Hypertension / High Blood Pressure

Remember sticking your finger over the hose when you were a child and making the water shoot further?  Well that is not necessarily a good thing in the body. High blood pressure or “hypertension” is closely associated with coronary artery closure due to plaque formation and arterial stiffening as the normally elastic vessels require more pressure to fully circulate blood to the body. High blood pressure is also called the silent killer as it makes your heart work too hard, hardens the walls of your arteries, and can cause the brain to hemorrhage or the kidneys to function poorly or not at all. If not controlled, high blood pressure can lead to heart and kidney disease, impotence, stroke, blindness and impaired cognitive ability.

High blood pressure is an epidemic that is currently sweeping across America impacting nearly 30% of all American population. This condition is costing the country 93.5 billion dollars in health care services. Not only is high blood pressure a dangerous condition in itself, the medication and drugs prescribed for it are also dangerous because of the high costs and the side effects where natural remedies and life style corrections are generally sufficient to prevent and control high blood pressure.

Chances are that if you have hypertension, you also have poorly controlled blood sugar levels, because these two problems often go hand in hand. Nearly two-thirds of the patients who are insulin resistant (IR) also tend to have high blood pressure, and that insulin resistance is directly attributable to a high sugar, high grain diet, especially if accompanied by inadequate exercise. Check out our Diabetes Report for related info.

What is Hypertension?
High blood pressure is classified as a systolic pressure of more than 140 and the diastolic pressure of more than 90. It's interesting to note that about 4 years ago, high blood pressure was classified as 160/95. Hypertension is a leading cause of illness caused by unhealth life style and habbits. Of course, there are many etiologies to this common disease including Poor Sleep or Lack of Sleep; however, most cases are because we have gotten fat, old, and out of shape.

MAIN CAUSES: Many factors play an important role in today’s hi-tech world that causes the blood pressure to soar. Main ones affecting the blood pressure are:
* Smoking
* Lack of Physical Activity
* Being Obese
* Too much intake of common salt
* Stress
* Old Age
* Genetics, Hereditary- family History of High Blood Pressure
* Chronic Kidney Diseases
* Adrenal and Thyroid Diseases
* Pregnancy

Diet and exercise is the key to keeping blood pressure low. The fact that you are no longer young and fit is the real problem, and we all inevitably develop hardening of the arteries known as “atherosclerosis”, but it is the leading effect in high blood pressure.

Life Style Changes:
- Get leisure time physical activity at least three times per week to maintain normal body weight with BMI lower than 25. Yoga is perfect for everyone trying to lose weight or reduce arthritis, stress, or just increase agility, balance and peace of mind. Find a few favorite Yoga poses from classes at your gym or favourite video and try to incorporate at least five to twenty minutes of these gentle stretches in to your day. Meditation's impact on the risk of cardiovascular disease including hypertension is phenomenal.
- Reduce Salt/ Sodium Intake. Choose foods that are lower in salt and sodium content. Reducing sodium intake will work better if you increase consumption of potassium. - Avoid processed foods, junk foods and fried foods.
- Delete foods and drinks sweetened with fructose from your diet entirely.
- Go easy on alcohol. Drinking too much alcohol can raise blood pressure. Limit your alcohol intake to one drink if you are a woman and two drinks if you are a man.
- Decrease/Eliminate Caffeine: Caffeine is just like throwing gasoline on the hypertensive fire. Now the reason why people get those “caffeine headaches” is because they are used to caffeine restricting all their blood vessels…but once the body metabolizes all the caffeine we get the painful rebound headache effect called “vasodilation” which means that our arteries dilate and cause a throbbing headache.

Vitamin & Minerals: It is of utmost importance that you take necessary Vitamin D, B3, A, E & C along with appropriate Magnesium intakes.

Medicinal Herb Remedies
- Cordyceps is a Chinese herb which slows the heart rate, lowers blood pressure and yet also increases the blood supply to the arteries and heart.
- Reishi mushrooms used in Chinese medicine boost your immune system, fight cancer, ward off heart disease, calm your nerves and relieve both allergies and inflammation.
- Hawthorn Berries have been traditionally used to treat high blood pressure and a variety of heart realted issues.
- Stevia Herb has shown in a number of animal and human studies to reduce hypertension.
- Green tea helps prevent clogged arteries and keeps blood pressure under control.
- Ginger reduces blood pressure and prevents blood clots.
- Garlic reduces the blood pressure by 10-15%. That's about 20 points for many people with high blood pressure.
- Cinnamon helps lower blood pressure as well as circulating blood glucose, triglycerides, and LDL cholesterol.
- Cardamom improves antioxidant status while breaking down blood clots without significantly altering blood lipids and fibrinogen levels.
- Oregano contains the compound carvacrol which has been proven to be effective against blood pressure.
- Cayenne Pepper is effective in combating high blood pressure.

Diet:
- Substituting high sugar grains with gluten free Sorghum, Pearl Millet and Finger Millet can neutralize the hypertensive effect of excess sodium.
- Foods with alpha-lipoic acid & calcium like curd, spinach, leafy vegetables, Chick peas, Red Kidney Beans and Moth Bean.
- Brown rice or unpolished rice are natural, side-effect free angiotensin II blocker. Angiotensin II can trigger serious cardiovascular problems.
- Celery contains active compounds named phthalides which serves to calm the nervous system, automatically counterbalancing stress levels.
- Eating payaya on an empty stomach can lower high blood pressure within a month.
- Coconut Water is high in potassium which helps reduce blood pressure as it balances out sodium which promotes hypertension.
- Apple Cider Vinegar is a miracle cure for high blood pressure patients.
- Onions contain quercetin, an antioxidant flavonol found to prevent heart disease and stroke.
- Olives oil contain Polyphenols especially high in extra-virgin olive oil which provide significant reduction in blood pressure.
- Pomegranate, Blueberries & Grapes contain polyphenol resveratrol that protects the blood vessel walls and improves the way these cells respond to metabolic shifts that affect blood pressure.
- Nuts & Seeds provide omega-3 which is essential for vascular tissue/artery maintainance and cholesterol reduction.
- Watermelon helps against narrowing of blood vessels and has a vasodilatory effect.
- Fish has always been considered health food. Fish oils are known to maintain blood pressure.
- Drink plenty of fluids daily to drain out all the unhealthy salts from the body. Drink water equivalent to 50 percent of your body weight in ounce. For example, if you weigh 140 pounds, drink 70 ounce of water every day.