reduce high blood pressure the natural way...

Elevated blood pressure is a major risk factor for a heart attack or stroke. In fact, it is generally regarded as the greatest of the risk factors for a stroke

Although doctors are primarily concerned with diastolic pressure (the second number in the blood pressure reading), systolic pressure is also an important factor. Individuals with a normal diastolic pressure (less than 82 mm Hg) but elevated systolic pressure (greater than 158 mm Hg) have a twofold increase in their cardiovascular death rates compared to individuals with normal systolic pressures (less than 130 m Hg).

Since over eighty percent of patients with high blood pressure are in the borderline-to-moderate range, (120-160/90-94 and 140-180/105-114 respectively), most cases of high blood pressure can be brought under control through changes in diet and lifestyle. In fact, in head-to-head comparisons, many non-drug therapies – such as diet, exercise, and relaxation – have proven superior to drugs in cases of borderline-to-mild hypertension (mild 140-160/95-104).

Dietary and Lifestyle Factors in High Blood Pressure
- Lifestyle factors that cause high blood pressure include: alcohol, lack of exercise, stress, and smoking.

- Dietary factors include: obesity, low fibre, high sugar diet, high sodium-to-potassium ratio,  high saturated fat and low essential fatty acid intake, a diet low in calcium, magnesium and vitamin C.

Dietary Recommendations
Next to attaining ideal body weight, perhaps the most important dietary recommendation is to increase the consumption of plant foods in the diet. Vegetarians generally have lower blood pressure, and a lower incidence of high blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases than non-vegetarians.

Special foods for people with high blood pressure include: celery (for its 3-n-butyl phthalide content), garlic and onions (for their sulphur containing compounds), nuts and seeds or their oils (for their essential fatty acid content), cold water fish (salmon, mackerel etc), green leafy vegetables (as a rich source of calcium and magnesium), whole grains and legumes (for their fibre), and foods rich in vitamin C such as broccoli and citrus fruits. One study showed that a very small amount of 3-n-butyl phthalide lowered blood pressure by twelve to fourteen percent, (and also lowered cholesterol levels by about seven percent).

Potassium and Blood Pressure: It is a well-established fact that a diet low in potassium and high in sodium is associated with high blood pressure. 

Potassium functions in the maintenance of:
» water balance and distribution
» blood pressure
» muscle and nerve cell function
» heart function
» kidney and adrenal function           
» acid-base balance

Potassium shortage results in lower levels of stored glycogen. Because glycogen is used by exercising muscles for energy, a potassium deficiency will produce fatigue and muscle weakness. These are typically the first signs of a deficiency.

The Sodium to Potassium Ratio
Most Europeans have a potassium-to-sodium (K:Na) ratio of less than 1:2. This means that most people ingest twice as much sodium as potassium. Researchers recommend a dietary potassium-to-sodium ratio of greater than 5:1 to maintain health - ten times higher than the average intake.

Magnesium and Blood Pressure
There is considerable evidence that a high intake of magnesium is associated with lower blood pressure. Water that is high in minerals like magnesium is often referred to as “hard water”. 

A double-blind clinical study of twenty one male patients with high blood pressure were given 600 mg of magnesium daily or a placebo. Mean blood pressure (the average between the systolic and diastolic) decreased from 111 to 102 mm Hg – an 8% drop.

Vitamin C and Blood Pressure
Population-based and clinical studies have shown that the higher the intake of vitamin C the lower the blood pressure. Several preliminary studies have shown a modest blood-pressure-lowering effect (a drop of 5 mm Hg) from vitamin C supplementation in people with mild elevations of blood pressure.

Vitamin B6 and Blood Pressure
Vitamin B6 supplementation has been shown to lower blood pressure. In one study twenty people with high blood pressure were given oral vitamin B6 at a dosage of 5 mg per day per 2.2 pounds of body weight for four weeks. The subjects demonstrated significant reductions in systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

Coenzyme Q10 and  Blood Pressure
CoQ10 deficiency is typically found in thirty-nine percent of patients with high blood pressure. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), is an essential component of the mitochondria – the energy-producing unit of the cells of our body.  

A good analogy for CoQ10’s role in our body is the role of a spark plug in a car engine. Just as the car cannot function without that initial spark, the human body cannot function without CoQ10.

Omega-3 Oils and Blood Pressure
Increasing the intake of omega-3 fatty acids can lower blood pressure. Over sixty double-blind studies have demonstrated that either fish oil supplements or flaxseed oil are very effective in lowering blood pressure. Fish oils typically produce a more pronounced effect than flaxseed oil.

» Recommended Supplements: Celery, Potassium, Magnesium and Vitamin, Vitamin C, Tocotrienols (with CoQ10), Krill Oil, Fish Oil.
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