Are you looking to lower blood pressure? If so, that’s a great idea. Because high blood pressure (hypertension) is a major problem. It puts you at risk for all sorts of other health conditions, including venous insufficiency, heart attack and stroke. So, obviously, it’s important to maintain a healthy blood pressure level. And, according to a new study, your diet can make it harder to get your blood pressure back in a healthy zone, if you aren’t careful.
Gut Bacteria Impacts Pressure Levels
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 47% of American adults have high blood pressure. But only 24% of them have it under control. And part of that is because prescribed medications don’t work for everyone.
Recently, a study in Experimental Biology revealed that bacteria in your gut could make it harder to regulate your pressure levels. In fact, they found that one common bacteria interfered with a class of blood pressure medications known as ACE inhibitors. The reason? It seemed to break down the medication, allowing less active ingredients to enter your bloodstream.
Now, this was just an animal study, with research still in its early stages. But, for now, it seems like altering your gut bacterial health could help. Or at least reduce your resistance to medications. And there’s one group of foods that can help you do that: the ones that are packed with probiotics.
You probably already know that probiotics (live, good-for-you, bacteria) can help your gut and digestion. But did you also know that eating probiotics can help regulate your pressure levels? Yup, that’s right!
According to research conducted at the Griffith Health Institute and School of Medicine in Australia, consuming probiotic-packed foods (not just supplements) can help. Some of the best food sources for probiotics include these 5 foods to lower your pressure:
Other Boosts to Consider
Not a fan of probiotics? No problem! You can also take control of your health by adding other staples of a vein-healthy diet. Some favorite choices to battle high blood pressure include whole grains, leafy greens, plant-based proteins and lean meats, fish and poultry.
When added to your diet, these choices will help maintain a healthy weight. And they can help control your blood pressure. So, in combination, they’re a great choice to protect your vein health. All that’s left to do is add in a few probiotics, and you should be in great shape. But why do these foods work well? Let’s explore that connection next.
The Connection Between Diet and Blood Pressure
So, how did researchers find the connection between food and blood pressure? To reach these findings, Dr. Jing Sun and his team analyzed 543 people with normal or high blood pressure. Next, they pored over studies that addressed the participant’s probiotic consumption.
And here’s what they found. Some of the adults consumed probiotics daily for eight weeks or more. After, they had significantly lower systolic (pressure in the arteries when the heart beats) and diastolic (pressure in the arteries between heartbeats) blood pressure compared with those who didn’t eat probiotic-rich food.
Given the negative effects of high blood pressure, adding probiotic foods to your diet should be a no-brainer. After all, it’s one of the few, drug-free methods out there to help take control of your blood pressure and stave off vein disease.
Foods to Avoid with High Blood Pressure
While some foods can reduce pressure, others do the opposite. So, if you’re already worried about your levels, steer clear of foods that might raise them. And the foods to avoid with high blood pressure come in seven main categories:
- Salty foods
- Sugary foods and drinks
- Red meats and saturated fats
- Processed foods
- Excessive caffeine
A Word on Heart Attack Prevention and Daily Aspirin Use
Now many people want to lower blood pressure to prevent a heart attack. And they may also take daily aspirin to reduce their risk. But recently, The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) changed its guidelines about daily aspirin use. Now, they warn that taking daily aspirin if you’ve never had a stroke or heart attack could lead to internal bleeding. Also, they don’t recommend starting this routine if you’re over 60. Plus, if you already have PAD, a cardiac stent, or you’ve had a heart attack or stroke, you must speak to your doctor before beginning this regimen.
Are you worried that hypertension could increase your risk for PAD and vein disease? Do you need help getting your range back in the healthy level? And would you like to do so as naturally as possible? We’re here to help you understand your PAD risk while avoiding complications. So reach out to our team of Houston area vein specialists and schedule a consultation today!
Sources: Medical News Today