7 Ways To Take Control Of Your Blood Pressure - Holistic Christian Life

7 Ways To Take Control Of Your Blood Pressure

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7 Ways To Take Control Of Your Blood Pressure

It’s at epidemic proportions.  70 million Americans and over 1 billion worldwide have hypertension.  Conventional doctors are trained to address your blood pressure in a way that prevents you from dying, which is a blessing. They work from the perspective of management in order to save your life.  This is great!  However, there is a downside when people are just given a pill and told to limit their sodium intake.

Unless your doctor is certified in Functional Medicine, Integrative Medicine, or Naturopathic Medicine, they are probably not educated (or have the time) to talk to you about how to fix it.  Why is this important to know?  Because the drugs given to manage hypertension are also detrimental to your overall health.  High blood pressure is a symptom that something else is going on in your body.  For many people, changes in lifestyle can manage this symptom in a healthy way, and many times, can even allow you to go off of the medication.  Of course, this must be monitored, and you need to work in conjunction with your doctor.  If your doctor does not want to support you in actually fixing your high blood pressure, and doesn’t believe that lifestyle changes can decrease your dependency on a drug, I would find a doctor with the above mentioned credentials.

First, lets talk about what high blood pressure medication does.  It contributes to creating nutrient deficiencies.  Potassium, zinc, magnesium, calcium and folate are all necessary for vascular health.  A deficiency in these nutrients can actually be one cause of high blood pressure.  And yet, medication for hypertension actually depletes them further.  This leads to other issues within other body systems.  It’s self perpetuating cycle with negative side effects.  Inflammation, weight, and sugar consumption are a few of the other culprits that play a part in elevating blood pressure.

Before getting into natural ways to manage your blood pressure, I would like to help debunk the myth of sodium being the bad guy.  A study found in JAMA shows that it is “garbage salt”  ie: sodium chloride with iodine added (your average table salt) that has a connection to raising blood pressure.  And even then, barely.  Sea salt, pink salt, black salts, the other natural non-processed salts that are rich in minerals, tend to have no effect on blood pressure.  Of course, if your body is storing sodium due to excessive sugar consumption, not enough hydration, and insulin resistance…sodium plays more of a role because it isn’t being excreted.  But in general, just like the fat scare from 2-3 decades ago, the sodium scare is now being found to be mis-leading, and a body not getting enough sodium leads to another can of worms.

Today, lets cover 7 natural ways to improve blood pressure.

  1.  Omega 3 fats.  Studies show that people with the lowest blood pressure have the highest serum levels of Omega 3 in their blood.  The easiest way to get these fats is through wild caught fish, olive oil, avocados, grass fed beef, etc.  I also recommend supplementing with a high quality fish or krill oil.
  2. Eat right.  Sugar in general, fructose in particular, and simple carbs made from refined flours, all contribute to high blood pressure.  Start reading ingredient labels and cut out products with added sugar.  Only eat 2 servings of fruit a day, and make sure it’s in it’s whole form.  Dried fruit and fruit juice are not going to be helpful for lowering blood pressure due their high sugar content.
  3. Manage your stress.  There are many ways to do this.  We all have stress, but it’s the tools we put in place in our lives that regulate how much our stress affects our adrenal glands.  When our adrenals are affected, magnesium is pulled from our body, and cortisol is pumped out.  This in turn contributes to inflammation which raises blood pressure.  Stress comes from physical, environmental and emotional sources.  Here are just a few ways to lower your blood pressure through stress management:
    1. A daily practice that starts your day in a controlled manner.  (Such as the Daily Ascesis, taught during My Beautiful Lent) Practicing prayerful silence for at least 10 minutes, journaling, deep belly breathing, and a 20 minute walk outside is very powerful in taking care of your adrenals, thus lowering stress responses and lowering blood pressure.  It may mean that you need to get up 30 minutes earlier to practice these self care methods.
  4. Eat organic food.  Whenever possible, keeping toxins like Glyphosate out of your body will help.  Glyphosate (Roundup) leaches minerals out of your body….the same ones needed for safe blood pressure.
  5. Vitamin D3.  Get out in the sun and use supplements if you need to.  Studies show that people with optimum levels of vitamin D have a 30% lower risk of developing hypertension.  It’s an easy bloodtest to find out if you are in the optimum range.  If you need to supplement, a rule of thumb is 1000 IUs for every 25 pounds of body weight.
  6. Natural herbs such at Hawthorne (Foxglove) and Gingko help with lowing blood pressure, as do some essential oils such as lavender,  ylang ylang, clary sage and frankincense.
  7. Eat foods that support low blood pressure such as garlic, high fiber vegetables, and even dark chocolate with at least 200mg of cocoa phenols.

If you have blood pressure issues, whether you are on medication or not, I encourage you to obtain a personal blood pressure cuff.  Check your pressure throughout the day, starting after you wake up and are still in bed.  Use the tips above, and see how it affects your pressure.  Also, work with your doctor so that your meds are at the right level for your new lifestyle.  Eventually you may even be able to stop your body’s reliance on them!

By the way, if you haven’t checked out My Beautiful Lent 2017, this year we have added a meal plan for special needs…such as Diabetes, Hypertension, and High Cholesterol.  This may help you during the Lenten period!

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