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It is estimated that over 1 billion people world-wide have high blood pressure. It increases your chance of getting a stroke and heart attack and is very important to resolve. It is true when it is as referred to as a ‘silent’ epidemic since you often don’t know it is elevated until you measure it. There are a number of causes of high blood pressure which I will highlight and I will also discuss some important drug-free ways that can help bring down blood pressure.

Factors related to high blood pressure

• Stress

• Excess free radicals

• Poor nutrition

• Inadequate exercise

• Smoking

• Excess alcohol

• Genetic factors

Drug-free ways to reduce blood pressure

Exercise

Many of my patients have found that exercising regularly can help reduce blood pressure. It may be the stress-reducing effect, the weight-loss effect, or how exercise positively conditions your arteries to function properly…either way, it’s good for you. Start gradually and check with your doctor if you are unsure of how to exercise right.

Stress-less

Many people are either over-stressed, whether it’s work-related or due to relationships or your environment. Studies show that it does relate to greater chances of high blood pressure and other cardiovascular problems. Simple habits can help such as doing regular calm deep breathing exercises, as well as changes in perspective about the problems you are facing.

Improve your diet

Excess salt can be a real aggravator of blood pressure. Read labels and make sure your total daily sodium intake is under 2300mg each day (1 teaspoon of salt). Avoiding processed and packaged food and eating out will reduce your sodium. Also important is to increase your potassium intake by eating more fruits and vegetables.

Optimize supplements

Supplements can help to allow your body to work more effectively. Examples of useful supplements include omega-3 fats, coenzyme-Q10 and herbal extracts such as garlic, hawthorne and olive leaf extract.

A 2014 study published in the journal Nutrition Research found that garlic has at least six mechanisms of how it can help the body reduce high blood pressure, verifying the many studies conducted to-date that show the heart-supportive benefits of garlic. Other supplements that may help include magnesium, vitamin B6, calcium, vitamin D and vitamin K2.

Dr. Rahim Habib ND
About the Author

Rahim Habib is a registered naturopathic doctor with over 15 years of experience in general family practice. He has a special interest in helping patients comprehensively detoxifying their bodies for preventative and therapeutic benefit. He also has a special interest in children’s health, assisting kids in their learning and behavioural health with conditions such as ADHD, Autism spectrum, asthma, allergies and childhood obesity. He also helps adults with chronic conditions, such as thyroid disorders, infertility, inflammation, obesity, autoimmunity, dementia and cancer care. He is the director of the Four Seasons Naturopathic Clinic for Detoxification and Healing and can be reached at 905-597-7201 or www.FamilyNaturopath.ca.