Uncontrolled high blood pressure is a very serious health condition which becoming more and more common in our society. It can lead to heart disease and stroke. Thankfully, by managing your lifestyle, optimising your nutrition, managing stress and exercising, you can help control it.
Here are some easy lifestyle tips to include into your life if you’re worried about your blood pressure, or even if you’re not! (Prevention is the best form of medicine :-) ).
- Lower or eliminate caffeine- There is plenty of evidence that shows, if you already have hypertension, coffee and other caffeinated drinks exacerbate the condition. If you want to limit or remove caffeine from your diet then do it gradually to reduce any detox symptoms. You can switch to green tea, which still has some caffeine but also contains theanine (an amino acid) which helps us relax. You can also start drinking herbal teas such as liquorice, peppermint, fennel, lemon and ginger.
- Control stress- it would be easy to say ‘reduce your stress’, but a lot of us can’t get away from everyday stressors. These can be traffic, family issues, children, work, the list can go on and on. However, finding ways to help your body cope is so important. The link between hypertension and stress is massive. Meditation, breathing exercises, yoga, baths etc can all be great ways to help your body cope.
- Exercise- Cardiovascular exercise has long term benefits when it comes to heart health and blood pressure. This can be aerobic, or even better, anaerobic (HIIT). Weight training can also help by reducing insulin resistance.
- Check your vitamin D levels- A study published in the British Medical Journal links low vitamin D levels to premature death from cardiovascular disease which can be caused by high blood pressure. You can get your vitamin D levels tested at the GP or privately and it is easy to supplement. Also make sure you get out in the sun….when it’s out!
- Normalise your omega 3:6 ratio. Omega fats are essential for health, but having too much omega 6 and too little omega 3 can be very inflammatory and cause insulin resistance, which can lead to cardiovascular disease. Reduce vegetable oils and processed foods, and increase omega 3’s such as oily fish, flaxseeds, chia seeds and flaxseed oil.
There are many other things you can introduce into your diet and lifestyle, but these are a great start! If you are interested in finding out more, please fill out the form below or contact me directly.