Blood circulation occurs as a result of the heart contracting, which pushes blood out of the heart, and then relaxing which allows the heart to fill with new blood. When blood is pushed out of the heart, it floods the arteries and pushes the existing blood further along until it eventually travels through the veins to return to the heart. This cycle is constantly repeating itself in your body, without any conscious effort on your part, as you go about your day.
“Blood Pressure” is the force of that blood movement against the artery walls and is represented as a fraction of x/x. The first number is the Systolic pressure which represents the phase in which the heart has contracted. The second number is the Diastolic pressure which represents the phase in which the heart has relaxed.
The European Society of Hypertension has the following guidelines in reference to blood pressure levels:
• Optimal less than 120/80 mmHg
• Normal – 120-129 / 80-84 mmHg
• High normal – 130-139 / 85-89 mmHg
• Grade One hypertension 140-159 / 90-99 mmHg
• Grade Two hypertension 160-179 / 100-109 mmHg
• Grade Three hypertension 180 mmHg or greater/110 mmHg or greater
High Blood Pressure, also known as Hypertension, is a condition where the blood running through your arteries is pushing against them with a force above normal and it occurs in two forms:
1) Primary Hypertension- Has no “identifiable” cause but could be the result of stress, excessive salt intake, chronic dehydration, Vitamin D deficiency, excessive weight, smoking, excessive intake of High Fructose Corn Syrup, heredity factors, general toxemia or even excessive use of stimulants like coffee, caffeinated tea or drugs.
2) Secondary Hypertension- Occurs in response to another disorder such as impaired kidney function, malfunctioning endocrine glands or arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).
When blood pressure is above normal, greater force is applied to the valves and the muscles of the heart which can eventually cause the heart to weaken. A weak heart cannot pump blood efficiently which allows it to back up behind the heart resulting in lung congestion. High blood pressure becomes the most dangerous when it develops into Malignant Hypertension which can actually cause damage to various internal organs.
Some natural methods of reducing your risk of hypertension and possible ways of decreasing existing high blood pressure include:
1) Decreasing your intake of salt, including processed and fast foods which often contain a lot of sodium.
2) Avoid stimulants like coffee, black tea, alcohol and drugs.
3) Avoid smoking
4) As always, focus your diet around fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and quality grains.
5) Drink plenty of pure filtered or spring water to ensure expansion of capillary beds and adequate hydration throughout the day.
6) Increase your potassium intake through supplementation or foods like Bananas, Oranges, Apricots, Avocado, Strawberries, Potatoes, Tomatoes, Cucumber, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Chard, Bell peppers, Eggplant, Squash, Crimini mushrooms, Brussels sprouts, Turmeric, Parsley, Spinach and Broccoli.
9) Use relaxation techniques to cope with the daily stressors in your life. Yoga, Deep Breathing, Aromatherapy and Massage can all be helpful.
10) Exercise daily, even if it’s just a 20 minute walk, get out there and do it.
11) Increase your intake of healthy omega 3 fats from sources like Primrose oil , Krill Oil , flax seeds , Walnuts, Avocados and Chia Seeds . Omega 3 fats are known to increase the elasticity of your arteries thus increasing the force which with they can withstand.
12) Drink at least 2 cups of Hibiscus Tea daily as studies have shown this can reduce diastolic blood pressure up to 12 percent.
13) Drink Bran Tea by boiling 1 cup of Bran flakes with 6 cups of water for about 10 minutes then let cool and sweeten to taste with raw honey or lemon.
14) Include extra Niacin (Vitamin B3) in your diet which helps to widen the blood vessels thus decreasing pressure. It is best to take a B-Complex that includes the full range of B vitamins though because taking only one can cause deficiencies in the others. You may want to start at a low dose and gradually increase if you experience flushing common to Niacin.
15) Supplement with about 600mg a day of Magnesium as this mineral is often deficient in the Standard American Diet (SAD). Magnesium rich foods include Spinish, Broccoli, Barley, Walnuts, Almonds, Black beans, Bananas, Avocados, Raisens, Basil, Parsley and Pumpkin just to name a few.
16) Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) can also help to reduce blood pressure by increasing Nitric Oxide production which helps to dilate blood vessels.
18) Reduce your intake of High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) and its counterpart, Crystalline Fructose which has an even higher concentration of fructose than HFCS and may be even more dangerous. You have to read labels carefully because this stuff is in almost everything. You can find more information on HFCS in my blog: High Fructose Corn Syrup Is Not Fine In Moderation
20) Detoxify your body as built up toxins can impair the various systems of the body and cause cellular damage.
a. There are many Body Detox programs that can last anywhere from 3 to 30 days and sometimes more depending on your commitment. Find one that works for you and try to do it seasonally.
b. Eat plenty of fiber daily to ensure healthy elimination daily
c. Drink plenty of water to flush the system of toxins.
21) Some herbs can be helpful when added to the diet via tea, meals or extracts including Barberry Berberis vulgaris, black cohosh Cimicifuga racemosa, buckwheat, cayenne Capsicum annuum, garlic Allium sativum, hawthorn berries Crataegus laevigata, mistletoe Viscum album, onion, parsley Petroselinum crispum, peppermint Mentha piperita, red clover Trifolium pratense, skullcap Scutellaria lateriflora, valerian Valeriana officinalis, and yarrow Achillea millefolium.
- For Educational Purposes Only
- Not meant to diagnose or treat any medical condition
-These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA
- These statements are my opinions and conclusion from the knowledge I have thus far