Sunday, September 9, 2012

High Blood Pressure Diet - Including Important Tips to Help Lower Blood Pressure or Hypertension

Following a high blood pressure diet is important for anyone that is concerned about his or her health, especially heart health. As the heart pumps blood through the body the pressure that is required to do so is blood pressure. There are two readings when blood pressure is measured. Diastolic pressure is measured when the heart is between beats, and systolic pressure is when the heart pumps blood through the body. Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is often called the silent killer because symptoms are usually not noticeable except for a dizzy feeling or slight headache. There are steps that you can take to control your blood pressure, most notably through diet and exercise.
There are factors that put people at a higher risk of developing high blood pressure. These include inactivity, excess weight, alcohol consumption, smoking, stress, lack of sleep, and an unhealthy diet. High blood pressure can be controlled with medication, but choosing a healthy lifestyle should be the first step. Those that want to reduce their risk of developing high blood pressure should follow an exercise routine and a healthy eating plan.
One of the most important foods that should be regulated is sodium intake. Sodium naturally occurs in fruits and vegetables and is required for our bodies to function. The problem with sodium is that most people simply consume too much of it. It is scientifically proven that a reduction of sodium intake can indeed lower blood pressure. It is recommended that sodium be limited to no more that 2,400 mg per day for a healthy person. That works out to be only one teaspoon of salt per day. Those following a low sodium diet should limit their sodium to less than 2,000 mg per day. In 2010, the American Dietetic Association is recommending a much lower number of only 1500 mg of sodium per day, to anyone over the age of 51, or you are black, or have high blood pressure, or have diabetes, or chronic kidney disease. This figure includes all salt and sodium that is eaten or consumed (including liquids), either in processed foods or if added at the table or when cooking. It is important to read the labels on the food you are purchasing and make an effort to only buy foods that contain less than 500 mg of sodium per serving (per meal).
Typical foods that are high in sodium include:
  • Baked items: pastries, biscuits and bread
  • Canned foods
  • Pre-made foods: pizzas, frozen dinners, and packaged food
  • Most cheeses
  • Bacon, mayonnaise based salads, lunch meats, smoked meats, and canned meats like tuna or chicken
  • Snack foods - French fries, chips, crackers, pretzels
  • Condiments - Pickles, olives, relish, mayonnaise, catsup, mustard, salad dressings, bbq sauce, steak sauce, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce
  • Fast food
Following a blood pressure diet will help maintain a healthy blood pressure level. It is also important to stay active and maintain proper fluid levels. If you are dehydrated the sodium level of your body will increase because your body is trying to hold all the water it has. The body retains the sodium because sodium has the ability to help cells hold water. This increase in sodium causes blood pressure to increase. For proper blood pressure control it is recommended to drink at least two liters (about 9 cups) of water per day (not softened water). Unfortunately, most of us (it is estimated over 75%) are chronically dehydrated.
Remember that one of the most vital points of the high blood pressure diet is the reduction of your daily sodium intake. This can be accomplished by making the right choices in the foods you eat and drink. Today, with the increasing number of salt substitutes, salt free seasonings and heart healthy recipes available, eating healthy and choosing to follow a low sodium diet has never been easier.
You'll learn how you can use seasonings, fresh herbs, fresh fruits & vegetables, olive oil, nuts, vinegars, wine and different cooking techniques to flavor your food without adding salt and sugar. You'll find out how to get more flavor than you ever thought possible.From Debbie Benson owner of Benson's Gourmet Seasonings with over 30 years experience promoting salt free seasonings. Loving to cook and being salt free most of my life by choice, I have learned a lot of tips and tricks to create flavor without salt and sugar that seems to be in everything these days.

How to Lower High Blood Pressure - Naturally

While hypertension can be a lifelong problem, learning how to lower high blood pressure doesn't have to involve fistfuls of medicine and long waits in the doctor's office. It can be done naturally by making just a few small lifestyle and dietary changes that can provide years of benefits without costing a lot, requiring tons of pills, or eating a bland, boring diet.
Get Some Exercise. Taking a twenty-minute walk every day helps lower high blood pressure and only requires 20 minutes and a good pair of shoes. Not only will it bring it down, but it will prevent it from getting higher, and the physical benefits extend far beyond that. Indulging in more vigorous physical exercise can also help hypertension, but be sure to consult with a doctor before beginning any exercise program.
Meditate, Mindfully. Medical studies show that Mindfulness Meditation helps ease stress, one of the major contributors to high blood pressure, and may trigger natural healing processes the body can use to repair physical damage. Practice it daily by sitting comfortably, closing your eyes, and quietly following your breath. Breathe in and out slowly, in a controlled manner, through your nose.
Take a Breath. While not all hypertension is stress-related, anything that gets the heart pumping gets pressure up. Activities like deep breathing exercises, yoga and tai chi that focus on slow, steady breathing provide relaxation benefits that reduce blood pressure and help to decrease the stress hormones that keep it high. Even five minutes of slow, deep breathing at the beginning and end of the day can help ease stress and get high blood pressure under control. Everyone interested in learning how to lower blood pressure naturally, should master this very simple technique.
Cut the Salt. One of the most common contributors to hypertension is a high sodium intake. To cut back on sodium, cut back on processed or pre-prepared foods and focus on fresh or specifically marked low-sodium varieties of food. Replace salt as a seasoning with other spices, herbs, or specifically made salt-free seasonings.
Get some Potassium. Potassium is one of the most important nutrients for heart health and may even help flush excess salt out of the body. Eating potassium-rich foods like avocados, bananas, spinach and brussel sprouts can help reduce hypertension while providing plenty of flavor.
Assess your nutritional status. Too much or too little of vital vitamins and minerals can result in high blood pressure. Have nutritional testing to asses your levels and supplement accordingly.
Cut the caffeine. Caffeine activates your stress response system, thus increasing your heart rate and blood pressure.
Consider the Paleolithic diet. Hypertension occurs because you are eating foods that are not compatible with your biochemistry. The Paleolithic diet is the diet that human beings are genetically designed to eat, and thus promotes good heart and circulatory health. The Paleolithic diet consists of organic, grass-fed and free-range meats, eggs, fish, nuts, seeds, low-starch vegetables and fruits.
Regular exercise, a better diet, balancing nutrients and relaxation techniques prove that learning how to lower high blood pressure does not have to come from a bottle or require a trip to the doctor's office.

Five Ways to Reduce High Blood Pressure Through Your Diet Alone!

If you have high blood pressure, you know that this increases your risk of future heart and circulatory problems and may even result in an eventual heart attack. While your physician may prescribe medications as one of the ways to reduce blood pressure, there are a number of dietary changes you can make which can help reduce your blood pressure to normal.
Here are five foods that, eaten regularly, are time-tested ways to reduce hypertension. Most have several other components that provide additional benefits to your general health, as well as other health conditions that may be associated with high blood pressure. Be sure to consult with your physician and discuss the appropriateness of each of these foods to your specific health picture. Augmenting your medication with these dietary ways to reduce high blood pressure may require more frequent testing of your blood pressure. Your doctor may want to adjust your prescription dosage accordingly.
Garlic is perhaps your most valuable in reducing high pressure. Garlic contains allium, the active property in effecting a reduction in HBP. Onions also contain allium, although not in as high a concentration. Both garlic and onions reduce high blood pressure, 'bad' cholesterol and can prevent blood clots. Garlic is also a natural antibiotic, effective against an array of pathogens. There are so many ways to incorporate garlic and onions into your diet, so load up! Many clinical studies have found that just a couple of large cloves each day can cut your risk of heart attack in half!
Cucumbers - good in a salad seasoned with those garlic and onions - help lower your blood pressure, are good for your digestive tract and can also relieve the symptoms of rheumatism. Cucumbers also have a mild diuretic effect, so mention this to your doctor.
Artichokes are yet another of the effective ways to reduce hypertension naturally. If you're overweight, this is a good addition to that salad plate as well. If you are diabetic, artichokes can help regulate blood sugar levels and provide plenty of that fiber you need.
Celery is an old-time remedy for hypertension, so let's add a few stalks to our growing salad dish. Like cucumbers, celery is mildly diuretic, reducing water retention. Celery is good for diabetics in regulating blood sugar, as well as reducing water retention.
Certain mushrooms have long been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine as one of the ways to reduce high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. In particular, shiitake and maitake mushrooms are found to be especially effective in this regard. Shiitake mushrooms are usually available fresh in larger supermarkets. Both are also available in dried form and are easily reconstituted in water. A mix of these mushrooms makes a delicious soup, or salad accent. Other notable benefits of eating these mushrooms include boosting the immune system function, fighting off viral conditions and as a preventative and treatment for cancer.