What’s the first thing people tell you to do when you say you have high blood pressure?
Most people say “eat less salt”.
In reality, salt probably isn’t the root cause of your blood pressure problems.
Sure, if you eat way too much salt all the time, you will retain more water, and the overall effect of this over time will be higher blood pressure.
But salt is really important for our health. We need it for things like muscle and nerve function, balancing fluids, and maintaining a healthy blood pressure.
So avoiding salt in the hopes of optimizing your blood pressure could be a dangerous game.
If you want to discover what changes you actually need to implement to optimize your blood pressure, you have to look at your genes.
For example, the CSK gene is responsible for making a protein that is used by the body to raise your blood pressure.
Some people have an overactive variant of the CSK gene, and this predisposes them to higher blood pressure. But there are steps you can take to counteract this.
One thing you can do is eat more garlic, because garlic has been linked to both lower blood pressure and lower levels of the protein made by the CSK gene.
So if your blood pressure is caused by an overactive CSK gene, it would be smarter to eat more garlic, rather than eat less salt.
Another gene linked to high blood pressure is the APOE gene, which helps remove cholesterol and fats from your blood. Some people’s APOE gene is lower functioning, so they are predisposed to have higher cholesterol and fats in their blood, which of course causes high blood pressure.
If you have this genetic variant, you could cut your salt, but this won’t get to the root cause of your blood pressure, it’ll just paper over the cracks.
A better approach would be to add extra virgin olive oil to your diet, because this has been shown to lower your blood pressure and promote better APOE function.
The important thing to understand is that everyone has unique genes, so the best approach to optimize your blood pressure is a personalized approach.
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