lifestyle & dietary factors can help
High Blood Pressure or Hypertension, is defined as an average or sustained systolic blood pressure over 140 mmHg and/or a diastolic blood pressure over 90 mmHg. Hypertension is one of the most common chronic cardio-vascular diseases affecting adult Australians, and whilst there can be a number of complex factors contributing to the development, common ones include:
- Family history of hypertension
- Alcohol abuse
- High sodium intake in susceptible individuals
- Sedentary lifestyle &/or excess weight
- Mood disorders, particularly depression and anxiety;
Changes in diet and lifestyle can assist in the body’s ability to normalise blood pressure, reducing strain on the carido-vascular system and risk of serious heart disease.
- Reduce obesity–healthy weight is a critical aspect of regulating hypertension. This is especially so, where there is significant abdominal weight.
- Reduced sodium intake
- Appropriate exercise is essential – yoga, tai chi, chi gong, swimming, resitance and strength training, etc.
- Reduce/remove alcohol consumption and nicotine
- Reduce/remove intake of trans-fats, processed, sugar containing refined foods
- A diet rich in fresh, whole, unprocessed foods
- Lots of Garlic, has demonstrated beneficial cardiovascular effects on platelet aggregation, fibrinolysis, aortic elasticity, serum lipids, and BP.
- Stress support – Rest, relaxation, mindfulness and meditation, healthy socialising, community based activities, music, art, creativity and spiritual practice have shown benefit in improving resilience to stress and reducing negative impacts.
- Magnesium (orotate) Essential for the normal rhythm of the heart and a healthy cardiovascular system. Daily needs – 300–1000 mg/day. Sources include – Eggs, cocoa, almonds, brewer’s yeasts, cashews, kelp, wheat bran, wheat germ, buckwheat.
- Calcium – Essential for healthy function of the cardiac muscle and its contraction including heartbeat, regulation of blood pressure and blood clotting. Daily needs – 1000–2000 mg/day. Sources include – Sardines and salmon (with the bones), almonds, fermented dairy products, tahini, sesame seeds, leafy green vegetables & figs.
- Potassium – Enhances normal muscle contraction. Daily needs – 3–8 g/day. Sources include – All vegetables, avocado, apricots, bananas, almonds, cashews, pecans, sunflower seeds, potatoes.
- Vitamin B complex – The B vitamins provide energy and support during physically demanding periods. Sources include – Legumes, whole grains, nuts, beans, brewer’s yeast, leafy green vegetables.
- Vitamin E – Supports lowering LDL cholesterol, healthy circulation helps maintain healthy arteries and capillaries.
Daily needs – 100–1000 IU/day Sources include – Almonds, wheat germ, safflower, egg yolks, corn.
- Acetyl L-carnitine – Is the ‘shuttle’ that carries fatty acids into the mitochondria so that they can be utilised for energy. This is important in the heart muscle when energy needs are high.
Daily needs -2000–6000 mg/day. Sources include – Avocado, beef, chicken, fish, milk, liver.
- Fish oil (DHA and EPA) – Fish oil is a natural source of the essential omega-3 triglycerides, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Omega 3 fats (DHA and EPA) are precursors to prostaglandins that lower blood pressure and reduce platelet aggregation thus helping to protect against atherosclerosis and heart disease.
Daily needs – 250 mg/day –882 mg/day EPA and DHA in the average ratio of EPA/DHA 1:2 Sources include – Pilchards, salmon, trout, herring, salmon, mackerel.
- Coenzyme Q10 – Helps to support and protect the heart and is essential for heart muscle contraction.
Daily needs – 90–800 mg/day Sources include – Almonds, broccoli, chestnuts, hazelnuts, mackerel, rice bran, salmon, sardines, sesame seeds, soy beans.
- L-Arginine is an amino acid and a precursor to nitric oxide. It has multiple functions, including vasodilatation, antihypertensive and antioxidant properties, as well as influencing blood viscosity and the coagulation system.
Daily needs – 400–6000 mg/day. Sources include – Almonds, cashews, garlic, peanuts, peas, pecans.
Getting individualised support with your diet and lifestyle can result in achieving normalising blood pressure and improved health and wellbeing overall. Get in touch today to find out more