Essential Fatty Acids Lower Blood Pressure
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a component of the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil and algae, can literally get inside cardiac cells and calm the heart or decrease arrhythmia potential. This is probably why DHA, if taken regularly, helps prevent sudden cardiac death. DHA also assists in bringing down blood pressure; 300–800 mg/day of DHA will cause mild blood pressure lowering in most people.
I recommend getting DHA in a pure, non-contaminated fish oil that contains EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), too.
To realize the true benefit of DHA for blood pressure lowering, it should be taken in combination with activated omega-6 essential fatty acids—evening primrose oil, black currant oil, or borage oil and ground flaxseed or flaxseed oil.
Small amounts of omega-6 fatty acids decrease inflammation, one of the biggest culprits behind increased blood pressure. By the way, I’m not talking about processed omega-6s like canola, safflower, cottonseed, or corn oils—most of us get an overabundance of these, and they can promote inflammation. A good rule of thumb is to use a greater ratio of omega-3 essential fatty acids to omega-6s (as much as a 4:1 ratio).
Flax: A Bonus for Lowering Blood Pressure Naturally
You can get the two key types of essential fatty acids from flaxseed because it contains 19 percent activated omega-6s and 48 percent of an omega-3 precursor, alpha linolenic acid. Besides its blood pressure lowering benefits, you’ll be rewarded with healthier skin, lower LDL cholesterol levels, improved digestion, and a cleaner bowel, which results in less energy drain on the liver—the most important filter of the body. When your liver is working properly, LDL cholesterol levels go down, and HDL levels go up.
In general, freshly ground flaxseed is better than flax oil, because you’re assured the oil in the seed is fresh, plus you’re getting extra fiber and plant lignans. Simply grind two tablespoons of flaxseed and sprinkle on food or blend in a breakfast drink three to four times per week.
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Dr. Stephen Sinatra is a highly respected and sought-after cardiologist and nutritionist with more than 30 years of clinical practice, research, and study. His integrative approach to heart health focuses on reducing inflammation in the body and maximizing the heart's ability to produce and use energy. More About Dr. Sinatra
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