I was recently asked by a friend for some natural ways to reduce blood pressure. While this is not an exhaustive list, here are ten that came to mind.
- Exercise regularly: Regular physical activity can help lower blood pressure and improve overall cardiovascular health. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, such as brisk walking, cycling, or swimming, most days of the week. This type of exercise increases nitric oxide levels.
- Maintain a healthy weight: Being overweight or obese can increase your risk of high blood pressure. Losing just 5-10% of your body weight can make a significant difference in blood pressure. One study showed losing 10 lbs dropped SBP 4.0 mmHg and a DBP 2.8 mmHg at 6 months
- Limit alcohol consumption: Drinking alcohol in excess can raise blood pressure and increase the risk of hypertension. Men should limit their alcohol intake to no more than two drinks per day, while women should limit it to one drink per day. Huberman Lab had a podcast last fall that discussed in depth how alcohol impacts health.
- Manage stress: Stress can raise blood pressure, so it's important to find ways to manage it. Techniques such as meditation, yoga, and deep breathing exercises can help reduce stress and lower blood pressure.
- Sleep: Getting enough sleep is important for overall health, including blood pressure. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
- Limit caffeine intake: Caffeine can cause a temporary increase in blood pressure, so limiting caffeine intake can help lower blood pressure.
- Breath work: Breathing in and out deeply can make a dramatic impact on your blood pressure quickly from my experience. One study showed breathing to drop SBP 6 points, DBP 1.4 points. I like Wim Hof and the breathing technique in the Othership app.
- Fish oil & garlic: Studies showed fish oil decreased SBP by 12.7 mmHg and DBP decreased by 7.9 mmHg. I use Viva Naturals due to the high potency and low price. In another study, garlic decreased SBP by 7.7 mmHg and DBP by 5.0 mmHg when compared with placebo. I like the Garlique form for garlic due to its standardization of the good molecule, allicin.
- CoQ10: One study showed supplementing with CoQ10 group showed a 16 mmHg reduction in SBP and a 9 mmHg reduction in DBP. I use Jarrow’s ubiquinol which is the reduced version of CoQ10.
- Curcumin and Sulforaphane: Both curcumin and sulforaphane can help with endothelial dysfunction. The endothelium is a layer of cells that lines the blood vessels and lymph vessels of the body. They control the contraction and relaxation of your blood vessels. When the endothelium is healthy, your endothelial cells keep your blood vessels relaxed and open enough that blood can easily flow through. When they are not healthy, various cardiovascular issues, like elevated blood pressure can kick in.
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Other supplements that can help with blood pressure are HumanN Neo40, which is a nitic oxide booster, potassium nitrate, which also boosts nitric oxide, and berberine taken before bed (we recommend BerbElite), and L-arginine.
P.S. It's been four months since I wrote this. Since then, I've come across Potassium Nitrate and R-Lipoic Acid as excellent options for supplementation.