One of the regulars at my local coffee shop stopped me today, we will call him
Tim, and told me he is finally off of all his blood pressure medications. He told me he never thought that would have been possible. But you see, this retired gentleman spent the past 3 months focused on some key lifestyle changes that allowed his blood pressure to drop naturally. I'll share with you the tips I shared with him that allowed him to get off of his blood pressure meds for good.
(Make note: I am not a physician and am not making any diagnoses or suggestions about medications, dosages or your health. You should always chat with your doc before implementing any of the suggestions I am making).
4 Ways to Lower Blood Pressure Naturally
1. Move your body. Tim got a gym membership to one of those 24 hour places about 3 months ago and was very excited to tell me about it (mind you, I was really not at all offended that he chose to go to a gym besides the one I own since everyone needs to find the right fit for them). I digress.
So he told me he started going to the gym on his "scheduled days" since $9.99 per month only bought you two days per week. But he was consistent and went twice a week, every week. Then he started really enjoying it and how his body felt when he moved it on a regular basis so he splurged on the full membership and now enjoys
going 5 days per week. It doesn't really matter what Tim does at the gym. The point is, when it comes to improving blood pressure, that his body gets a tremendous benefit from moving it with stretches, strength training, cardio, intervals, yoga, etc, most days per week.
2. Eat high quality fat. Tim then saw me one morning pouring MCT oil into my coffee and asked me about it. He was shocked to hear that a fitness trainer and nutritionist would recommend starting the day off eating fat.
"Well", I told Tim, "High quality fat, eaten in isolation, allows our body to burn fat, raises our satiety hormones to keep us full, balances blood sugar and reduces water retention. All of which benefit a healthy blood pressure."
So Tim began starting his day of with 1 T MCT oil and 1 T grassfed butter blended into his coffee and found he had better energy both at the gym and for his chores throughout the rest of the day. A high sugar, refined carbohydrate diet is what contributes to high blood pressure and other inflammatory conditions. High quality fat without the refined carbs and sugar can lead to a reduced inflammatory state.
3. Balance your minerals. After a couple months of regular exercise and bulletproof coffee, Tim then asked me about magnesium. You see, he heard on the news that magnesium is very beneficial for our bodies and that it is needed for over 300 bodily processes.
He asked me which foods were highest in magnesium and I said, "The best source is lightly sauteed spinach and kale." To which Tim replied, "Ew." So then I told him that a great way to test out and see if magnesium would benefit him is to try Epsom salt foot
soaks. "Epsom salt?? Why Epsom salt," he asked. I explained to Tim that Epsom salt was actually
magnesium salt and that our body can easily absorb it through our skin and use it for all the many bodily processes that need it. Tim smiled and said, "Jeez, my mom used to swear by Epsom salt foot soaks every night before bed but I never realized that it contained magnesium."
Tim's mom was onto something since magnesium is what I would call a relaxation mineral. It can help relax muscle tension, relax blood vessels and even calm the mind. So Tim started Epsom salt foot soaks at night.
4. Get plenty of sunshine early in the day. I don't think Tim realized that he was doing this but every morning at the coffee shop over the last month or so, I see him and his buddy sitting outside in the early morning sunlight sipping on their bulletproof coffees (Yes, Tim is spreading the word about eating fat in the morning). They are there for maybe an hour each morning but that is plenty of time for the photo receptors in their eyes to sense the time of day and set the appropriate circadian rhythm to it.
Our body only knows what time it is based on where the sun is in the sky. It has established a 24 hour clock based on this over millions of years of living outside. This 24 hour internal clock dictates when hormones are released, how strongly our body releases them, what type of water balance to have in the body, when to sleep, when to repair, when to have the most energy, etc.
However, in recent history, we are not only stuck indoors all day but we also expose our eyes to unnatural blue light well into the evening hours. This can easily disrupt our circadian clock and all of the things controlled by it, including our blood pressure. UV exposure from sunlight is also known to increase the production of nitric oxide in our body--a potent vasodilator which can also contribute to reduced blood pressure over time.
So when Tim stopped me this morning to tell me that his doctor took him off all blood pressure medications, I was very happy for him but not really that surprised. Small, but important lifestyle changes done consistently over time can really improve our health.