The Good News About Living With HypertensionThis month is National High Blood Pressure Month. If you or someone you love has high blood pressure, this can be very bad news!  Hypertension can lead to heart disease and increased risk for stroke. The good news? With diet, exercise and stress management you have a very good chance of normalizing your blood pressure without a lifetime of medication.

If you eat a high-grain low-fat diet, you need to stop eating that combination now! Research has shown that this type of diet leads to type II diabetes and insulin resistance is the big culprit in high blood pressure, especially when it is accompanied by inadequate exercise.

Fructose can also cause your blood pressure to rise. One published study showed those who consumed 74 grams or more per day of fructose (the equivalent of about 2.5 sugary drinks a day) had a 77 percent great risk of having high blood pressure. Keep in mind that the average American consumes 70 grams of fructose EVERY day! Just think about all those sugary coffee drinks that so many are consuming on the way to work.

In addition to eliminating grains and sugar in your diet, there are a few additional dietary considerations that can help you manage your blood pressure.  Increase your intake of Omega 3 fats. Most of us get way to much Omega 6 fats and not nearly enough Omega 3s. I find fish oil to be the best source, as long as it is pure and from a reputable company. I like Nordic Naturals because of their expert quality control. Eliminate caffeine from your diet. Caffeine has been shown to exacerbate the condition. The health of the gut is also super important. If a person has healthy gut flora they tend not to develop high blood pressure. Probiotics can help balance the gut along with a diet rich in fermented vegetables.

Exercise and supplementing the diet with a bit of L-arginine can make a dramatic shift in one’s blood pressure. Walking just 30 minute a day can reduce your blood pressure within a short time. I have seen my clients’ blood pressure come down quite a bit with L-arginine, which helps to correct the abnormal function of the blood vessels.

Another supplement that can make a big difference is vitamin D-3. Studies show that the farther you live from the equator, the higher your risk of developing high blood pressure. Interestingly, blood pressure is higher in the winter months than in the summer!

Lastly, stress plays a key role in hypertension. Lifestyle changes are crucial when it comes to high blood pressure, and learning ways to stay calm naturally, such as yoga and meditation can make an immediate change in blood pressure.

Consider all the natural things you can do now to prevent high blood pressure. Think about what you are doing daily that might lead to high blood pressure. I always say: you are making the old you right now! Make good choices for the future you to be healthy and happy!