Here’s something even I found surprising: a high resting heart rate and/or high blood pressure could be linked to your risk of developing a mental health problem.
That’s according to a recent study that reviewed data from over 1.8 million men over the course of more than 40 years.
Matters of the heart, matters of the head
This latest study was conducted in Sweden – considered one of the happiest countries in the world – where researchers found that men with high resting heart rates (82+ bpm) and blood pressure at age 18, were more likely to develop serious mental health conditions like depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and even schizophrenia later in life.
It’s important to note that the researchers only proved a correlation between high resting heart rate and/or blood pressure and mental health disorders. In other words, they did not prove that the one condition causes the other.
However, it’s easy to assume why there is this correlation and that’s because these and many other conditions all have one thing in common: inflammation.
Inflammation is a normal immune response to infection or damaged tissue, possibly resulting because of oxidative damage that occurs inside your body right down to the cellular level.
The problem is that as a result of our modern lifestyles, inflammation runs rampant. And it all comes down to stress, environmental toxins, and consuming processed food laden with all kinds of unnatural additives, trans fats and allergens that put our immune systems into overdrive.
So, if the root cause behind many of our modern ailments, including mental health issues, is inflammation then it’s not too difficult to put the balance right and curb your body’s inflammatory response.
Start to focus on getting your diet back on track and managing your stress levels.
Processed wheat, grains, dairy, and food additives can all trigger an inflammatory immune response in your body. Opting for a more natural and organic diet like the Paleo diet will help you cut out all processed and packaged foods, which will also minimise the types of foods that people are commonly sensitive or even allergic to.
This natural, high-fibre diet will also help to restore the complex colony of beneficial bacteria that live in your gut. And if you need an additional boost to support your digestive system, you can always add a good probiotic supplement to your daily regimen.
In fact, studies have shown a strong link between your gut bacteria and your brain and mental function.
To reduce stress, get at least 7 hours of sleep every night and just 15 minutes of light-to-moderate exercise every day can work wonders.
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Disclaimer: Bear in mind the material contained in this article is provided for information purposes only. We are not addressing anyone’s personal situation. Please consult with your own physician before acting on any recommendations contained herein.
Men’s Resting Heart Rates May Be Linked with Their Mental Health, livescience.com/56650-mens-resting-heart-rates-linked-with-mental-health.html
What are the Symptoms of High Blood Pressure? – American Heart Association, heart.org