If you believe high blood pressure is known as the “silent” killer, you are correct. The reason why it is called the “silent” killer is that there often are not symptoms that you can feel. You may not get headaches, feel tired, sluggish, or feel any symptoms at all. The human body is a complicated composition of many intricate systems that depend on each other to function. When any single system or aspect is off kilter, it impacts the entire body. Lurking within each system are “threats” that can cause illness and in dire conditions, death.
Did you know that even if your blood pressure is normal at age 55, you still have a 90 percent chance of developing high blood pressure later? The reality is that at any age, high blood pressure raises your risk for heart attack, stroke, and even dementia. There are some things you can do, including some dietary suggestions, that may help you reduce blood pressure.
What Causes High Blood Pressure?
We often refer to plaque buildup when referring to heart disease. As plaque builds up on the internal lining of the blood vessel or artery, it becomes narrower. However, the amount of blood that the heart pumps does not change. The same amount of blood is still trying to get through the now smaller blood vessels.
Although blood vessels and arteries have some elasticity during youth, they lose some of their natural elasticity as we age. The blood vessels cannot expand as much as they once did, as the blood rushes through them. If the pressure gets too severe, then the blood vessel can burst. If there is a nick or weak spot in the blood vessel, the force of the rushing blood can break the blood vessel at this point. This is also what happens in a stroke; however, the area of high blood pressure is occurring in the brain.
What Can Help Alleviate High Blood Pressure?
There are certain precautions we can take to help maintain healthy circulation and to alleviate high blood pressure. Here are some recommendations:
- Have your blood pressure checked periodically even if it has remained normal for a long time. Since you often cannot “feel” the effects of high blood pressure, there may not be symptoms to alert you. Pharmacies now have blood pressure monitors located in the area where prescriptions are filled. Have an assistant show you how to check your blood pressure.
- If your blood pressure is high, seek immediate medical attention. If your physician prescribes medicine, take it regularly. This is not something to neglect.
- Try and lose weight if you are overweight. Even small losses of weight can have a meaningful outcome on blood pressure.
- Be sure and increase your dietary consumption of omega 3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA). While eating more fatty fish is a good idea, some are likely to have higher levels of mercury, PCBs, or other toxins. These include mackerel, wild swordfish, tilefish, and possibly others. Farm-raised fish of any type may also have higher levels of contaminants. Children and pregnant women should avoid these types of fish entirely. Everyone else should eat no more than seven ounces of these fish a week. Fish like wild trout and wild salmon are safer.
- Consume alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) found in walnuts, flaxseed and flaxseed oil, canola oil, and soybean oil. Keep in mind that while foods containing omega-3 fatty acids have health benefits, oils and nuts can be high in calories, so eat them in moderation.
- If you have a bleeding condition or are on blood thinner medications, be sure and speak to a doctor before supplementing with omega-3 fatty acid.
7 Ways to Reduce Stress and Lower Your Blood Pressure
It is important to reduce stress in your life as it does play a key factor in high blood pressure. Here are seven simple tricks to be mindful of in your day-to-day life.
- Change what you can to reduce stress in your life.
- Accept that there are some things you cannot control.
- Before you agree to do something, be sure you have the time and energy to do it. Remember it is okay to say “no” to requests that will add stress to your life.
- Stay connected to people you know and love and who love you. Share your fears and worries and talk about what bothers you with supportive people.
- Make it a point to relax every day. You could read a book, listen to music, meditate, pray, do yoga or tai chi, journal or reflect on what is good in your life.
- Stay active! When you exercise, you burn off stress and are better capable of handling problems.
- If you are depressed, it may be more difficult to handle stress. Seek help from a doctor or counselor, as depression is linked to heart disease and can be treated.
How Does Your Diet Affect Blood Pressure?
A study evaluated 40,574 disease-free French women who responded to a dietary questionnaire and showed that there were 9,350 cases of hypertension (high blood pressure) between 1993 and 2008.
The results from the questionnaires were mathematically adjusted for factors such as:
- Family history of hypertension
- Body mass index (BMI)
- Physical activity
- High cholesterol
- Hormone therapy
- Omega-3 intake
- Processed meats intake
It was found that those who consumed the most flavonoids from particular types of fruits and vegetables had a 10 percent less likelihood of developing high blood pressure.
How Can LifePharm Products Help Against High Blood Pressure?
OMEGA+++ is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids (DHA and EPA). The oil is highly purified to remove contaminants. The fish used is a small sardine-like fish very high in DHA and
EPA. The formula also contains vitamin K2 shown to help keep calcium from depositing on the arteries. When vitamin K2 is consumed, some significant elasticity is restored to the vessels and arteries, making it a very important addition to the OMEGA+++ formula. Most other omega-3 supplements will not contain vitamin K2. These are two ingredients that work together to support heart health.
IMMUNE+++ contains three red berries, all of which are high in bioflavonoids and polyphenols. These compounds have been shown to have positive effects on blood pressure and heart health. Many vitamin C formulas do not include flavonoids, but this LifePharm supplement contains the Life-C blend of vitamin C with bioflavonoids.
IMMUNE+++ contains berries such as camu camu, which add bioflavonoids to enhance the benefits of vitamin C. Compared to eight other rich tropical fruits from Brazil, camu camu is one of the highest in phenolics, vitamin C, and antioxidant activity.
A study analyzed the differences in taking vitamin C alone as compared to ingesting acerola (contains vitamin C, bioflavonoids, and other components). Results indicated that some component(s) of acerola juice affects the absorption of vitamin C into the blood and minimizes its excretion in the urine; thus, the vitamin C circulates longer in the blood stream. IMMUNE+++ not only contains Life C blend but also potent fruit berries with their beneficial bioflavonoids.
We have become educated on the valuable probiotics and prebiotics in DIGESTIVE+++; however, seldom has it been mentioned that one of the “plusses” in DIGESTIVE+++ is a substantial amount of ALA in the form of flaxseed oil. This provides additional sources of fatty acids important for development of this category of healthy fats and is not as high in calories. Taking DIGESTIVE+++ daily also assures you are incorporating flaxseed oil into your diet.