Did you know that there is a strong connection between your blood sugar and your blood pressure?
A common approach to treating high blood pressure (newly defined ranges for healthy blood pressure are 140/90 or below for those under age 60 and less than 150/90 for those over 60) is to lower salt intake or take medication. I work with many clients who want to have healthier blood pressure ranges who are already doing both…and sometimes they help, but as some of you may already know, it can be a very mixed bag.
Today I’d like to share some lesser discussed but incredibly effective strategies to help you build your health and balance your blood pressure. As always, I advise you to discuss with your practitioner first before implementing new strategies.
Insulin and Blood Pressure
First, I want to zoom right in on something that can raise blood pressure that isn’t discussed in the mainstream: blood sugar balance.
Keeping blood sugar levels consistently in the 80-89 mg/dL range is associated with health benefits including lower risk of heart disease (lower triglycerides, fewer small LDL particles, improved HDL), diabetes, less belly fat, normal blood pressure ranges, and more. To learn more about blood sugar and how to test yours, click here.
Basically, when we eat, we convert some of what we eat into glucose or blood sugar. Depending on what we eat, we can create very high amounts of glucose. The body needs to release the hormone insulin to use the glucose we create from food. When we release high amounts of insulin (because blood sugar was high), one of the effects is to stimulate the sympathetic nervous system (our fight-flight response) AND promote sodium retention, both which drive up blood pressure. Oh and insulin also interferes with your body’s production of nitric oxide, which expands your blood vessels to lower blood pressure.
This is an extremely simplified explanation of the connection. There are MANY more aspects of our health that are effected by these hormonal interactions and you can read more about that here if you desire. The big takeaway is that what you eat can impact your blood pressure and keep it high even if you are on medication.
5 Diet & Lifestyle Tips to Lower Blood Pressure Naturally
I encourage you to explore these strategies to create health…which includes healthier blood pressure.
- Choosing quality carbs and lowering overall carb intake. I covered this well in this blog post. You can also check out some of the research here.
- Managing stress is also essential to balancing blood pressure since the primary stress hormone cortisol drives insulin levels up. Emotional self-regulation techniques like HeartMath are extremely effective. So is meditation, yoga, breathing techniques, movement, journaling, therapy and more.
- Get some sunshine. It boosts nitric oxide production and lowers blood pressure.
- Increase potassium intake and stay hydrated. Fresh veggies and fruits are good sources of potassium. Also consider potassium salt.
- Exercise. Here’s why plus a guide.
I hope that this information empowers you towards the diet and lifestyle changes that can add years (and quality) to your life.
It is my passion to work with people like you whose health symptoms are getting in the way of you living life fully and with a sense of freedom in your body. I can help you to regain your health so you can feel great and free to enjoy life fully.
If you’re ready to discover where your best health has been hiding, I’d love to connect with you!
Apply for a complimentary Unstoppable Health Discovery Session. http://bit.ly/schedulinghealth (subject to availability).
Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!