With all the emphasis on salt being the devil with blood pressure, we’ve been missing a HUGE other factor that is most assuredly making our pressures pop.
But finally studies are being done that are starting to tell the truth.
Recent research published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association has shown that drinking fewer sugar-sweetened beverages (like soda, sports drinks and fruit punch) may lower your blood pressure.
The researchers examined data on 810 adults with pressures between 120/80 and 159/99 who participated in an 18-month study examining the impact of weight loss, exercise and a healthy diet on blood pressure.
At the start of the study, the participants drank an average 10.5 ounces of sugary beverages per day. At the end of the study, average consumption had decreased by half, and both systolic and diastolic blood pressures had dropped significantly.
Even when the results were adjusted for the other factors like weight loss and exercise, ditching the sweet drinks still had a tremendous impact on blood pressure.
Are you kidding me?
The interesting thing about this study is that, at the conclusion, the lead researcher stated that the effect of sugar-sweetened beverages on blood pressure is still “uncertain.”
Sorry, but I don’t find anything “uncertain” about successful results.
While the specific impact of sugar on blood pressure may vary from person to person, the fact remains that it is absolutely and definitely harmful across the board.
There are actually three ways that sugar raises blood pressure:
1- A diet high in sugar and refined carbohydrates contributes to obesity, which is a high blood pressure risk factor.
2- A high-sugar diet can also promote sodium retention, which can increase blood volume and cause hypertension.
3- Sugar is a very inflammatory substance, and having excess glucose in your bloodstream can cause arterial inflammation, which can ultimately drive up your blood pressure.
Do your part—you know where to start
If you have blood pressure concerns (or want to help maintain a healthy blood pressure) you’ve got to do your part.
Start with curbing your sugar consumption. Ditch the soda, sports beverages, juice drinks and fancy coffees.
And don’t even ask if diet beverages are any better. When you swap sugar for aspartame or sucralose, you’re merely trading one poison for another.
Sugars are also in most processed foods and especially foods marketed as low-fat—because food companies typically replace the fat with sugar.
Drink water and concentrate on real foods that don’t contain hidden sugars.
Other ways to keep it low
In addition to quitting smoking and getting regular exercise, here are four nutrient strategies for counteracting high blood pressure:
Get sources of potassium
Many people don’t realize that too little potassium is just as much of a blood pressure concern as too much sodium.
Potassium-rich foods include avocados, Swiss chard, green beans, broccoli, coconut, prunes, lima beans, tomatoes, spinach, bananas, sweet potatoes, chicken, roast beef and salmon.
Have enough antioxidants
Uncontrolled free radicals can cause arterial damage which can lead to atherosclerosis and hypertension, so it’s crucial to have enough antioxidants to help control free radicals.
Vitamins A, C and E are the like the 3 Musketeers of powerhouse antioxidants—below are some food sources of each:
Vitamin A: Carrots, spinach, bell peppers, romaine lettuce, Swiss chard, calf’s liver, winter squash, sweet potatoes, broccoli, tomatoes, asparagus, basil, cantaloupe
Vitamin C: Bell peppers, broccoli, strawberries, citrus fruits romaine lettuce, cabbage, tomatoes, spinach, pineapple, green beans, kale, raspberries, asparagus
Vitamin E: Swiss chard, almonds, spinach, collard greens, kale, papaya, olives, bell peppers, blueberries, tomatoes, broccoli
And if you want to supplement to ensure your body has what it needs, our Super Core multi-vitamin formula contains all three of these nutritional superstars, plus six other impressive antioxidants!
Beef up your Omega-3 EFAs
Omega-3 essential fatty acids have been medically PROVEN to help lower blood pressure, and increasing numbers of doctors are advising their patients to up their Omega-3 intake.
In addition to eating more fatty fish like salmon, one of the best ways to engage this natural anti-inflammatory and help lower blood pressure is to take a very high-quality fish oil supplement like VitalMega-3.
VitalMega-3 delivers 1,200 mg. of Omega-3 in every daily 2-capsule dose, including 600 mg. of EPA and 400 mg. DHA which are crucial for cardiovascular and brain health.
Put the power of nutrition to work for you to help lower your blood pressure, or help make sure it stays where it should!