High blood pressure has reached epidemic proportions in the US today with over 65 million people having high blood pressure and another 45 million suffering from a condition known as pre-hypertension. A symptomless condition, high blood pressure heightens your risk of heart attack and stroke and you could quite easily be suffering from it without any knowledge of it until it is too late.
Of course there are medications available that can assist in lowering blood pressure, but many of these are accompanied by side effects and, although some people might have to take medication at least in the short term to control high blood pressure, a far better answer is to seek out some natural remedies for high blood pressure if you are able to.
For almost all of us high blood pressure is related to weight and diet and this is a huge problem today when two thirds of Americans are either overweight or obese. Furthermore, the majority of Americans get way too much salt in their diet and not enough of the many other beneficial things which can actually reduce blood pressure. In a nutshell, you can eat your way to a lower blood pressure, if you know how to do it.
In truth, it is often possible to normalize your blood pressure quite quickly if you alter your diet and start to take some exercise. Having said this, if you’ve not been exercising for a long period of time you should not suddenly begin a vigorous exercise program and it is always sensible to consult your doctor before beginning any exercise program.
To begin with though let’s talk about some things which you should avoid and top of the list is salt. Salt (or sodium) is one of the main culprits in today’s epidemic of high blood pressure. Excessive dietary fat is also an offender because it encourages arteriosclerosis, weight gain, and other problems that result in high blood pressure. So, two things which you ought to avoid in your diet are salt and excess fat, principally saturated or trans fats.
So, what types of food should you have in your diet to help you in lowering your blood pressure? Potassium is one of the chief substances which is lacking in today’s American diet and which is extremely beneficial for your blood pressure. Potassium assists in lowering blood pressure just as sodium helps raise your blood pressure and therefore including sufficient potassium in your diet can help even out blood pressure.
It is easy to get potassium in your diet by simply loading up on fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, as long as they have no added salt or sugar. Even though this may seem tasteless to many people, it is an excellent way to ensure that you regularize your blood pressure. Naturally of course, at the same time you also want to cut down on the salt to no more than the daily sodium intake recommended of about 2400 mg each day. A very good way to do this is not to add salt to your diet at all as natural and unprocessed foods contain sufficient salt and, if you feel you need to flavor your food then simply try adding herbs and spices.
Magnesium and calcium are two other minerals which can help to reduce blood pressure. These two minerals are considered calming minerals and the majority of Americans do not get enough of them in their diets. Dairy products that are low in fat are an excellent source of calcium as are legumes, nuts, and dark leafy green vegetables. You should aim to get a balance of roughly two parts of magnesium to three parts of calcium. Foods such as white beans, sesame seeds and soybeans not only have a lot of magnesium and calcium but they are also excellent sources of potassium.
Lastly, ensure that you drink enough water and also get enough fiber in your diet. Fiber is important because it helps to clear toxins and unhealthy substances out of your body and it also helps you feel full so that you are not tempted to overeat.