High Blood Pressure (Hypertension): A condition in which the force of the blood against the artery walls is TOO high. Your heart is working its butt off to get blood pumping to your entire body.
It is crazy to think that 1/3 of Americans have Hypertension (defined as blood pressure consistently higher than 140/90) , and another 30 percent are pre-hypertensive (persistent blood pressure readings above 120/80). High blood pressure puts you at a much greater risk for a heart attack or stroke which can lead to death.
The good news is Hypertension can be controlled and without the use of a prescription drug!
You want to know how?
Your diet is oh so very important and plays a key role in getting your high blood pressure under control. Clinical studies show that eating whole foods over processed foods can reduce blood pressure. The research has been done and has concluded that vegetarian diets (including vegans who are doing it right) reduce the risk of high blood pressure (and many other diseases like cancer) as well as helping manage HBP (some cases it has been reversed!)
The research, by scientists in Japan and the United States, was a meta-analysis of 39 high-quality, previously conducted hypertension studies from 18 countries, with a total of more than 21,000 participants. The researchers found that people who avoid meat had consistently lower and healthier blood pressure levels.
JAMA Internal Medicine
If you are vegan don’t think you can’t develop high blood pressure because you can if you aren’t watching your sodium intake and saturated fat intake.
- Maintaining a normal weight.
- Eating plenty of fruits, vegetables and give almond, coconut, cashew or hemp milk a shot.
- Eating less saturated fat and salt.
- Getting a minimum of thirty minutes of aerobic exercise per day. Try a walk or come up with a little routine of your own.
- Following the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension)
The Dash Diet recommends:
- less than or equal to 27% of calories from fat
- less than or equal to 6% saturated fat as a percentage of calories
- more than or equal to 18 percent of calories as proteins
- more than or equal to 31 grams of fiber
- at least 4,700 milligrams of potassium
- 500 milligrams of magnesium, and
- 1,240 milligrams of calcium
Did you know that fruits and vegetables cause the release of a hormone that opens blood vessels. Eating up to 6 servings a day of both fruits and vegetables can reduce blood pressure.
- Use cayenne (capsicum), chamomile, fennel, haw thrown berries, parsley and rosemary for high blood pressure.
Caution: Do not use chamomile if you are allergic to ragweed. Do not use during pregnancy or nursing. It may interact with warfarin or cyclosporine, so patients using these drugs should avoid it.
- Hops and valerian root are good for calming the nerves.
- Studies show that mistletoe can reduce symptoms of high blood. pressure, especially headaches and dizziness.
- Avoid licorice, as this herb can elevate blood pressure.
- Take 2 tablespoons of Flax Seed Oil per day.
- Avoid ALL alcohol, caffeine and tobacco.
- Eat grains like brown rice, buckwheat, millet and oats.
- Avoid all animal fats (obviously)
- Keep your weight down.
- Do not take supplements containing the amino acids phenylalanine or tyrosine. Also avoid the artificial sweetener aspartame (Equal, Nutrasweet), which contains phenylalanine.
- Do not take antihistamines except under a physicians direction.
- As much as possible, avoid stress.