A number of Paleo followers regularly send me emails regarding their low blood pressure levels that result from eating a low-carb, Paleo Diet. Specifically, people seem to worry that they may suffer from negative health consequences if their blood pressure drops too low.
Naturally, The Paleo Diet promotes low blood pressure in the human body by reducing cortisol, the stress hormone, and keeping sodium intake to a minimum by replacing processed, salt-laden foods with real, whole foods. Eating a well-balanced, healthy diet does not induce orthostatic hypertension, or consistently lower normal blood pressure levels.
Tips to help you maintain a healthy blood pressure level while following The Paleo Diet:
- Make sure to consume adequate amounts of water throughout the day. Keeping the body hydrated helps the heart more easily pump blood through the blood vessels. If you are working or spending a large amount of time outdoors, grab a water bottle on the way out.
Increase Sodium Intake
- Moderation is key, but adding a small amount of natural sea salt as a seasoning to your meals may be beneficial, especially if you are consuming a strict salt-free Paleo diet.
Maintain an Electrolyte Balance
- Increase your consumption of foods that are rich in electrolytes including potassium, magnesium, and calcium.
Cut It Out
- Beet juice and licorice have been linked to raising blood pressure in individuals with orthostatic hypertension.
Case in point: The primary source of blood pressure problems is more often than not due to increased inflammation in the arterial linings from following a SAD diet (Standard American Diet). Consuming a nutrient-dense Paleo Diet should stabilize your blood pressure levels over time.
Loren Cordain, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus