Lowering your blood pressure naturally without additional medications or side effects is one of the best things you can do for your heart health. Congrats for taking an active step toward achieving this goal and optimizing your health!
High blood pressure is a common medical condition in which the long-term force of the blood against your artery walls is high enough that it may eventually cause health problems, such as heart disease, stroke or heart attacks.
To help guide you on your your journey to naturally lowering your blood pressure we have put together 5 steps that Dr. Shad recommends to all his patients to help optimize their heart health. It’s always good to consult with your doctor before adding any exercise or diet changes to your lifestyle.
Know Your Numbers
You can’t manage what you don’t measure, which is why knowing your risk is critical to preventing or reversing heart disease. Key numbers to look at for your heart health include your blood pressure, total cholesterol, blood sugar, waist circumference, BMl(Body Mass Index) and level of stress and inflammation in your system.
Once you know your numbers, you can take steps to lessen your risk through some common-sense lifestyle changes. Your primary care physician can run all the necessary blood work to show your risks when it comes to heart disease.
One of our recommendations to our patients is to buy an inexpensive blood pressure monitor online for your home to easily keep track of your numbers as they improve with lifestyle changes.
Eat Less Salt
Many Americans have acquired a taste for a high salt diet. It’s part of the eat on the go, fast food, Standard American Diet (SAD). It would be easy to say just cut back on the table salt, however, most of the sodium in our diets comes from packaged, processed foods and restaurant foods. Just by eating these foods less often you will greatly reduce your sodium intake, lower your blood pressure and/or prevent high blood pressure from developing in the first place.
- Choose packaged and prepared foods carefully, read labels for sodium content
- Eat more fruit, vegetables, and grains
- Follow the DASH Diet (don’t add cheese if you don’t already eat this)
- Add spices instead of salt when cooking
- Read nutrition labels carefully and look for the label “no salt added”
Exercise is medicine! Regular consistent exercise is one of the best things you can do for your health and another important way to control your blood pressure naturally. It also improves our mood and can clinically treat mild depression.
Both aerobic and strength training in combination are effective tools to control high blood pressure. You don’t have to go crazy and train for a marathon, start slow, make it a priority and work it into your daily routine. Remember to just START. When in doubt, just move, even a short walk every day can make a huge difference.
It is always important to consult your doctor before starting any new exercise
When it comes to preventing and treating high blood pressure, managing your stress is an often-overlooked strategy that increases our risk for high blood pressure as well as heart attacks.
In fact, chronic unhealthy forms of stress raise cortisol levels and inflammation leading to more strain on your heart and higher blood pressure. Carving out a few minutes each day to practice deep breathing, meditation, or even meditation movement like Yoga or Tai Chi has also been shown to lower blood pressure and improve heart health as well as our ability to cope with stress and anxiety.
If you often find yourself tense and on-edge, try these ways to reduce stress and incorporate them into your daily routine.
- Meditation and Practicing deep breathing
- Listening to calm music
- Yoga or Tai Chi
- Getting plenty of rest and sleep
- Reducing caffeine and staying hydrated
Develop Healthy Eating Habits
Food is medicine! Your diet has a great impact on your blood pressure and incorporating heart-healthy foods into your diet can help manage and even reverse high blood pressure.
As mentioned earlier the DASH diet is a great heart-healthy diet that is proven to lower high blood pressure naturally. This diet is designed to eat better and avoid the foods that could raise your blood pressure.
One of our favorite heart-healthy foods is blueberries. These are great for lowering blood pressure and are rich in antioxidants. Here are a few more food tips that are great to incorporate into a heart-healthy diet.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables
- Eat more whole grains
- Eat more potassium-rich foods
- Consider taking a magnesium supplement
- Eat more nuts, seeds and beans
- Model you meals after the Mediterranean diet
Lower Your Blood Pressure and Optimize Your Health
Controlling your blood pressure has incredible health benefits that will help prevent many chronic diseases and lower your risk for stroke, heart attacks and the development of heart disease.
We hope you found this information helpful and motivating to start incorporating some positive lifestyle changes to lower your blood pressure and maintain a strong and healthy heart.
To optimize health and lower blood pressure as well as other risk factors for disease, a deeper dive into the root causes of illness are necessary. As a Stanford trained medical doctor who has been fellowship trained by Dr. Andrew Weil in Integrative Medicine, Dr. Shad will help find the root cause issues of your high blood pressure and work with you to prevent or even reverse heart diseasePrevent and Reverse Heart Disease.
If you are interested in learning more about an Integrative Medicine approach to preventing and reversing heart-disease, please book a FREE 20-minute virtual discovery call with Dr. Shad today.
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