How To Reduce Blood Pressure

By Sarah Hobbs

No High blood pressure is safe high blood pressure. Even if your blood pressure stays only marginally above the normal levels there is increased risk of organ damage, heart attack and stroke. And of course the higher it rises and the longer it stays like that the greater your risk.

The good news is that there are natural steps you can take to help reduce your blood pressure or prevent it from increasing to dangerous levels. Studies have shown that there is a strong link between certain dietary plans and lowering blood pressure in hypertensive patients, so with a diet for high blood pressure you can use the kitchen to normalise your blood pressure levels!

Scientists found that changing your diet so that it is low in saturated fats and cholesterol, has an added emphasis on fruits and vegetables and fat free and low fat dairy products and includes whole grains and less red meat will significantly lower blood pressure. Including plenty of fish and organic poultry and cutting out processed sugars added to the blood pressure lowering effect.

Including calcium, magnesium and potassium rich foods is also important as these vital minerals are crucial elements in the fight against high blood pressure. Of course the optimum blood pressure diet is very low in salt, as salt and sodium are key elements that contribute to high blood pressure and the hardening of the arteries if consumed in disproportionate amounts.

The foods that are great for lowering blood pressure do not need to be sought out at specialty health food stores, they are everyday foods available in any supermarket. Skim milk is great for providing calcium and vitamin D. These two nutrients work together to reduce blood pressure and have been known to have about a 4% reduction rate - doesn't sound like much but it can be the difference between life and death. For vitamin D it is essential that you also get around half an hour sun exposure on about 25% of you body for optimum absorption.

Spinach is not just for Popeye, but is another great food for lowering blood pressure. Other essentials include beans and legumes and unsalted nuts and seeds. All of the above are high in magnesium and potassium, key mineral for lowering blood pressure. It is important that you get your intake of potassium through foods, as taking supplements can actually have detrimental effects on your body, so only take potassium supplements with the advice of a healthcare professional otherwise your body balance may be tipped.

Another trio of high blood pressure fighters is potatoes, soybeans and bananas. Potassium is important because of its relationship with sodium. They are inextricably linked, one is high, the other is low - so for blood pressure you want it to be the potassium high sodium low equation, otherwise it spells danger! Potassium works especially on the kidneys so it is important for guarding against renal failure and kidney disease, both risks from high blood pressure.

For the chocolate lovers amongst us, there is good news. Your favourite friend in the cupboard just became even better. Cheers dark chocolate! Recent studies have shown that dark chocolate in moderation (around 14 grams per day) will help reduce high blood pressure with no added weight gain or other adverse affects. Dark chocolate is also full of antioxidants and minerals like iron - eat it with nuts or fruit to extract the fullest amount of 'goodies' from the chocolate.

Its important to keep in mind that youdon't have to eat tasteless and bland meals to benefit your blood pressure. What you will be getting is a healthy life, full of yummy foods that will see you not only get healthier but regain control of your life, no more living in the shadow of high blood pressure. - 31820

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