So many people have high blood pressure! Whether you’re one of them or you know someone with this issue, not to worry…always make sure you get checked out by a competent health care provider. According to the American Heart Association, about half of all adult Americans have hypertension.
Do not let this go untreated. It can develop into a heart attack, a stroke, and other adverse health effects – but that goes without saying. Of course, there are many medications available, and I would suggest if you have an acute case of high blood pressure and need to get it under control while working out alternatives to getting it down to normal levels, by all means take them.
There are lifestyle changes you can make including mindfulness activities, nutritional changes, supplements, and exercises. These are all advisable changes to make no matter what your situation is. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, right?!
Let’s start with exercise. If you’re not very physically fit, do exercises by starting a little at a time. For example, if you can walk, try to get 1,000 steps in a day, slowly increasing them as you are able. I use my phone to track steps as it worked the best out of all ways I tried. So, I try to have my cell phone in my pocket most of the time.
You can also run or go on a treadmill, or you can ride a bike, go swimming, etc. Make sure you do this also under supervision of a competent health care practitioner, so you don’t end up hurting yourself!
If you read my information regularly, you know what a huge fan I am of healthy nutrition! What you put into your mouth accounts for about 75% of your overall health, so it’s very important. General guidelines are consuming fresh produce, especially veggies, don’t overload carbs or starches, and when consuming, use whole grains. Use moderate amount of healthy fats, like full butter if you eat dairy (although it’s mostly fat), extra virgin olive oil, etc. Oils should ideally be cold pressed for better nutritional value. If you eat meat, use high quality red meats and poultry, fish, etc. For example, use organic or natural, grass-fed meat, free range chickens, wild caught or responsibly farmed fish, etc. All of this will increase nutritional value and decrease toxic load.
Adding supplements which are heart healthy is an excellent idea. If you have serious health conditions, please check with your competent health care practitioner before embarking on a supplemental protocol to make sure it’s healthy for you. Although there aren’t many, there are a few supplements that don’t play nicely with certain medications and health conditions, so err on the side of caution and be sure!
Take a high-quality multiple vitamin/mineral to cover nutritional bases. One of the healthiest supplements you can take for your heart is Coenzyme A10 or CoQ10, as it’s nicknamed. Since fiber is very heart healthy, you should be getting ample amounts through your diet, but you can also add a fiber supplement like psyllium husks. Omega-3 fatty acids are very heart healthy. Many people take fish oil (make sure you purchase one that is highly absorbable), but I personally take Icelandic Cod Liver Oil, as my body uses this much more efficiently than fish oil.
Magnesium is also heart healthy. So is the amino acid L-Carnitine. Green tea, which is something you can drink, can also be taken as a supplement. Garlic is also extremely heart healthy, and you can eat it (my preference – almost all of my dishes have garlic in them) or take them in supplement form. Pomegranates are also heart healthy, and again, you can drink it or take it in supplement form.
If you’re a smoker, please do everything you can do to quit! As a drug counselor, I get it – much easier said than done. Tobacco is highly addictive and really tough to beat, but people do it successfully all the time … so can you!
Many recommend reducing salt intake; in any case, use salt a bit sparingly and use healthy salt preparations such as kosher salt, or red sea salt, as well as other options.
If you’re overweight, changing your diet may help you lose weight, which is a good idea for heart health.
It also goes without saying that reducing your stress load is desirable. Think about everything you do, and perhaps you can streamline and omit some things that are not particularly necessary or helpful to you. So, time management is in order! Many people need to learn how to say no more often – is that you?!
Mindfulness activities help greatly in reducing stress and helping you be calm and focused so you can think more clearly and make better decisions. Think yoga, meditation, binaural beats, deep meditation music, bubble baths, reading, being in nature, etc. Do what works best for you – after all, you are an individual. What relaxes you the best? Remember to take time off and go on vacations or at least staycations.
Lasting change often comes gradually. So don’t overload yourself all at once. Do a little bit each day, sustaining it, and adding onto it. I know you can do this!
If you have questions or need help, please feel free to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
And as always, please have a happy, holistically healthy day!