You have all heard that a normal blood pressure is 120/80. what exactly does this mean? The top number is systolic the measure of pressure on your arteries when the heart is contracting. The bottom number is called diastolic, which is measured pressure in-between beats of your heart pumping blood. With high blood pressure, the systolic number being higher than 120 and diastolic being higher than 80 you risk hypertension. An elevated blood pressure is 120-129 over 80 or lower.
Mild hypertension =130-139 over 80-89
Moderate hypertension =140 - 159 over 90 or higher
Severe hypertension = 160 or higher over 115 or higher
To lower blood pressure naturally, here are a few things that should be on your "to do" list:
1. Eliminate sodium chloride intake (salt) to a maximum 1500mg which is 1/4 teaspoon.
2. Follow a high potassium diet with 3500-4700mg of potassium per day.
3. Your diet should be high fibre with complex carbohydrates.
4. Include a celery, fresh garlic and onions at a higher intake.
5. Reduce animal fats and increase vegetable oils.
6. Supplement with calcium (1000-1500mg), magnesium (500mg), zinc (15-30mg), flaxseed oil (1-2 tablespoons) and vitamin C (1-3 grams)
7. Eliminate sugar intake.
A meal with 1 cup of cooked spinach, 3oz salmon and black bean salad (1/2 cup black beans, diced tomato, celery, onion, grated garlic, 1tsp dill, fresh cilantro, flaxseed oil and vinegar will provide approximately 2,498mg of potassium.
1 cup cook spinach, medium potato, 1 cup grated zucchini, 3oz skinless chicken breast can provide approximately 1,800mg of potassium.
3oz of dried apricots for a snack can provide approximately 1,162mg of potassium.
Why is potassium so important to blood pressure? Every cell in your body has a potassium-sodium pump. With high sodium and low potassium, studies show it to be a major role in high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and even cancer. A proper diet with higher potassium and lower sodium help protect you from these diseases. It is important to note that sodium is found naturally in foods like carrots, potatoes, bananas, oranges and apples. For example, a carrot can contain 75mg of potassium and 1mg of sodium (75:1). Researches have found a ration greater than 5:1 (potassium:sodium) is optimal to maintain health.
It is important to note that when on certain high blood pressure medication that high potassium should be a concern and you need to discuss this with your doctor.
Celery plays an important role for high blood pressure. Studies were performed by researchers at the University of Chicago Medical Center where a 1/4 pound of celery every day was consumed for a week. The blood pressure of one man was 158/96 and dropped to 118/82. So give celery consumption a try.
*celery sticks and hummus
*add extra celery in your pasta sauce, rice, quinoa, soups and egg salad sandwiches.
*celery and almond butter
Celery Relish Recipe
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground clove
2 tsp Himalayan salt
1 tsp celery seed
1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
2 bunches of celery (chopped)
1 red pepper (or 2 jalapeno peppers if you like the heat)
6 large tomatoes (diced)
1/2 cup coconut sugar
Bring all ingredients to a boil and simmer for 45 minutes.
Garlic and onions have been noted to lower blood pressure in people with hypertension. Garlic can help decrease systolic pressure by 20-30 and 10-20 diastolic pressure. Remember to always include garlic and onions in your diet.
*roasted garlic mashed potato with diced onions
*garlic and herb soup (great for cold and flu season)
*garlic stuffed meatballs (1 bulb in the middle of each meatball)
*stuffed onions (instead of stuffed peppers)
Murray, Michael T., N.D. Diabetes & Hypoglycemia. 1994: New York. Three Rivers Press.
Murray, Michael T., N.D. Encyclopedia of Nutritional Supplements: The Essential Guide for Improving Your Health Naturally. 1996: New York. Three Rivers Press.
Foushee D, Ruffin J & Banerjee U. Garlis as a Natural Agent for the Treatment of Hypertension. A preliminary report. Cytobios 34:145-52, 1982.
Skrabal F, Aubock J & Hortnagl H. Low Sodium/High Potassium Diet for Prevention of Hypertension: Probable Mechanisms of Action. Lancet ii:895-900, 1981.