As we age, we commonly face Hypertension, or high blood pressure – Blood pressure is the measurement of force applied to arteries walls. If it’s too high, it can cause serious damage to the arteries and force our heart to overwork, and over time, uncontrolled high blood pressure increases the risk of heart disease, stroke and kidney disease, by damaging the blood vessels, brain, heart, lungs and kidneys.
People with family history of High Blood Pressure and diabetics are most at risk of Hypertension (60% of People with Diabetes have High Blood Pressure). People with Prehypertension, when blood pressure is consistently above normal level, are twice at risk to develop High Blood Pressure-related diseases.
What Elements raise Hypertension?
Drinking too much alcohol can increase blood pressure. No more than 2 drinks a day for men and 1 a day for women is the recommended guidelines.
There are no studies showing a link between caffeine and High Blood Pressure; However, it might have temporary effects, especially when drinking large quantities.
Exercising strengthen the heart and gentle regular exercise helps lower your blood pressure.
The main component of salt, sodium causes water retention and can raise blood pressure. The RDA is of 1.5 grams of sodium a day. 1 Tablespoon (Tbsp) of salt contains 6.9 mg of Sodium, and 1 Teaspoon (Tsp) contains 2.3 mg.
Do you understand now why Junk food and ready-made meals are the number one enemy when it comes to high blood pressure, for these produce are full of Salt (and most often sugar and bad/transFats)?
Have you ever looked at labels, composition of food at fast-food outlets?
Perhaps, it is now time.
Stress has an immediate effect on blood pressure; however, no studies reveal that it may become a long-term condition. Somewhat, it may have an indirect connection and is often related to poor eating habits, drinking or smoking, which can contribute to high blood pressure and heart disease.
Cold and flu medicines that contain decongestants, steroids, diet pills, birth control pills, and some antidepressants are part of one of several classes of medicine that can cause Hypertension. Always, seek medical advice before taking medicines and inform your practitioner about your current condition.
Loosing even a little weight through dieting or by changing eating habits can make a difference by reducing the strain on heart, and decrease the risk of high blood pressure. Children who are overweight can also have High Blood Pressure.
During the second half of pregnancy, Gestational hypertension, a kind of high blood pressure manifests itself and if untreated, may lead to Preeclampsia (limiting the supply of blood and oxygen to the baby and affecting the mother’s kidneys and brain); however, after birth the mother’s blood pressure returns to normal.
First and foremost, eating habits must improve and switching to a healthy diet and lifestyle (Exercising, Muscle-strengthening activities, Yoga, meditation, relaxation…) is primordial.
Focusing on Nutrient-dense foods from a wide array of colour (think rainbow), such as Raw Vegetables and Fruits daily (they should make 50–75% of your plate), greens, wholegrain foods and beans must be part of your main meal, and cutting down on red meats (opt for grass-fed and Organic, or Demeter certified), salt, products rich in fats (especially, hydrogenated and trans fats…) and ready-made meals and highly processed foods.
All of the above can significantly decrease the risk of heart disease, reduce your blood pressure and protect your body from further damages.
Drinking diuretics like spring water (with diuretics properties), tea and coffee, can help the body evacuate excess sodium; however, this is not an excuse to add more salt to your food.
Frequent urinating depletes other vital minerals and vitamins.
American Heart Association.
American Heart Association: “Stroke.”
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: “Your Guide to Lowering Blood Pressure.”
FDA: “Medications for High Blood Pressure.”
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
Registered Naturopath, Nutritional Therapist, Iridologist, Lecturer, NLP practitioner and Personal Performance Coach.