Hypertension has been called the “Silent Killer” because many times the person with hypertension shows no symptoms. Once a person is diagnosed with hypertension, and they’d like to go the natural route, you might wonder what their options are.
Thankfully, there are several natural remedies that have been reported to help with high blood pressure. Below are foods that can help the hypertensive patient (always seek the advice of your medical doctor), as well as some of the things that you’ll want to cut out or limit in your diet.
Garlic has been used in China for hypertension for centuries. One clove of raw garlic per day can reduce blood pressure, though not as quickly as medication can. Garlic is also great for colds, and has been used as an anti-cancer and to lower cholesterol levels.
Omega 3’s have been long used for hypertension. It is thought that at the root of many diseases is inflammation. Omega 3’s help to reduce inflammation as well as preventing the buildup of plaque and the hardening of arteries. A great source of Omega 3’s is fish. The American Heart Association recommends consumption of two servings of fish per week for persons with no history of coronary heart disease and at least one serving of fish daily for those with known coronary heart disease.
Cinnamon is thought to not only help lower blood pressure, but also to help control blood sugar levels in diabetics. Studies showing the efficacy of cinnamon with hypertension were done with 2 g of cinnamon per day. Cinnamon may also be able to help lower cholesterol.
Spinach is a food that comes highly recommended for hypertensive patients because of its high fiber content, as well as its levels of calcium and Vitamin C.
Beans, especially soybeans and lima beans, are foods that are effective for reducing the blood pressure because of their high content of fiber and potassium.
Vegetables in general are not only a part of a well-balanced diet, but are very important for the hypertensive patient because of the amount of fiber, magnesium, potassium, calcium, and Vitamin C that they contain.
Bananas are a fruit that is often recommended for hypertension because of their high levels of potassium.
Oatmeal, bran flakes, and shredded wheat are all important cereals for preventing and maintaining regular blood pressure levels because of their high fiber content.
White baked potatoes are especially good for lowering the blood pressure because they are packed with potassium and magnesium.
Low-fat dairy products like skim milk and yogurt are great for hypertension because of their calcium.
Some things that should be limited (or even eliminated) from the diet include sodium – which most sources say to limit to no more than 2,300 milligrams a day, and some go so far as to say 1,500 mg. Alcohol intake should also be monitored and drastically reduced or limited for those suffering from hypertension. Alcohol can cause the buildup of fat in the bloodstream, cause blood cells to clump up, and put pressure on the heart. Caffeine is another drug that should be limited or even eliminated in hypertensive patients (consult your doctor). Too much red meat can also cause inflammation and hardening of the arteries. As with most things, regular moderate exercise can help lower blood pressure naturally. The resulting weight loss takes a lot of stress off of the heart as well, and is known to reduce blood pressure.
What are you doing to reduce your risks of hypertension? How do you feel about it? Have you thought about it? Share your thoughts with us!