By: Kennedy Shelley
Your blood pressure is just a number. It’s an important number, but what is it, and should you be focused on it, or your overall health?
First, what is blood pressure?
It’s the force of your blood in your circulatory system. Fluid flow depends on several factors – volume, the size of the pipe and the elasticity of your veins and arteries. Blood pressure is primarily concerned with how much pressure is happening in your arteries.
The volume of fluid in your system is pretty much fixed, but your arteries can get smaller under stress (it’s helpful to keep you from bleeding to death if you were stabbed or bitten). Smaller arteries increase the pressure.
Elasticity is also important. Even under stress, if the artery can expand under stress then you are okay with higher blood pressure under stress.
Why is this number important?
It really points to problems related to inflammation and stress.
If your body is chronically stressed because of diet, drugs or environment, your arteries are staying small all the time, decreasing elasticity (making them hard).
The effect is higher blood pressure.
So, while high blood pressure is a problem, it’s a symptom of other problems.
Just because you take a drug to lower the pressure, it doesn’t mean you have really solved the problem, you just stopped a symptom.
The solution is?
The solution to this is more lifestyle than just a blood pressure reducing medicine.
What are the best lifestyle changes to reduce inflammation?
#1 – Get rid of sugar.
You do not need it, and it will absolutely inflame your entire body.
What sugar does is it immediately causes the body to release insulin, a horrible hormone in excess that works to store fat in the body.
You don’t need a prescription for this, just quit drinking sugary drinks and start looking at sugary foods as inflammation bombs to your body.
#2 – Increase fat such as meat, olive, coconut and avocado oils.
(Stay away from seed oils such as corn, “vegetable,” canola and such because they are full of linoleic acid which increases inflammation.)
Your body will use these sources of energy without the high levels of insulin hitting your blood stream. In short, you get your necessary calories without stress on the body.
And please don’t tell me you can’t afford it. Good olive oil is less than $1 for over 500 calories which is about a quarter of what the average person needs in a day.
#3 – Reduce carbs to decrease insulin even further.
So, getting rid of processed foods, flour, bread pasta, rice etc. will reduce inflammation and insulin.
#4 – Magnesium and potassium will naturally decrease you blood pressure.
You can supplement this or eat green leafy vegetables.
When you are deficient in these minerals, it just boosts your blood pressure.
#5 – Alcohol, you might have to get rid of it until your blood pressure is normal and then watch it.
It just is another natural stressor on the body that will just increase blood pressure.
What doesn’t work?
Some of the big myths that people automatically assume will lower your blood pressure, but won’t work, are:
- Salt reduction: There just isn’t any evidence that high salt intake increases blood pressure except for a small group of highly sensitive people. (See this article from Freedom Health News to understand salt.)
- Smoking: There are 1000’s of great reasons to quit smoking, but blood pressure isn’t one of them.
- Coffee: Getting rid of coffee isn’t going to reduce your blood pressure either.
Working to get yourself healthier by reducing chronic stress and inflammation in your body will do wonders for your overall health. And you can take pleasure in knowing it’s working as your blood pressure naturally decreases.