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How Having a Healthy Gut Can Reduce High Blood Pressure

Daddy daughter dinner prepUnderstanding the gut link to hypertension is crucial. Your intestinal bacteria are part of your immune system. Researchers have shown that microbes of all kinds play instrumental roles in countless areas of your health.

The Role of Helpful Bacteria

Beneficial bacteria also affect the growth of disease-causing bacteria by competing for nutrition and attachment sites in your colon. Pathogenic bacteria or other less beneficial microbes can wreak havoc on your health if they get the upper hand.

The gut microbiome, which contains 100 times as many genes as your body’s total genome, is involved in important chemical reactions that your gut enzymes cannot perform. These reactions include fermentation and sulfate reduction.

Your gut microbiome helps generate new compounds that can either have a beneficial or detrimental impact on your health. According to recent research, beneficial gut bacteria or probiotics help improve your liver function and help lower blood pressure.

What Research Shows

Research shows that regularly consuming probiotics can help relieve hypertension. Let’s look at one analysis of nine studies that examined the association between probiotics and blood pressure.

The study revealed that people who consume probiotics on a regular basis such as supplements, kefir or organic yogurt typically tend to have lower blood pressure than those who don’t consume probiotics. On average their systolic BP was 3.6 milliliters of mercury (mm Hg) lower and the diastolic BP was 2.4 mm Hg lower.

The most significant benefit was for those who had blood pressure higher than 130/85 to start. The probiotics contained a variety of bacteria that lowered the blood pressure to a greater degree than others.

How to Get More Probiotics in Your Diet

One of the easiest ways to add probiotics to your diet is by taking a supplement. We can recommend particular brands. You also can eat fermented foods every day. A diet rich in whole unprocessed foods along with cultured or fermented veggies is great for your BP. You can find many easy recipes online for fermented dishes.

For premade probiotic-rich foods we recommend the Farmhouse Culture brand, which you can get at Whole Foods and Natural Grocers. One terrific probiotic-rich food is sauerkraut, which you can get in a few different varieties.

It’s important to note that there’s a big difference between traditional fermented foods and commercially pasteurized foods to which probiotics have simply been added. The latter is not nearly as beneficial as traditionally fermented foods.

For optimal benefit, we recommend that you eat one-quarter cup to one-half cup of fermented veggies or other cultured food such as raw yogurt or kefir with 1-3 meals a day. It’s also crucial to eat these probiotic-rich foods regularly. If you don’t consume them several times a day every day then they won’t do much good to lower blood pressure.

For more information, see Dr. Kalaba‘s recent video on YouTube.

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