Controlling Hypertension Naturally
Look After your Blood Pressure Naturally
Our blood pressure is something we are not usually aware of but controlling hypertension or high blood pressure is something we all need to be taking steps to do.
It's the first thing the Doctor checks when we visit - our blood pressure... and, if it's above an acceptable level there are a myriad of drugs that can be prescribed .. and are. Unfortunately, as is the case with most drugs, these can have undesirable side effects.
Hypertension or high blood pressure is one of the most common disorders affecting the heart and blood vessels and needs to be checked regularly and treated when necessary. There is no 'cure' for hypertension - the best we can do is to keep it at a desirable level. The drugs won't 'cure' the problem which is why very often, once we are prescribed 'blood pressure lowering drugs' we are on them for life.
There is a more 'natural' path we can follow for controlling hypertension and I will discuss some of these options below. If you would prefer to follow the more natural path for controlling hypertension, please discuss your ideas with your Doctor so that together you can work out the best plan of action for you.
As mentioned previously diet and exercise are very important aspects to take into consideration when looking for ways of controlling hypertension. To help you with your diet considerations I have listed below a few diet additions that you may like to consider.
POTASSIUM is one of the most important nutrients when it comes to treating high blood pressure or controlling hypertension. It is a required nutrient for the body as it allows muscle contraction and helps send nerve impulses through the body. Potassium can also help the body remove waste. Too much sodium (salt) in the body can keep potassium from working as it should, so even if you are getting enough potassium (most people aren't), if you are also getting a lot of sodium you could be missing out on the healthy effects of the potassium.
Diuretics (often prescribed for high blood pressure) can flush potassium as well as sodium from the body which leaves you even more of a deficit than you started with. In fact, water expert F Batmanghelidj says that high blood pressure is the result of an adaptive process to a gross body water deficiency, and should be treated with an increase in
daily water intake.
He says: 'The vessels of the body have been designed to cope with fluctuation of their blood volume and tissue requirements by opening and closing different vessels. When the body's total fluid volume is decreased, the main vessels also have to decrease their aperture (close their lumina), otherwise there would not be enough fluid to fill all the space allocated to blood volume in the design of that particular body. Failing a capacity adjustment to the 'water volume' by the blood vessels, gases would separate from the blood and fill the space, causing 'gas locks'. This property of lumen regulation for fluid circulation is a most advanced design within the principle of hydraulics and after which the blood circulation of the body is modelled.’
Dr Batmanghelidj goes on to say: ‘Essential hypertension should primarily be treated with an increase in daily water intake. The present way of treating hypertension is wrong to the point of scientific absurdity. The body is trying to retain its water volume, and we say to the design of nature in us: 'No, you do not understand - you must take diuretics and get rid of water!' It so happens that, if we do not drink sufficient water, the only other way the body has to secure water is through the mechanism of keeping sodium in the body....
Water by itself is the best natural diuretic. If people who have hypertension, and produce adequate urine, increase their daily water intake, they will not need to take diuretics. If prolonged 'hypertension producing dehydration' has also caused heart failure complications, water intake should be increased gradually. In this way, one makes sure that fluid collection in the body is not excessive or unmanageable. The mechanism of sodium retention in these people is in overdrive mode. When water intake is increased gradually and more urine is being produced, the oedema fluid (swelling) that is full of toxic substances will be flushed out, and the heart will regain its strength.’
Click here to purchase Your Body's Many Cries for Water - it is well worth taking the time to read.
| To help with controlling hypertension drink plenty of water.|
The best way to get potassium is through diet. It is possible to supplement, but most over the counter supplements contain very small amounts of potassium. The recommended daily allowance for potassium is 4,700 milligrams, though most people get much less than that.
Here is a list of foods that are high in potassium and as a guide, a banana contains about 400 milligrams and three apricots would be about 314. So, eat up!
- Kiwi Fruit
- Lima Beans
- Meat, Fish, Poultry
Potassium works together in the body with MAGNESIUM, which is a micronutrient found in the bones, body tissues and organs of the body and is necessary for normal nerve and muscle function, steady heartbeat, strong bones and a healthy immune system. The recommendation is that we should have around 400 milligrams of magnesium a day.
If you are taking a diuretic you may need supplementation to ensure adequate supply of magnesium or at the very least eat extra foods that are rich in magnesium.
Many studies suggest that a combination of potassium, magnesium (and often calcium) and fibre are protective of the heart and can reduce high blood pressure. The following foods that are high in magnesium should be included in your diet to help control your hypertensnion:
- Whole-grain Bread
- Dark green leafy Vegetables
- Most nuts, especially almonds and cashews
- Peanut Butter
- Black-eyes Peas
|For controlling hypertension naturally, eat plenty of potassium, magnesium and calcium rich foods.|
CALCIUM is the third member of the nutrient trio that is often mentioned as important for the reduction of high blood pressure. Apart from helping to keep the bones and teeth healthy, calcium is also essential for the proper functioning of muscle and nerves and helps blood clot.
Most studies agree that having low levels of calcium can raise blood pressure so it is important to try to get the recommended amount of calcium, either through supplements or diet. Here are some good natural food sources:
- Dairy Products (preferable low-fat)
- Orange Juice
GARLIC is probably one of the most popular herbal supplements. It is used for flavouring in cooking, is beneficial for the heart and helps lower cholesterol.
The volatile compounds in garlic, mainly allicin, which gives garlic its pungent smell, are thought to help in lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Eating between one and four cloves (depending on the size) of garlic daily is believed to lower the systolic blood pressure five to eleven points and diastolic pressure up to five points. The reduction in blood pressure is most significant when real, whole garlic is eaten but garlic supplements are also effective if you don't like to eat the real thing.
| Eating garlic could help with controlling hypertension|
COENZYME Q-10 is not as well known but is present in virtually all human cells and is needed for basic functioning of the cells. Levels are thought to decrease as we age and are often lower in people with heart disease, cancer and diabetes. People taking statin drugs to treat high cholesterol also are found to be deficient.
Coenzyme Q10 has been used to treat everything from arthritis to Alzheimer's, to boost exercise performance among healthy people and to lower blood pressure.
Food sources are:
HAWTHORN is widely used in Europe to treat cardiovascular problems. Both the berries and the flowers of the hawthorn plant are used in herbal preparations to make the heart and cardiovascular systems more efficient.
Hawthorn widens the blood vessels, so it works in a similar way to the conventional ACE inhibitor drugs. Its ability to lower blood pressure is rather mild compared to some of the other supplements you could be taking, but it is also thought to generally improve the condition of the heart when taken for several weeks.
The recommended dose for hawthorn is 100 to 250 milligrams of hawthorn preparation with 10 percent procyanidins (the active ingredient in hawthorn) three times a day. You may have to take it for up to a month before you notice any effects.
|Controlling hypertension naturally? Take your Vitamins daily.|
TAKE YOUR VITAMINS
have been shown to have an effect on blood pressure, particularly vitamins C, E, B5, B6 and Folic Acid (also a B vitamin). Folic acid, found in green leafy vegetables and many enriched food products reduces homocysteine levels in the blood. Homocysteine is a risk factor for heart disease and higher levels leave you at higher risk for heart problems.
SELENIUM, along with ZINC and COPPER may be helpful for people with high blood pressure. These three nutrients are often low in people with heart disease so supplementing would be a good idea. You can probably get enough of all three of these nutrients by taking a good quality multivitamin product.
Selenium is found in meat, dark greens, wheat, walnuts and brazil nuts, Zinc in meat, dairy and beans and Copper is in seafood, nuts, legumes and leafy dark greens.
BETA GLUCAN is found in oat bran and maitake mushrooms. It is beneficial for lowering cholesterol which in turn helps to lower blood pressure.
Oat bran is particularly helpful for moving waste materials out of the body and can help lower cholesterol.
L-ARGINE is an amino acid that helps the body produce nitric acid and may be helpful in lowering cholesterol and blood pressure. It can be found in meat, peanuts, soy and wheat products.
LECITHIN helps the body eliminate fat and can help improve liver function. It's function is similar to the Omega 3 fatty acids. A good source for lecithin is beef and sheep brains but the supplements you will find in the market are made from soy. Another good source is egg yolks.
FISH OIL also known as
Omega 3 fatty acid
is very helpful for the heart. If you eat fish two or three times a week as recommended, you may be getting enough fish oil to protect your heart and lower your blood pressure.
If not, supplementation with a good qualityfish oil supplement is necessary. Just be aware that many fish oil supplements on the market are not as good as they should be.
Studies have shown that consuming just a tablespoon of flaxseed oil daily lowered blood pressure, so that could be an alternative to the fish oil.
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR is reputedly quite successful for treating blood pressure, perhaps because it is high in so many of the vitamins and nutrients that are thought to be helpful in lowering high blood pressure. Apple cider vinegar includes vitamins C, A, E, B1, B2 and B6 as well as potassium, magnesium, copper and other helpful nutrients.
It's usefulness for high blood pressure is largely anecdotal but it does make sense that it could help. (My Mother used to swear by this for her arthritis)
CAYENNE PEPPER is another herb that is thought to benefit the heart. It improves circulation and keeps the arteries from hardening.
The recommendation is to mix a teaspoon of cayenne into a glass of water and drink twice daily. Hot water seasoned with lemon or honey is probably an improvement. (I haven't tried this yet!)
GREEN TEA, first used as a beverage over 4500 years ago in China, has long been believed to possess many health benefits. Drinking as little as a half cup a day of green or oolong tea for a year could cut the risk of hypertension by as much as 50%, according to a study done in Taiwan.
Polyphenols, which abound in green tea, are thought to be the reason for most of the health benefits associated with tea. Recent reviews have concluded that green tea consumption appears to be effective in lowering the risk of liver disease, heart disease, and cancers.
Another way that you can help your blood pressure levels is to lower your stress levels. There are lots of things that you can do to keep
out of your life
Try Meditation, Yoga or Tai Chi, practice breathing exercises or anything that can get you to take some time away from your busy schedule and focus on relaxation.
We know that we tend to feel more relaxed after a good vacation, but part of the reason may just be because we were getting some extra sunlight. The UV rays from the sun have been found to boost mood, which may lower blood pressure. Vitamin D is plentiful in sunlight, and it is necessary for a healthy immune system. Those of us who live in Queensland don't have too much problem getting enough sun but there has been talk recently about SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) which is a kind of seasonal depression linked to not getting enough sunlight! Stepping outside to get some sun when you're feeling stressed make make you feel better and help control your blood pressure.
GET ENOUGH SLEEP
If you aren't getting enough good quality sleep it can affect your blood pressure. If you are sleep deprived, you'll get stressed more easily than normal.
The little things that get on your nerves will raise your blood pressure and could even lead to a heart attack or other health problems.
Seek help if you are having trouble sleeping. It may just be something as simple as replacing your mattress but there is no doubt that getting enough of the right kind of sleep can really improve the quality of your life and give you more energy.
, a condition in which you actually stop breathing while you are asleep. Breathing usually starts again on its own and you may not even be aware that it's happening, but it will certainly disturb your sleep. About half of all sleep apnoea patients are thought to have high blood pressure, so it's an important warning sign that you may be on the road to high blood pressure or other heart problems if you don't get it treated.
EAT MORE CHOCOLATE
I like this one!
A recent study found that eating or drinking cocoa lowered blood pressure and reduced the risk of death in older men. Substances known as flavan-3-ols found in dark chocolate have been shown to lower blood pressure and improve the function of cells lining the blood vessels.
Men who ate chocolate regularly over a 15-year study were found to have lower blood pressure than those who didn't. It's not as clear that the benefits exist for women but I'm certainly going to give it a good try - it can't hurt, can it?
After all. as it says in the picture.... a balanced diet is Chocolate in both hands
As you can see there are lots of things that you can do to help keep your blood pressure under control. Do have regular check-ups with your Doctor and discuss alternative methods of treatment.
Make sure that you understand what is being prescribed for you and that you are aware of the many side effects of drugs. These side effects vary from person to person so be sure to keep your Doctor informed if you have any unpleasant reactions to your prescribed drugs.
If you are diagnosed with high blood pressure, it will take a determined effort on your part to control by natural means, but it can be done and I hope the suggestions put forward will help you. Look for good quality, natural supplements to add to your diet and exercise plan and always talk to your Doctor before making any drastic changes to your diet or lifestyle.
Your body will thank you if you can avoid the toxicity of drug medication.
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