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Be Heart Smart: Lower Your Blood Pressure Today!

Posted Jul 02 2010 9:37am
By admin 07/02/2010

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Be Heart Smart: Lower Your Blood Pressure Today!

Taking pills may help to lower your blood pressure…

But they could also wind up giving you cancer. That’s according to a study published this month in the medical journal Lancet Oncology.

The study authors have linked angiotensin-receptor blockers, or ARBs, and cancer. Unsuspecting millions take these drugs to lower blood pressure and manage heart conditions.

“Millions of people are on these drugs and it can cause a lot of excess cancer worldwide,” Dr. Ilke Sipahi told the Washington Post. Dr. Sipahi is the lead author of the study.

Dr. Sipahi estimated that one person in every 105 taking the medications will get cancer.

It’s a shocking statistic and reinforces the urgent need to find healthy, natural ways to lower your blood pressure. Fortunately THB medical expert Dr. Joseph F. McCaffrey has safe and simple solutions to help you do just that.

Dangers of Taking Drugs

The link to cancer is just the most recent reason to be wary of drugs that lower blood pressure. These types of drugs will negatively impact your health in other ways. According to Dr. McCaffrey, common side effects include dizziness, electrolyte imbalance, impotence, and fatigue.

The good news is that drugs are not the only solution. You can lower your blood pressure with modest changes in your diet and lifestyle.

“The only side effect of this approach is increased overall health,” says Dr. McCaffrey.

Studies also support lifestyle changes as the best option for lowering blood pressure. A study published in 2006 revealed that diet, exercise, and relaxation were effective options for lowering blood pressure.

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Tools to Lower Blood Pressure

Diet, exercise, and relaxation are powerful tools to help you balance your blood pressure. Let’s take a moment to see how those three options benefit your health.

Diet: Sodium is often blamed for high blood pressure.  But according to hypertension expert Dr. Michael Alderman, studies do not conclusively support low-salt diets. Dr. Alderman is an expert at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, NY. According to him, just lowering your salt intake may not lower your blood pressure.

What’s really important is the ratio of sodium to potassium that you consume. That’s because people with hypertension are often lacking in potassium.

“I’ve read recommendations suggesting that we should have five times more potassium than sodium in our diet,” says Dr. McCaffrey. “Someone eating a diet of processed and prepared foods easily reverses that ratio. They commonly take in two times more sodium than potassium. Clearly, most people need more potassium.”

When you think about potassium, you’ll often reach for a banana. Bananas contain a high quotient of potassium. However, they’re also high glycemic foods… and that means they will spike your blood sugar levels. That’s something you want to avoid because high blood sugar triggers insulin release and insulin builds body fat.

Instead, Dr. McCaffrey recommends tomato juice. One cup of tomato juice has the same 500 mg of potassium as a banana. And tomatoes are also rich in lycopenes – which promote better prostate health.

“If you add some potassium chloride salt substitute for taste, you’ll increase your potassium intake even more,” says Dr. McCaffrey. “Each ¼ teaspoon adds another 650 mg of potassium.”

Exercise: People who exercise enjoy many health benefits. You can expect weight loss, more energy, and an improved range of movement. However, exercise also reduces your blood pressure.

According to Dr. McCaffrey, researchers reviewed over 100 studies on the effect of cardiovascular exercise on blood pressure. The studies showed that regular cardio – including walking – lowered diastolic and systolic blood pressure by 5 mmHg.

“A healthy diet and an exercise program should be the foundation of your healthy blood pressure program,” says Dr. McCaffrey.

Relaxation: Relaxation and meditation can also lower your blood pressure. Dr. Herbert Benson studied the physical effects of meditation. He noted that meditation could decrease blood pressure.

“He was the first person to measure and report on the actual physiology of meditation,” says Dr. McCaffrey. “His initial studies were in the early 1970s. Since then, the results he observed have been confirmed and expanded hundreds of times.”

Meditation is a natural answer to lowering blood pressure. It also has many other stress-related benefits.

But diet, exercise, supplements, and meditation are effective solutions for controlling blood pressure naturally. All these recommendations won’t just lower your blood pressure. They will work together to improve your overall health.

[Ed. Note: Joseph F. McCaffrey, MD, FACS is a board-certified surgeon with extensive experience in alternative medicine, including certification as a HeartMath Trainer. His areas of expertise include mind-body interaction and cognitive restructuring. Dr. McCaffrey strives to help people attain their optimum level of vitality through attention to all aspects of wellness. For more information, click here .]

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