Try Meditation Or Yoga
Mindfulness and meditation, including transcendental meditation, have long been used and studied as methods to reduce stress. A 2012 study notes that one university program in Massachusetts has had more than 19,000 people participate in a meditation and mindfulness program to reduce stress .
Yoga, which commonly involves breathing control, posture, and meditation techniques, can also be effective in reducing stress and blood pressure.
A 2013 review on yoga and blood pressure found an average blood pressure decrease of 3.62 mm Hg diastolic and 4.17 mm Hg systolic when compared to those who didnt exercise. Studies of yoga practices that included breath control, postures, and meditation were nearly twice as effective as yoga practices that didnt include all three of these elements .
Ways To Use This Information For Better Health
Dementia And Other Memory Loss
Since your arteries are so blocked up from your hypertension, that can sometimes restrict the flow of blood to the brain. This puts you at a higher risk of stroke, which could lead to the onset of vascular dementia. Even without stroke, having high blood pressure could cause vascular dementia.
You may notice that you struggle to learn new things, remember, and think, which is also tied to your hypertension even if its not quite dementia.
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Intermittent Fasting For High Blood Pressure
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What is the best diet? Everyone has an opinion on that question including myself. After all, I wrote The Paleo Cardiologist and believe that the hunter-gatherer lifestyle is the best plan for everyone. But nutrition controversy aside, can we eat what we want to and intermittent fast our way to health?
Intermittent fasting is a popular topic in health and wellness circles, but not so much in the mainstream medical community. Ancient religions are certainly in agreement with fasting as each one contains fasting days. But just because your typical MD doesnt know much about this topic, doesnt mean it is not beneficial. And the science proves it.
Intermittent fasting can:
Lets talk more about blood pressure and intermittent fasting.
Studies conducted at the University at Buffalo in male rodents confirmed the beneficial effect of the diet on the cardiovascular system. The animals were subjected to intermittent fasting. After a few weeks of observation, a decrease in SBP and DBP blood pressure was noted, as well as a reduction in heart rate.
Here are several more studies on intermittent fasting that all found blood pressure reduction in fasting individuals.
There are many ways to intermittent fast and I believe all benefit the hypertensive person. They are:
Lose Weight To Manage Hypertension Naturally
Getting and maintaining a healthy body weight puts less strain on your heart and helps to lower blood pressure.
Getting enough exercise and enjoying a healthy, well-balanced cardiac diet help to lose weight and also treat hypertension. One study found that combining the DASH diet with exercise had a positive effect on both body weight and elevated blood pressure.
One study involving over 13,000 obese individuals found that losing weight was a major factor in reducing the risk of uncontrolled hypertension.
Losing weight can also help to lower high blood pressure quickly. Over a 10-week period, people who lost 5% of their body weight experienced a notable drop in blood pressure.
You can start on a program to lower your blood pressure today if you take measures to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight.
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Advantages And Disadvantages Of Using The If Diet
There are many studies conducted on humans and animals confirming the therapeutic effectiveness of the IF diet . It reduces body fat and body mass, which supports the healthy functioning of the cardiovascular system, and reduces the incidence of myocardial infarction . Individuals can influence the concentration of many metabolic biomarkers, for example, the concentration of insulin and glucose, thereby reducing the risk of metabolic syndrome . It also reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes . There are studies confirming the impact of long-term use of the IF diet on the extension of the viability of individuals . The IF diet positively affects the functioning of the nervous system. By affecting the reduction of free radical formation in the body and stress response systems, it protects neurons from environmental and genetic factors that cause them to age .
In addition, excessive restriction of calories causes dysregulation of hormone management. Such disturbances may cause menstrual cycle disorders in women and reduced testosterone in men. Intermittent fasting should not be used by children, pregnant women, and people performing heavy physical work .
To Salt Or Not To Salt
Eating less salt may lower your blood pressure a little.
However, despite various trials showing a slight reduction of blood pressure with lower sodium diets, we lack contemporary evidence that less salt in our food will affect the risk of heart disease or death. This was shown in a recent meta-study of all RCTs on the subject.35
In addition, its unclear if sodium reduction is as important as increasing potassium.36 Since potassium comes from whole foods, such and veggies and avocados, its possible that a diet with higher sodium minimally-processed-foods would still have a beneficial effect on blood pressure.
Since much of the salt we ingest comes from fast food, ready-made meals, bread and soft drinks, low-carb diets automatically lower salt intake as these foods are avoided. Furthermore, the hormonal effects of LCHF make it easier for the body to dispose of excess salt through urine this can explain the slight lowering of blood pressure.37
Lastly, large observational trials such as the PURE study, suggest the healthiest populations eat a moderate amount of sodium, with higher risk seen at extremely high and low levels of sodium intake.38
With all the conflicting evidence, its unclear whether you will become healthier by eating less salt or not. However, if you stick to a low carb diet, you should be able to enjoy salt in moderation without excess risk.39
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The Importance Of Maintaining Blood Pressure
Your blood pressure is a reading of how much pressure your blood puts on the blood vessel walls as that blood circulates. In other words, its a key measure of your health, especially that of your bodys most important organ, the heart.
A good blood pressure reading should be about 120/80 mmHG, or millimeter of mercury. The 120 is your systolic blood pressure and the 80 is your diastolic blood pressure. Systolic pressure is a gauge of how much pressure is applied to the arteries each time your heart muscles contract. Diastolic pressure is the level of blood pressure that occurs in the space between every heartbeat.
If your blood pressure increases to 129/89, its already considered elevated. Should your blood pressure reach 130/80 or 139/89, you have high blood pressure or hypertension, but only stage 1.
A reading of 140/90 or higher indicates hypertension stage 2. If your blood pressure gets too much higher than that, such as 180/120, youre in a hypertensive crisis, which could most definitely be life-threatening. You should get immediate medical attention.
Lets rewind a moment and discuss hypertension or high blood pressure. Hypertension often has a slow onset. What can make it even trickier to detect is lots of people with high blood pressure are asymptomatic. For those who do experience symptoms, these are not exactly significant. Hypertension patients may have more nosebleeds than average, experience difficulty breathing from time to time, and get headaches.
Importance Of Food Quality In The Eating Window
Diet plays an important role in the prophylaxis of cardiovascular diseases. Special attention should be paid to nutraceuticals, which contain many beneficial substances for the human organism. These substances, to name a few, are polyphenols, resveratrol, carotenoid, polyunsaturated fatty acids , curcumin, and zinc . Carotenoids are one of the basic ingredients in the Mediterranean diet. They are present in vegetables, , fruits, and also in seaweed. Their beneficial effect in preventing cardiovascular events is not yet fully known. However, they are attributed to antioxidant and anti-inflammatory functions due to the influence on lipoxygenases . A nutraceutical deserving specific consideration is resveratrol. Its biologically active isomer is trans 3,5,4-trihydroxystilbene. Grapes are rich in resveratrol, which is why the largest concentration is found in red wine, but it is also found in blueberries, peanuts, and pistachios . It has antioxidant properties and it is helpful in the treatment of many disorders due to its cardioprotective effect. It was observed that resveratrol may improve blood pressure. Wiciski et al. showed that a dose of 10 mg/kg of resveratrol per day increases the concentration of BDNF and reduces vascular smooth muscle cells contractility . Moreover, the same author proved that resveratrol may increase adiponectin concentrations, but the exact mechanism has not fully been elucidated .
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The Gut Needs More Acid To Keep The Body Healthy
The findings left researchers with only one question, how does the gut microbiome actually lower blood pressure? The answer appears to come down to the amount of beneficial acid in a patients gut, with more being better.
We applied whole genome shotgun sequence analysis of the microbiota as well as untargeted metabolomics analysis of plasma and gastrointestinal luminal content. Among the changes we observed, alterations in products of bile acid metabolism stood out as potential mediators of blood pressure regulation, Durgan reports.
The teams analysis finds SHRSP hypertensive animals eating normally have less bile acids circulating than rats with normal blood pressure. However, SHRSP animals in the intermittent fasting group had more bile acids in their systems.
Supporting this finding, we found that supplementing animals with cholic acid, a primary bile acid, also significantly reduced blood pressure in the SHRSP model of hypertension, the Baylor researcher adds.
Taken together, the study shows for the first time that intermittent fasting can be beneficial in terms of reducing hypertension by reshaping the composition of gut microbiota in an animal model, Durgan concludes. Fasting schedules could one day help regulate the activity of gut microbial populations to naturally provide health benefits.
The study appears in the journal Circulation Research.
Other Fasting Benefits For Your Cardiovascular System
Early research results on fasting are promising. Regardless of the direct link between fasting and blood pressure, we know fasting can be an effective tool to improve your overall health.
A review of 13 studies found intermittent fasting is beneficial for weight loss in healthy individuals, with minimal mood impact. It can also play a role in reducing LDL cholesterol, the bad cholesterol that increases your risk for atherosclerosis and heart disease. Finally, fasting may help increase insulin sensitivity, which reduces your risk for Type 2 diabetes. All these factors lower your risk for heart disease!
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/6how The Microbiota Regulates Blood Pressure
“We applied whole-genome shotgun sequence analysis of the microbiota as well as untargeted metabolomics analysis of plasma and gastrointestinal luminal content. Among the changes we observed, alterations in products of bile acid metabolism stood out as potential mediators of blood pressure regulation,” Durgan said.
The team discovered that the SHRSP hypertensive animals that were fed normally had lower bile acids in circulation than normotensive animals. On the other hand, SHRSP animals that followed an intermittent feeding schedule had more bile acids in the circulation.
“Supporting this finding, we found that supplementing animals with cholic acid, a primary bile acid, also significantly reduced blood pressure in the SHRSP model of hypertension,” Durgan said.
Vitamin C Is A Good Natural Remedy For High Blood Pressure
One of the best vitamins for treating hypertension is vitamin C because of its benefits to the health of your arteries.
A systematic review of 29 trials found that taking 500 mg of vitamin C a day helped to quickly treat high blood pressure problems. Over an 8-week period, vitamin C supplementation was effective in lowering both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Find out more about the benefits of taking vitamin C to strengthen your immunity and prevent oxidative damage in your body.
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Fasting And Blood Pressure
According to Dr. Dennis Bruemmer from The Cleveland Clinic, fasting can help lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol, control diabetes, and reduce weight. He points out these are all risk factors for heart disease, concluding that you can reduce your heart disease risk by targeting these four areas through fasting. However, he says theres a reason to be cautious since fasting can lead to an electrolyte imbalance, increasing your risk for heart arrhythmias, so always check with your doctor first.
Of course, fasting to lower blood pressure is backed by some interesting research. A study of 1422 people who fasted for 4-21 days had decreased blood pressure. Researchers hypothesize that fasting increases parasympathetic activity, also known as the rest and digest state, thus reducing blood pressure. However, participants only ate 200-250 calories per day, barely enough to sustain an average adult. Although results are promising, they may not be appropriate for the general population.
Nonetheless, another study of 32 adults found that those who followed alternate-day fasting decreased their blood pressure compared to non-fasters. They ate 400-600 calories on their fasting day and whatever they desired on the other days.
Fasting And Blood Pressure Reduction Explained
The correlation between fasting and blood pressure is scientifically viable with numerous studies having shown that fasting indeed does reduce high blood pressure. In recent years, many practitioners and individuals have actively began considering fasting as an alternative therapeutic dimension to managing elevated blood pressure. This probably explains how you may have landed on this page.
Fasting itself is not a new concept. What we are better understanding is its benefits. For hundreds of years people have always fasted as a means of detoxifying the body and also for religious and spiritual reasons.
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Berries Should Be In The Blood Pressure Diet
A high blood pressure diet should include plenty of servings of berries to help boost your cardiovascular health.
Berries such as blueberries, bilberries, black currants, and cranberries contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that have a positive effect on blood pressure.
Researchers have found that a diet rich in berries can help lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Consuming berries is also good to keep your heart healthy and lower your risk of developing chronic diseases.
Fastings Effect On Your Blood Pressure And Heart Health
What is blood pressure, exactly? Lets do a quick recap of blood pressure and heart health.
Blood pressure refers to the force of blood flowing through your arteries. Arteries transport oxygen and nutrients to your cells and help eliminate waste. High blood pressure, or hypertension, occurs when the force of blood flowing through your arteries is consistently high, which causes your heart to work too hard to pump blood through your body!
Its estimated high blood pressure affects 45% of American adults thats 108 million people! According to the American Heart Association, high blood pressure is diagnosed when readings are consistently at 130/80 or above. For reference, healthy blood pressure is around 120/80.
Unfortunately, high blood pressure can go under the radar for many years without any symptoms, which increases your stroke and heart attack risk. If youre concerned, speak to your doctor. They will likely conduct routine screening tests during your annual visits.
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Who Shouldnt Try Fasting Diets Like 1: 8
Ali Miller, RD, CDE, an integrative dietitian who was not involved in the study but uses the diet in her Houston-based virtual practice, agrees with Gabel that 16:8 is more of a lifestyle change than a temporary diet. But she warns that some people who are considering this lifestyle should proceed with caution.
If someone is on a very high carbohydrate diet going into the 16:8 approach, they will have higher insulin levels, so they will likely be a candidate for hypoglycemia , says Miller. Same with diabetics who are unmanaged or on high medication, and people who are on diuretic drugs.
The 16:8 approach is not necessarily off-limits for those individuals, she says, but she recommends they work with a health practitioner for medical monitoring to reduce their medication and maintain the lifestyle.
Although the current study findings are promising, especially for individuals hoping to lose weight or lower blood pressure without counting calories, its important to be aware of the small sample size. Another limitation of this research is that the subjects’ dietary intake and adherence to the set time frame were self-reported, which means the calorie deficit noted in the paper could be inaccurate.
Whey Protein For High Blood Pressure
Whey protein is good for helping to manage elevated blood pressure levels.
One double-blind study found that taking 59 g of whey protein a day helped to lower blood pressure naturally over an 8-week period. Researchers also noted improvements in levels of cholesterol.
You can learn more about why taking whey protein can be good for your heart and blood pressure.
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