I’d like to round out this week with yet another way to support your cardiovascular health and manage your blood pressure without taking drugs. We’ve already looked at food and nutrients throughout the week. Today, let’s talk specifically about three science-backed minerals that are a gold mine for lowering your blood pressure naturally.
Let’s dive right in…
One recent study found that supplementing with 60 nanomoles (nmol) per day of this fundamental mineral can help reduce systolic blood pressure (the top number) by five to eight points in just 12 weeks. And a bigger meta-analysis found that potassium intake of 1.6 grams (1,600 mg) per day also reduced stroke risk by 21 percent.
Now, it’s important to note that the amounts used in both studies are essentially food quantities—meaning they’re about what you get in servings of fruit or dark, leafy greens.
So, in my view, there’s really no need to take a potassium supplement at all, particularly when you’re not using a blood pressure drug that makes your body lose this mineral. (These drugs are literally called “potassium-wasting” drugs pharmacologically.) Instead, just eat plenty of fruits and leafy greens during the day, and you’ll receive an optimal amount.
Clinical studies show that supplementing daily with 500 to 1,000 mg of magnesium has a significant effect on blood pressure. In fact, one meta-analysis showed that even taking just 370 mg per day reduced systolic blood pressure readings by three to four points. And it reduced diastolic readings (the bottom number) by two to three points. In another analysis of 34 clinical trials, taking just 368 mg per day for three months reduced both systolic and diastolic blood pressure by two points.
I typically recommend supplementing with 150 to 400 mg per day of magnesium, depending on your health condition and goals. But remember, when you follow the kind of healthy, balanced diet I always recommend (and discussed on Tuesday), supplementation, as the name implies, is only for some extra insurance. Plus, not all magnesium works the same. In fact, I recommend avoiding magnesium glutamate, magnesium aspartate, and magnesium oxide completely.
Zinc is an essential trace element. But it’s often neglected by both the mainstream and natural-know-it-alls. Which is a real shame, because it plays a big role in preventing atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), metabolic syndrome, and Type II diabetes.
Of course, minerals like zinc work most efficiently when bound to the amino acid methionine, which is found in meat, fish, and full-fat dairy products. (Just another reason to eat a balanced diet with these foods.) Then, as a metallothionine, zinc is transported into tissues in the heart and blood vessels to help reduce blood pressure, inflammation, and oxidative stress.
In addition to following a healthy, balanced diet, I recommend supplementing daily with 50 mg of zinc.
And now, let’s take a quick look at calcium…
Get your calcium from food sources only
There’s no evidence to suggest that calcium supplementation can reduce blood pressure. In fact, as I often report, studies show that taking calcium supplements actually increase the risk of heart disease and dementia. Which isn’t a surprise, considering the sources of these supplements.
So, as always, make sure to get your calcium directly from a balanced diet, which includes organic, full-fat dairy (like butter, cheeses, eggs, and yogurt), grass-fed and free-range meats, and wild-caught seafood. And skip the calcium supplements entirely.
Two more natural approaches for lower blood pressure
Before I wrap up this week, let’s look at two additional ways to reduce blood pressure.
Research shows that getting regular, daily exercise is an excellent way help keep your blood pressure low. And you only need to get 2.5 hours total weekly to gain the biggest benefits. An easy way to incorporate this amount into your daily routine is to take frequent short walks during the day or longer walks after meals. Other leisurely activities count toward this movement goal as well, such as gardening, hiking, and swimming.
I also recommend adding some mindfulness meditation and/or yoga into your daily regimen, as studies show it can reduce blood pressure by 10 to 20 points. Even the American Heart Association (AHA) now admits that the practice of meditation is an effective approach for lowering blood pressure! You can learn about how to perform meditation in the midst of your busy life in my book New World Mindfulness with Don McCown.
So, there you have it…
All the latest science showing that a healthy diet, smart supplementation, regular moderate exercise, and mindfulness meditation can make all the difference between needing to take a blood pressure drug…and avoiding it altogether.
You can learn much more about how diet, supplementation, and other lifestyle habits can help lower your blood pressure and protect your heart naturally in my Heart Attack Prevention and Repair Protocol. To learn more about this online learning tool, or to sign up today, click here!
And don’t forget to check out my latest issue of Insiders’ Cures (“Here’s why I no longer recommend any blood pressure medication”). If you’re not yet a subscriber, now’s the perfect time to get started!
P.S. Did you hear that my highly anticipated Breathe Better Lung Health Protocol is now available? This online learning tool discusses all of the science-backed, natural ways to prevent—and reverse—lung disease. Because keeping your lungs healthy is a must for lifetime well-being and longevity. To learn more, or to sign up today, click here now!
“Treatment of Hypertension with Nutrition and Nutraceutical Supplements: Part 1.” Alternative & Complementary Therapies, 2018; 24(6):260-275. doi: 10.1089/act.2018.29191.mho