Elevated blood pressure, or hypertension, is a leading risk factor for cardiovascular disease and events such as stroke and heart attack. And while genetics play a small role, blood pressure is largely a result of lifestyle.
In fact, studies show that the following pose the largest threat to blood pressure control:
- Poor diet
- Elevated stress response
- Low activity level
- High body mass index
- Poor sleep quality
- Uncontrolled blood sugar
- Alcohol use
- Environmental toxin exposure
If you’re already managing hypertension, you’ve likely been told by your doctor to consider the DASH or Mediterranean diet, an approach that focuses on eating lots of plants while limiting fat and sodium. The DASH and Mediterranean diets are a great start because they boost minerals, vitamins and dietary sources of both soluble and insoluble fiber.
However, this research paper aimed at assessing fiber and blood pressure, concluded that dietary changes alone are not enough. Turns out, reducing blood pressure through diet is most effective when a soluble fiber supplement is added to the daily routine. The authors noted "… simply switching to healthy alternatives in the diet was not enough, and external dietary supplements would be required to yield maximum health benefits." This was confirmed in a 1992 study that supplemented hypertensive patients with 7g soluble fiber per day for two weeks and saw a drop in both body weight and diastolic blood pressure.
It's even more essential that your soluble fiber be a blend since different fibers do different things. In fact, researchers highlighted that while psyllium helps regulate blood sugar, insulin, and cholesterol, therefore improving health of the vascular lining, acacia gum has the added benefit of preventing obesity and feeding important microbes while also lowering systolic blood pressure. Other data suggests Glucomannan, a soluble fiber from the konjac root, has been shown to drop cholesterol and systolic blood pressure, a double benefit for heart health.
If you’re working hard to manage hypertension, focusing on lifestyle improvements will surely help. A plant-focused diet, naturally high in fiber lays a strong foundation for reducing blood pressure. That said, to get the most out of your efforts, adding 3 teaspoons of Florasophy to your daily routine is one of the easiest shifts you can make to drop blood pressure, reduce cardiovascular risk and improve your overall health from head to toe!