westford and is a Certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant. Her TV show, Thin Strong Healthy, airs on WestfordCat and is an offshoot of her blog http://ThinStrongHealthy.com Cheryl offers ongoing information, live and online courses and personal health coaching to help you feel better and be healthier. Follow Cheryl on Twitter @CherylAMajor. She is also a full time residential Realtor with Coldwell Banker with more than 25 years experience.
Cheryl’s book, “Eat Your Blues Away” will be available this January in select Whole Foods Markets!