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3 Ways you Might want to Consider in Improving Blood Pressure

Video Transcript:

Nearly half of all US adults have high blood pressure which is remarkable and it's so avoidable.

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High blood pressure or hypertension is also known as a silent killer because oftentimes high blood pressure has no symptoms, but it's a major risk for heart disease and stroke, which is the leading disease risk for death in the United States.

Now our blood pressure is measured by millimeters of mercury and there are two numbers involved in our blood pressure. So first we have that top number, which is our systolic blood pressure.

And what that represents is it's the force of pressure when your heart is pushing blood into your arteries and then throughout the rest of your body.

And the bottom number, which is called diastolic blood pressure, represents the pressure in your blood vessels between beats when your heart is filling and relaxing. So our blood pressure depends on the amount of blood that our heart is pumping and how much resistance our blood flow has.

So if you have narrowed arteries, you will have higher blood pressure. Now at today's standards, blood pressure that is lower than one 20 over 80 is considered normal. And blood pressure, that's 130/80 is considered elevated blood pressure.

Now if your readings consistently range from 120-129 mm Hg systolic (upper number) and less than 80 mm Hg diastolic (lower number), considered elevated blood pressure, then you are more at risk for developing high blood pressure.

Now the good news with that is that if you are at a status of elevated blood pressure, there are a lot of things you can do to help decrease your blood pressure and get it back into that lower than 120/80. And so today we're gonna talk about three ways you can lower your blood pressure.

But first I wanna introduce myself. I'm Marcie Vaske, I'm a functional medicine nutritionist and I specialize in gu

t health. And so I see a lot of people who struggle with diarrhea, constipation, bloating, gas, and that's just to name a few things.

So if this sounds like you or even someone you know and love, can easily make an initial appointment with our clinic.

If you're like someone who just sort of wants to get more information or you like to learn on your own about maybe doing some changes for your gut health, you can download our free guide, which is Five Ways to Improve your Gut Health.

So take a look at those things, you know where you fit in and if one of them is resonating most for you, I encourage you to either make an appointment or click on our free guide.

3 ways to improve blood pressure

So as I mentioned earlier, we're gonna go through three ways to help decrease or improve your blood pressure.

Sugars and Refined Carbohydrates

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So number one is to cut back on sugar and refined carbohydrates. Now there have been many studies that have shown that restricting or eliminating refined sugars or processed carbohydrates actually helps you lose weight and therefore decreases blood pressure.

There was a study done that said sugar, specifically fructose, can elevate your blood pressure even more than salt. And in the study, they found that the diastolic pressure went up by five points and that systolic pressure went up by almost seven points.

So if you are hovering around that, you know borderline from 120/80 into that, between that 130/80 you're in that elevated blood pressure. So simply taking some sugar out can decrease your blood pressure and you're back into normal ranges.

Now if you're taking out some of those refined carbohydrates and processed sugars, what happens is you tend to eat more protein and healthy fats. So you're staying fuller longer and your blood sugar is more stabilized.

But how is this affecting your blood pressure?

There was a study done that watched people who kind of changed their diet around and ended up eating a hundred grams of protein per day. And what they found is that people who ate a hundred grams of protein per day actually decrease their blood pressure by 40%. So that's huge.

So it's just a few dietary changes, taking out those refined carbohydrates, things like crackers, chips, bread, and some of these things that aren't really serving you for a lot of reasons.

But if you're having elevated high or high blood pressure, definitely another reason to take some of that out and put in more protein, a hundred grams of protein, and add in those healthy fats.

And of course, by taking out some of those carbohydrates, they were also incorporating more of the good carbohydrates, right?

Vegetables, carbohydrates. So therefore they were getting a little more fiber and fiber was shown to even reduce blood pressure by 60%. So just two little things make such a big difference.

Now of course, not everyone can be on a higher protein diet, you know, people with kidney disease, and of course, you

need to check with your physician about that. But if you are just kind of getting into that elevated high blood pressure, these are things that you might wanna be taking a look at.

So what are some ways that you can add more protein to your diet if it fits your needs and you don't have any of the underlying issues going on?

Easy ways would be adding some meat protein, you could do some eggs. Chickpeas for a vegetarian option have quite a bit of protein and you're kind of looking at, you know, about 28 grams of protein per meal to reach that hundred grams of protein per day.

So it's fairly easy, but it's really interesting, a lot of the people I see over the years are undereating protein, and once we kind of increase that, so many things improve in their health. And so start paying attention. Do you have four ounces of protein in your meal?

At the minimum are you decreasing some of those refined carbohydrates or too much high fructose corn syrup? Those are the things you wanna take out. Bring in the protein, bring in the healthy vegetables for all that good fiber fruits and your blood pressure will be happier and your waistline will be too.

Caffeine and Blood Pressure

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Now the second reason we're going to go over is reducing caffeine intake or your coffee, maybe your red bowls, whatever you might, you kind of like. What they have found is that caffeine can raise blood pressure, but even more significantly in individuals who already have elevated blood pressure.

So if you're having one or two cups of coffee a day, probably not a big deal because the caffeine increases the blood pressure but it's only temporary.

But if you're getting into like three, four, five cups of caffeine a day, or maybe you're doing some coffee in the morning, you're doing a couple of energy drinks in the afternoon, you're just getting too much caffeine and that's increasing the blood pressure in your body.

So easy ways to decrease caffeine are kind of putting some rules around it, right? You know, if you enjoy your coffee, I think coffee's amazing. Organic coffee has so many benefits to it and studies have shown that with all the antioxidants that it provides and it can be very helpful but it can also be a deterrent.

So keeping that to like one or two cups of caffeine a day in whatever form you like. But then on the back end of that, how reducing caffeine can help is increasing our sleep. And if we sleep better during the evening or at night, then, our blood pressure is also affected.

So let's say you're having too much caffeine and then you're not sleeping well and then we just keep doing this whole cycle that just keeps elevated blood pressure from increasing heart risk, right? And so, you know, decrease the caffeine and then you end up sleeping better.

So just a little tweak there. I think a lot of people pay attention to their caffeine but sometimes we don't. So just another reminder to check in on your caffeine consumption.

Taking supplements to lower blood pressure

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Now the last way that we're going to talk about how to improve your blood pressure is by doing some supplementation. And a couple of supplements that I wanna specifically talk about are omega-3 and magnesium.

Now we've talked about omega-3 on this channel a lot and they can help anywhere from brain health to heart health to decreasing inflammation. And studies have found that omega-3 fish oil can actually help to reduce blood pressure.

A study found that actually, omega-3 help reduces that systolic blood pressure by four points and diastolic by three points. And I know that doesn't sound like a lot, but again, if you're just barely over that 120/80, those are big numbers that push you back into that healthy range of blood pressure.

So by adding in a few omega-3 daily typically I would say take 3000 milligrams a day. That's a nice dose to help improve blood vessel health or decrease inflammation. Also brain health. So it has all these great things, so adding a little bit of omega-3 is the way to go.

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And the second supplement I wanna chat about is magnesium. The most absorbable form of magnesium is magnesium glycinate and it's usually very safe and good for everybody. We, in America, there's 85% of people are actually magnesium deficient, so it's likely that you might need a little bit.

And studies have found that magnesium actually reduces blood pressure. And so it's a simple one to put in. We need it for over 400 different pathways in our bodies. And magnesium can help you sleep better. So as I talked about earlier, getting better sleep reduces blood pressure.

So you can easily take 200 milligrams before you go to bed at night, helps you sleep deeper, calms you down, and calms your muscles down. And that's how it helps blood pressure because it helps calm and rel

ax our blood vessels.

So those were a few ways that we can help improve blood pressure naturally and get you back into that healthy range.

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If you'd like to explore any of this information further or obtain an individualized nutrition plan, you can schedule an initial appointment at our clinic. We also take insurance and some of our clients get full coverage, which is great.

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