Following on from my introduction to hypertension and lifestyle factors, I want to explore the link between diet and hypertension in this blog.
Optimise your Gut Flora
Compared to a placebo, people with high blood pressure who consumed probiotics lowered systolic blood pressure (the top number) by 3.56 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) by 2.38 mm Hg1. Including taking probiotics, its is helpful to avoid sugar and processed foods. I should mention that naturally fermented foods in your diet, may contain about 100 times the amount of bacteria than found in a bottle of high potency probiotics. But I appreciate form a practical point of view, buying probiotics is much easier!
Eat a Healthy Diet
I appreciate this is very common advice. In 1998 in the journal of Diabetes reported that nearly two-thirds of the test subjects who were insulin resistant also high high blood pressure. Insulin resistance is directly attributed to a high sugar, high carbohydrate diet especially if combined with inadequate exercise.
Avoiding processed foods (due to their being high in sugar/fructose, grains, trans fat, and other damaged fats) is my number one recommendation if you have high blood pressure2. Instead, make whole, ideally organic, foods the focus of your diet. As you reduce processed foods, and other sources of non-vegetable carbs, from your diet, you’ll want to replace them with healthy fat.
Read Part 4References1Hypertension July 21, 20142Metabolism. 2012 May;61(5):641-51.