Graphic from usa.gov
There are three basics to curing hypertension (high blood pressure) naturally:
1) Avoiding what is bad for you, in other words, all the things that cause the illness in the first place.
2) Doing what is good for you naturally, that is basically good, natural nutrition.
3) Exercise, especially cardiovascular exercise.
1) Of course I have to mention what everyone already knows ( or most people do) which is all the more reason I have to mention it because it’s that important. Avoid red meat! as much as possible. Why? Fat and Cholesterol. What do these things do? They clog up the veins and arteries. What is the difference between veins and arteries? These terms are often used interchangeably. Basically arteries carry the oxygen containing blood from the lungs to the rest of the body. Veins carry the blood after it has given nourishment and oxygen to the body back to the lungs to be replenished with more oxygen. Blood is blue when it has no oxygen and red when it does have oxygen.
How do clogged up arteries and veins cause high blood pressure? Remember when you used to put your thumb over the end of a garden hose to close up the opening and a thinner stream of water came out that travelled at a faster speed and squirted farther? That’s what happens when the veins and arteries get clogged up. There is a smaller passage for the blood to get through. Therefore the pressure of the blood gets higher. Just as the same amount of water has to get through because of how much is coming from the source but the pressure builds up in the garden hose so the pressure of the blood has to go up to get the same amount of blood flowing that we need to stay alive. Why is this so bad? It’s bad because it wears out the heart which has to work harder whether a person is awake or asleep and so the heart never gets any rest. This can cause heart disease. If a main artery to the brain gets clogged up even for a short period of time it causes a stroke and can leave a person with brain damage. This can cause a person to have full or partial paralysis.
How about eating turkey and chicken as a substitute? That is a good first step. There is less cholesterol and fat but this isn’t good enough. It’s still too much cholesterol and fat. Ever heard of a continental breakfast? It may not be what you think it is. Continental refers to the main continent of Europe. A continental breakfast is bread or pastry, fruit juice or fresh fruit and coffee or tea or milk to drink, milk being more for children. A continental breakfast could include croissant rolls for instance but believe it or not croissant rolls contain a lot of butter which is made from cream which is the fat of the milk. This is certainly better however than eating meat and eggs and getting all that fat and cholesterol. People were not intended to eat meat three meals in a day. (More about that in another article.)
Photo from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
What else to avoid? Fried foods especially deep fried! Why? The type of oil that is used is hydrogenated. This is when oil is heated, put under intensely high pressure and has metal added forcing the hydrogen molecules in between the molecules of the oil. Why is this done? Longer shelf life which makes the oil cheaper. There is a longer shelf life because the hydrogen molecules make it more difficult for the oil to break down. This, also makes it more difficult for the body to break it down. Hydrogenated oils and saturated fat destroy the body’s ability to break down cholesterol and fat. What is saturated fat? Saturated fat is saturated with hydrogen molecules which makes it difficult for the body to break it down. Some saturated fats are naturally occurring such as in red meat. Poly-unsaturated fats are better. Mono-unsaturated fats are best.
Hydrogenated oils can be found in all kinds of processed foods. It is added to peanut butter to keep the peanut oil from separating from the peanut butter. It is better to buy natural peanut butter that you have to stir when you first open because the oil has separated to the top. Hydrogenated oils can be found in rice mixes, macaroni mixes and instant European coffees like the kind that have chocolate in them. They are used to fry potato chips and other chips. The all purpose cooking oils that they sell in the supermarket are hydrogenated. It is better to buy natural, pure-pressed oils from a natural food store. Margarine is made up almost entirely from hydrogenated oils. People have been taught that margarine is healthier than butter because it does not contain fat but it is better to get some fat than to get the substances that destroy the body’s natural ability to break down fat and cholesterol. Hydrogenated oils and saturated fat are the reason a person can diet or even fast and not lose weight.
Avoid caffeine and other stimulants! Every time someone drinks a cup of coffee their blood pressure goes up instantly. How do stimulants like caffeine drive up blood pressure? Drugs that are stimulants including nicotine cause the electrical currents in the central nervous system and in the brain, as well as, in the nerves throughout the body to speed up. The electronic impulses that go out from the spinal cord to the heart that control the beating of the heart speed up. A person’s heart beats faster, his pulse gets faster and his blood pressure goes up. People who are addicted to drugs like these have them in their system all the time even when they are asleep giving their hearts no rest. Hence the need for depressant drugs to counter the effects which, also, cause damage to the heart. (More about this in an article about addictions.)
Do not get too much sodium in the diet. The body needs salt to retain water otherwise a person would dehydrate. Our bodies are mainly saline solution (water and salt). The problem is people get too much salt and other forms of sodium in their diet. This is easy to do because of hidden salt. Salt is one of the most common ingredients for preserving food to give it a long shelf life. There can be salt in things and you can’t even taste it for instance in sweet breakfast cereals that are, also, full of sugar. Too much sodium in the blood thickens the blood which drives up the blood pressure. A lot of preservatives are sodium such as sodium nitrate, sodium phosphate, tri-sodium phosphate, sodium benzoate. Avoid preservatives.
2) Using things that are good for you.
A good natural non-fattening diet is good. This should include whole grains, fruit and vegetables. All these have fiber. Unhealthy diets do not have enough fiber.
Photo by George Hodan
Use good oils. Natural pure pressed oils are the best. Some people want to use virgin olive oil only. This is because it’s the only natural oil they know about. It’s great for some things like Italian dishes but is not a good all-purpose cooking oil. Natural pure-pressed canola oil is good. Believe it or not there are oils that help the body to break down fat and cholesterol. One of these is natural pure-pressed soy oil. It contains omega essential fatty acids. What are fatty acids? They are acids that the body uses to break down fat and cholesterol. Fish oil contains essential fatty acids that break down fat and cholesterol. It is good to get fish in the diet especially cold water ocean going fish such as tuna and salmon. These contain the most essential fatty acids. Flax seed oil contains omega essential fatty acids. It, also, has many health benefits. Besides breaking down fat and cholesterol it is anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-carcinogenic. It can be found in the refrigerated section of a natural food store because it breaks down with heat. To preserve its potency it is best to keep it refrigerated. You can pour one to two table-spoons of it on your food before you eat it or put it in a salad dressing. As with many things that have to do with good natural nutrition it is a matter of doing this daily over a period of time to get the full health benefits.
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Magnesium. Magnesium in the diet daily helps to bring down blood pressure. Nineteen out of twenty people who use magnesium supplements will lower their blood pressure. I do not recommend the use of mineral supplements as it is too easy to get too much which can be very harmful. It is difficult to get too much from natural foods as nature intended. Magnesium can be found in almonds, pecans and cashews.
Potassium. In order to keep down blood pressure one must have the proper ratio of potassium to sodium. Most people get too much sodium and not enough potassium. The ratio between these two minerals is important to a myriad of the body’s functions.
Magnesium and potassium can be found in bananas. Other good sources of potassium are potatoes and cabbage.
Photo by Anna Langova
3) Exercise is absolutely essential to keep down blood pressure. Listen to your body. It tells you what you need. Why do we get up and stretch? Because when we are in one position too long the circulation of our blood gets restricted. Stretching and changing positions gets our blood flowing properly so even more so exercise gets our blood flowing. Cardiovascular exercise is even better. It gets the blood flowing even more. What is cardiovascular exercise? It is the kind of exercise that gets the heart and lungs really going. Cardio refers to the heart. Vascular refers to the system of blood vessels in our bodies. When the heart really gets pumping from things like running, bicycle riding, swimming and aerobics it pushes out blockages such as cholesterol and the fat that can accumulate along the linings of the blood vessels. Right after running when the heart starts to slow down again the blood pressure really comes down. Exercise must be done on a regular basis to get the full benefits.
If you are interested in traditional remedies try: Natural Remedies Since 1875!