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Natural Remedies to Lower High Blood Pressure
Imagine trying to squeeze dishwashing liquid through a bottle head that has become caked and blocked with solidified soap. You have to press harder to get any out, and when it does, it shoots out erratically. This occurs everyday in those that have high blood pressure, or hypertension. With this common condition, the heart muscle contracts too forcefully and sends blood driving through the body with excess strength. Clogged arteries can create additional resistance that causes damage to the inner layers of the arteries. This "wear and tear" promotes the plaque buildup that leads to heart disease. People with high blood pressure are more than twice as likely to have a heart attack compared to people with normal blood pressure. Hypertension also strains and eventually weakens the heart, while very high blood pressure can cause blood vessels to burst in the brain, causing a stroke.
Causes of High Blood Pressure
• Chronic insomnia
• A poor diet
• Magnesium deficiency
• Too much alcohol
• Lack of exercise
• Health conditions like kidney disease or thyroid dysfunction
• Birth control pills
• Certain drugs, e.g. amphetamines (stimulants),
diet pills and some cold and allergy pills
What Does the BP Test Mean
A blood pressure reading has two parts, systolic pressure (the top number) and diastolic pressure (the bottom number). The higher systolic reading represents the pressure just after your heart beats (i.e. when your heart contracts and pushes blood out into arteries). The lower diastolic reading is the pressure while your heart is at rest, refilling with blood between beats. The ideal adult blood pressure reading is less than 120/80 (mmHg). High blood pressure is considered anything higher than 140/90.
The connection between salt consumption and elevated blood pressure has been the focus yet even with a reduction in eating salt the rates of blood pressure continue to rise. New research suggest that increasing the amount of potassium and magnesium in the diet could counter the negative effects of salt consumption and lower blood pressure. We need sodium to modulate muscle and nerve function, and to regulate our fluid balance and blood pressure. In northern countries like Canada the main source of iodide in the diet is from iodized salts. So when we tell people to avoid all salt, we get a corresponding rise in cases of low thyroid function because the thyroid needs iodine (the reason iodine was added to salt was to improve the function of the thyroid). The key to optimal heart health is that we just don't need more salt than potassium and magnesium. Most Canadians ingest twice as much sodium compared to potassium. Some of us consume up to 20 grams of sodium a day! But the body needs five times as much potassium as sodium. Potassium supplements would not be necessary if we simply ate more vegetables (seven to 10 half-cup servings to be exact). Most vegetables contain 50 times more potassium than sodium. As an example, the ratio of potassium-to-sodium is: apples, 90:1 bananas, 440:1 carrots, 75:1 oranges, 260:1 potatoes, 110:1.
DHA Lowers High Blood Pressure
Fish oils are well known for their heart-healthy effects. Containing the fatty acids EPA and DHA, fish oils, are vital for the heart. Calamari oil, an alternative to fish oil, comes from South American calamari (squid) that are sustainably harvested and an eco-friendly source of omega-3 fatty acids with more DHA than fish oil. Calamari oil is more stable than traditional fish oils, making it less prone to rancidity. Also, calamari oil does not cause the fish aftertaste or unpleasant "repeating" that is common with fish oil supplements. DHA is superior for lowering high blood pressure and it is more potent at supporting circulation. DHA is also the key to raising "good" HDL cholesterol. Also, DHA, not EPA, has been found to support your brain and is the best fatty acid for eye health. If you care about the environment Calamari oil is your best choice as it comes from deep-water, spawns quickly, multiplies fast and because of this calamari does not have the same issues with heavy metals like mercury that fish do.
Coenzyme Q10, a Heart’s Best Friend
A meta-analysis of human clinical trials using coenzyme Q10 for high blood pressure was led by Professor Frank Rosenfeldt, the Director of the Cardiac Surgical Research Unit at Alfred Hospital in Melbourne, Australia. His team reviewed all published trials of CoQ10 for hypertension and assessed overall efficacy, consistency of therapeutic action, and side-effect incidence. The meta-analysis evaluated 12 clinical trials involving 362 patients comprising three randomized controlled trials, one cross-over study, and eight open-label studies. The research group concluded that coenzyme Q10 has the potential in hypertensive patients to lower systolic blood pressure by up to 17 mm/Hg and diastolic blood pressure by up to 10 mmHg without significant side-effects.
Magnesium Regulates Heart
Magnesium has a significant effect on lowering high blood pressure. Japanese researchers have finally clarified inconsistent results from other investigations of magnesium and blood pressure. Some results had indicated that magnesium lowered high blood pressure whereas other research did not. Japanese research following individuals over an eight-week period showed that blood pressure was significantly lower while taking magnesium. And the higher the blood pressure, the larger the decrease seen in those supplementing with magnesium. Researchers believe magnesium acts to relax blood vessels, an effect proven to help lower blood pressure. When blood vessels are constricted – not relaxed – the heart works harder to pump blood through the body, causing blood pressure to increase.
Women should be particularly interested in magnesium supplementation if they have high blood pressure. Often, traditional high blood pressure medications do not work as well for women, but magnesium supplementation effectively lowers high blood pressure in women. High blood pressure medications can cause erectile dysfunction in some men. With this in mind, men should be employing natural remedies to reduce high blood pressure as well.
Magnesium supplements are available in many forms. Some have a laxative effect and cause diarrhea when taken at a dose high enough to lower blood pressure and stop muscle pain. The best form of magnesium is magnesium bisglycinate. When magnesium is bound to amino acids like glycine no diarrhea occurs, absorption is increased and maximum benefit is achieved. Magnesium bisglycinate crosses the blood brain barrier and enters cells quickly. Lowering high blood pressure is simple by adding the key nutrients like Coenzyme Q10, Magnesium bisglycinate, and Calamari DHA. Walk 30 minutes per day. De-stress your life and eat more potassium rich foods.
Lorna R. Vanderhaeghe is the author of 11 books. You can read Your 30 Day Heart Smart Solution FREE at www.hormonehelp.com under the book button.