What can you do yourself when you have a high blood pressure?
The chance of getting a high blood pressure increases as you get older. This is partly because the blood vessels become stiffer and less elastic. But of course it can also occur at a younger age.
But what can you do yourself to improve the situation?
Provide daily exercise, reduce possible stress, but especially pay attention to your diet. So far we're not telling you anything new. So let's make it a bit more practical, starting by avoiding: a lot of salt, a lot of alcohol, a lot of sugars and a lot of saturated animal fat.
What is recommended
Omega-3 fatty acids protect against cardiovascular diseases. The best-known omega-3 fatty acids are EPA and DHA. These are known as fish fatty acids but can also be extracted from other foods, such as microalgae. Research with supplements shows that about 4 grams per day EPA and DHA lowers the systolic blood pressure (excess pressure).
Minerals or fruit containing all kinds of useful minerals, such as bananas. Bananas are a rich source of potassium and magnesium, two minerals known to have a vasodilating effect. And fruit contains vitamin C, an antioxidant, which also has a positive effect on blood pressure.
Make sure you get enough vitamin D and K. A low vitamin D concentration can lead to a stimulation of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) in healthy persons. And it is precisely this system that is responsible for the regulation of blood pressure. Research by the University of Maastricht shows that with a correct intake of vitamin K2 already stiffened blood vessels become more elastic again. Vitamin K2 occurs in dairy products and is available in the form of supplements. Both vitamin D and vitamin K are fat-soluble vitamins, for a correct absorption it is important to take them with fat or oil, in a meal or with omega-3 oil, for example.
Eat more vegetables, such as red beets! Vegetables contain fibers and reduce the risk of high blood pressure and cholesterol. Beets contain a lot of nitrate, which is associated with lower blood pressure.
It's good to know that you can do something against high blood pressure by living a healthy life.
- Karppanen, H. (1991). Minerals and blood pressure. Annals of medicine, 23(3), 299-305.
- Geleijnse JM, Vermeer C, Grobbee DE, Schurgers LJ, Knapen MH, van der Meer IM, Hofman A, Witteman JC. Dietary intake of menaquinone is associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease: the Rotterdam Study. J Nutr. 2004;134(11):3100-5
- Schurgers, L. J., Geleijnse, J. M., Grobbee, D. E., Pols, H. A. P., Hofman, A., Witteman, J. C. M., & Vermeer, C. (1999). Nutritional intake of vitamins K1 (phylloquinone) and K2 (menaquinone) in the Netherlands. Journal of nutritional & environmental medicine, 9(2), 115-122.