You must have heard all the typical tips for busting high blood pressure before: Lose extra pounds, eat leafy vegetables, watch your waistline, limit alcohol intake, optimize vitamin D levels, and reduce sodium in your diet. And while all of these things are great strategies to use, there are other options to try too. Turns out, high blood pressure or hypertension can increase the risk of having a stroke. Scary stuff, right? Luckily, getting enough magnesium is one way to stabilize blood pressure.
Magnesium is one of the most important minerals in the body and supports the proper functioning of more than 350 enzymes in the human body. As a matter of fact, a study suggests that people with high blood pressure can experience noticeable decreases in systolic and diastolic blood pressure after consuming magnesium supplements. Another study estimates that about 80 percent of the population suffers from a magnesium deficiency which can be remedied by taking the mineral and calcium as a complimentary partner.
What is Termed a “Normal” Blood Pressure?
A blood pressure reads as 120/80 (120 over 80). The top number is known as the systolic, while the bottom one is called the diastolic. Now, take a look at the blood pressure ranges according to Home Remedy Clinic:
- Normal: Less than 120 over 80 (120/80)
- Elevated: 120-129/less than 80
- Stage 1 high blood pressure: 130-139/80-89
- Stage 2 high blood pressure: 140 and above/90 and above
- Hypertension stage: higher than 180/higher than 120
Please, if your blood pressure is higher than the normal range, it’s time to talk to your doctor about how to bring it down.
The Most Common Causes of High Blood Pressure
A deficiency in magnesium can result in high blood pressure, but the most likely underlying cause is associated with your body producing too much insulin. As the body’s insulin levels increase, it increases blood pressure.
According to a research published in 1998 in the journal Diabetes, almost two-thirds of insulin-resistant test subjects also suffered high blood pressure. This indicates a major connection between insulin resistance and high blood pressure. Hypertensive patients would need to lower their insulin levels to lower their risk of other cardiovascular problems. Stabilizing blood sugar levels can lower blood pressure readings too.
Aside high insulin levels, several things may play a role in causing high blood pressure, including:
- Inactive lifestyle
- High alcohol intake
- High sodium in the diet
- Fatty foods
- Birth control pills
- Older age
- Kidney disease
- Family history of hypertension
- Sleep disorders
- Adrenal and thyroid disorders
How to Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally
There are some smart strategies that can help in lowering high blood pressure naturally.
We get it. Sometimes, it just seems impossible to find the time for some exercise. Between keeping up with work and attempting to maintain a social life, getting in a good workout time is usually at the bottom of our priorities list.
But what if we told you that a regular exercise routine can go a long way toward lowering your insulin levels and consequently, your blood pressure?
- Avoid foods that raise insulin levels
If you have high blood pressure, there are foods that can raise your insulin level, and you should steer clear of them. As far as healthy hearts go, foods such as pasta, potatoes, bread, rice, and cereal are bad for you.
The good news is, there are several healthy and easy-to-find alternatives to processed, sugar-loaded foods that we find everywhere.
- Use stress management techniques
There’s no denying life can be stressful. Whether it’s in meeting deadlines, work presentations or every other demand of life, there comes a time when you really need a break. Medical experts advise that at times like this; when you feel overwhelmed, simply take a step back. Stress, even mild one can take your blood pressure up. To combat stress, you can try out meditation, prayer or the Meridian Tapping Technique (MTT).
- Optimize your vitamin D levels
It has become evident that stabilizing the body’s vitamin D levels can have a strong effect on stabilizing blood pressure. Are you aware that vitamin D is also important for preventing other medical conditions like osteoporosis, heart disease, strokes, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease?
Why Magnesium is Essential for Healthy Blood Pressure and Heart Function
Interestingly, in a published paper (Calcium Supplementation in the Treatment of Hypertension J Amer Osteo Assoc 85:104-107, 1985), a connection was established between taking minerals like calcium and magnesium and the normalization of blood pressure. This simply means that when taking supplements like magnesium, it is important to also take its complementary partner, calcium. So, using both works quite well for most people.
Several studies have also found that magnesium can help in the creation of adenosine triphosphate, proper function of teeth and bones, better bowel functions, regulation of blood sugar levels, strengthening of heart muscles, and relaxation of blood vessels.
Magnesium may also offer the following heart-related benefits:
- Dissolution of blood clots
- Function as antioxidant against free injury radicals
- Dilation of blood vessels
- Counteract the function of calcium and prevent spasms
- Curb spasms in the heart muscle and blood vessel walls
- Drastically reduce the point of injury and prevent arrhythmia
How to Know You are Not Getting Enough Magnesium
According to Carolyn Dean, MD, and author of The Miracle of Magnesium, about 80 percent of the American population is deficient in magnesium.
With that in mind, some signs of magnesium deficiency to watch out for include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Fatigue and weakness
- Loss of appetite
- Abnormal palpitations
- Coronary spasms
- Muscle cramps
- Personality changes
If you are low in this important mineral, the best way to consume magnesium is through increasing the consumption of organic green, leafy vegetables. Other excellent foods sources of magnesium are:
- Some beans and peas
It is important to note that magnesium is capable of decreasing the potency of many medications, including antibiotics such as tetracycline, ciprofloxacin, minocycline, moxifloxacin, and doxycycline. It also reduces the effectiveness of osteoporosis medications like tiludronate and alendronate.
To prevent interactions with other medications, take magnesium supplements either an hour before these drugs intake or two hours after. Similarly, if you take medications to manage hypertension, using supplements that present about the same effects could call for an adjustment to the dosage to compensate for magnesium. However, consult your doctor before altering treatments on your own.
The Bottom Line
Since we barely get enough magnesium from our diets, you may be in need of supplementation, especially if you have high blood pressure. This mineral has proven to have a strong link to high blood pressure, particularly in older men by consistently lowering their blood pressure. To maintain optimal levels of this all important minerals, some good natural sources of magnesium include soybeans, figs, leafy vegetables, apples, corn, and nuts.
Like we stated above and as with other recommendations for reducing blood pressure, talk to your doctor to monitor your response if you’re taking a prescription medication for high blood pressure.