High blood pressure, also referred to as hypertension, is often called a “silent killer”. This is because, most people with high blood pressure, won’t have any symptoms, and feel perfectly fine. And one in three of them are not even aware that they have it.
However, blood pressure that is consistently high damages the arteries. This causes your heart and blood vessels to work harder, yet more inefficiently, in circulating oxygen-rich blood to all parts of your body. If left untreated, this dramatically increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, and vision loss.
Now, about 90-95% of cases of hypertension are not caused by a medical condition, but rather the result of genetics and lifestyle factors such as obesity, stress, insulin resistance, consuming excessive sugar and salt, and leading a sedentary lifestyle. This is called essential hypertension.
One important factor that contributes to hypertension is nutrient deficiencies that make it difficult to manage your blood pressure. Often, these nutrient deficiencies can be overlooked by your doctor.
Today, we look at 7 key nutrients that control blood pressure. Luckily, getting enough of these nutrients often helps to reverse high blood pressure.
Watch this important video until the end, then click the link below to learn about our recommended solution for removing high blood pressure permanently.
Let’s begin with Number 7. “Potassium”.
Studies consistently show that a potassium deficiency can raise blood pressure, and correcting low potassium levels can markedly lower blood pressure in those with existing hypertension.
One of the ways potassium helps to keep your blood pressure normal is by balancing out the effects of sodium. The more potassium foods you eat, the more sodium is excreted through urine. When extra fluid leaves the body, blood pressure goes down.
Also, potassium is important for muscle function. This includes the relaxation of the walls of the blood vessels, which lowers blood pressure and prevents muscle cramping.
And potassium is needed to keep electrical signals moving through the nervous system and the heart. This protects against an irregular heartbeat.
To fight hypertension, you should aim to get at least 4,700 mg of potassium per day.
Fruits and vegetables are the best sources of potassium. Some excellent choices to include in your diet are potatoes, bananas, legumes, mushrooms, and spinach. One strategy to significantly increase your potassium levels is to replace grains with root vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, beets, turnips, and pumpkin throughout the week.
However, if you take a diuretic for high blood pressure, heart failure, or edema, food alone may not be sufficient to keep your potassium levels normal. This is because these medications cause potassium to be excreted in the urine. In such cases, your doctor may prescribe potassium supplements.
Coming up next, Number 6 is “Magnesium”.
Research has shown that a magnesium deficiency is strongly linked to elevated blood pressure, regardless of whether you are overweight or not. Other studies have shown that correcting low magnesium by taking 365-450 mg of magnesium per day for three months can significantly reduce high blood pressure.
So, how does magnesium help lower blood pressure?
First, magnesium blocks calcium from entering the smooth muscle cells of the heart and arteries, thus resulting in blood vessel dilation. Because of this, magnesium is sometimes called “nature’s calcium channel blocker”.
Second, magnesium lowers blood pressure by increasing nitric oxide, a compound that dilates and relaxes blood vessels, thus improving blood flow. For a list of nutrients that increase nitric oxide, see our video “7 vitamins to increase blood flow and circulation”.
It has been estimated that 50-75% of U.S. adults are not getting enough magnesium. So, it is easy to see how increasing magnesium-rich foods, such as pumpkin seeds, almonds, cashews, and spinach, can make it easier to manage blood pressure.
To fight hypertension, you should aim to get at least 310 to 420 mg of magnesium per day.
Since magnesium is involved in over 300 bodily processes, such as energy production and bone development, it is super important to get enough of this mineral.
And, just like with potassium, the use of diuretics can cause an excessive loss of magnesium through urine. So supplementing may be required. Consider magnesium glycinate or magnesium malate, as they are easier on the digestive system and are easily assimilated into the body.
Now, here’s something important to know:
Because magnesium helps transport calcium and potassium ions in and out of cells, a lack of magnesium can lead to low levels of calcium and potassium.
Next up is Number 5, “Calcium”.
Calcium influences blood pressure by regulating the proper narrowing and widening of blood vessels.
A review of 23 studies found that increasing calcium intake decreases both systolic and diastolic blood pressure by a small amount in people with normal blood pressure. These studies are mostly based on supplement intake of 1,000-1,500 mg per day.
Now, most people are not getting enough calcium from their diet. So, it is recommended to increase your intake of calcium from food sources, including dairy (such as yogurt, milk, cheese), fish (such as salmon, canned sardines), and dark leafy greens (such as kale, bok choy, collard greens).
Other than its role in regulating blood pressure, calcium is needed to build bones and teeth and is required for proper nerve transmission and muscle contraction.
To effectively absorb calcium, your body needs Vitamin D.
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This leads us to Number 4. “Vitamin D”.
Vitamin D is both a nutrient that we eat and a hormone that our bodies make. For your body to absorb calcium from food, optimal levels of vitamin D are needed. Without enough vitamin D, only 10-15% of calcium can be absorbed by the intestines.
In a review of 35 studies published in 2014, researchers found that not getting enough Vitamin D can lead to high blood pressure later in life. The same review also showed that people with higher levels of Vitamin D had lower diastolic and systolic blood pressures, and were 8% less likely to develop hypertension.
The best way to get enough Vitamin D is to spend 10-30 minutes in midday sunlight several times a week. The best food sources of vitamin D are fatty fish such as salmon and sardines, cod liver oil, egg yolks, mushrooms, and fortified foods such as milk and cereals.
If you are supplementing, taking 2000 I.U of vitamin D3 per day, should be enough in most cases.
Now, vitamins D2 and D3 are considered biologically inactive until they are converted into their active form, calcitriol. For this conversion to happen, the enzymes present in your liver and kidneys require sufficient amounts of magnesium to draw upon.
This means that if you have low levels of magnesium, your body will not be able to make full use of the vitamin D you are receiving. This is yet another reason to ensure that you have optimal levels of magnesium.
Coming into the top 3, Number 3 is “Vitamin K2”.
A 2017 study published in Hypertension found that the combination of low vitamin D and low vitamin K was associated with higher systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Your body needs vitamin K2, or menaquinone, to activate the proteins that keep calcium in the bones and out of the arteries. Therefore, vitamin K2 prevents calcium from sticking to the walls of the arteries, where it would otherwise form calcified plaques, thus limiting blood supply and increasing blood pressure.
Essentially, vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, while vitamin K2 routes the calcium away from your heart, kidneys, and arteries and sends it to the bones and teeth. For this reason, it is important to take vitamin K2 MK7 and vitamin D3 together when supplementing.
There aren’t many foods that are high in vitamin K2. These include sauerkraut, natto, miso, eel, beef liver, egg yolks, grass-fed butter and cheese, and pastured eggs. If you don’t eat a lot of these foods, you may want to supplement with 100-300 mcg of vitamin K2 MK7 per day.
Next up, we have Number 2, “CoQ10”.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), also known as ubiquinone, is an antioxidant produced by your body. Studies have shown that CoQ10 can lower blood pressure in patients with hypertension. One study in China found that supplementing with CoQ10 countered the effects of a high-salt diet and kept blood pressure healthy.
CoQ10 affects blood pressure through a mechanism related to nitric oxide, protecting the blood vessels and enhancing blood flow, much in the same way as beetroot juice does.
Several factors can deplete CoQ10 levels over time. Long-term use of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs is the main culprit. Aging and some disease states, such as after a heart attack, fibromyalgia, and depression, also cause CoQ10 depletion.
You can get CoQ10 from foods such as fatty fish, grass-fed beef, chicken, organ meats, such as heart, liver, lungs, Non-GMO soybeans, such as tofu, kefir, and soy protein, and nuts and seeds, such as pistachios, sesame seeds, and peanuts.
Supplementing with 100-200 mg of a high-absorption CoQ10 per day is an option, especially if you use a statin drug to lower cholesterol.
And at Number 1, we have “Omega-3 Fatty acids”.
Studies have revealed that consuming ample amounts of omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce blood lipid levels, LDL cholesterol, inflammation, and high blood pressure.
The Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, are best sourced from fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and herring. Additionally, alpha-linolenic acid – a plant-based Omega 3 – is found in high amounts in flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts.
The cardiovascular benefits of Omega-3s are related to the ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3. An ideal ratio is 1:1; however, today’s average diet contains a ratio up to 16:1. This is largely due to the consumption of oxidized Omega-6 in refined vegetable oils, such as soybean and corn oil, that are used in processed foods. Studies show that improving the ratio to just 4:1 is associated with a 70% decrease in cardiovascular-related death.
When supplementing, take 2-3 grams of a high-quality purified fish oil or krill oil per day.
There you have it: the seven nutrients you need to stay on top of to lower your blood pressure. Essentially, you have just been given seven reasons to include more fish, nuts, and vegetables in your weekly diet.
The next videos to watch are, “7 foods to lower high blood pressure” and “7 vitamins to increase blood flow and circulation”.