- Do not smoke – there’s clear research showing this puts up blood pressure
- Don’t be overweight – research shows that a controlled weight loss programme reduces blood pressure. Your waistline size is also linked directly to blood pressure!
Take aerobic exercise – run, walk, jog, swim. Regular daily exercise for 45 minutes where you get out of breath is what’s required.
Avoid Stress – Stress has a devastating effect on blood pressure. Pinpoint your stress triggers, and try to cut those people and things out of your life. Make time to relax and calm down. Plan your week better, include times when you work, times when you relax, times when you are enjoying other interests.
Eat a Rainbow Diet – people who stick most closely to the Rainbow Diet avoid 11 chronic illnesses that beset the Western World – one being high blood pressure. Most notable factors are:
- Avoid salt – higher sodium levels in the body are linked to higher blood pressure. You should cut foods such as Chinese meals, sausages, bacon, dried meats, salted nuts and crisps. You should focus on potassium-rich foods (avocado, banana, spinach, sweet potato, apricots, pomegranate) and magnesium-rich foods (almonds, figs, spinach, dark chocolate, pumpkin seeds). Eat fresh, not processed or packaged foods.
- Moderate drinking – while a glass of red wine appears beneficial in lowering blood pressure, a bottle a day most definitely increases blood pressure levels.
- Eat more colourful vegetables – Glutathione in vegetables and fruits reduces blood pressure; Beetroot, for example, has been shown to reduce blood pressure levels by 5 points, as it contains nitrate which converts to nitric oxide, which dilates arteries. Watermelon contains citrulline and does the same; arginine is found in pumpkin seeds and pulses and reduces blood pressure. Other nitrate containing foods include green leafy vegetables, celery, fennel and broccoli.
- Eat more soluble fibre foods – oats, barley, nuts, seeds and legumes (pulses) are the favourite foods of good gut bacteria and their consumption is linked to lowered blood sugar, lowered oestrogen levels and lowered blood pressure.
- Eat more Mediterranean foods – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, oily fish, pomegranate, flaxseed, garlic, onions – all these have proven benefits in reducing blood pressure.
- Enjoy sunshine – We all know you increase blood levels of vitamin D if you lie in the sunshine. But did you know our levels of serotonin increase and that generates happy hormones, cutting stress, and nitric oxide reducing blood pressure.
- Caffeine – think coffee increases your blood pressure? Actually, the jury is out. In some people it does; in regular drinkers it doesn’t seem to.
Rainbow Diet book and Heal your gut book, click here.