Hypertension has become a problem in recent years, especially in the Western world, where our lifestyles are characterized by habits such as little activity and poor nutrition.
Hypertension itself is a problem, however, the consequences it produces in our body are even worse. Why? Well, because it puts unnecessary pressure on the circulation of blood through our organs (such as the heart and kidneys) and arteries of the arms and legs, resulting in difficulties and serious consequences. Imagine water is flowing at a much greater pressure and intensity than pipes can support–that’s what’s going on in your body under hypertension.
Although current pharmacological treatment is undoubtedly necessary for the control of particular types of hypertension, such as essential hypertension (caused by problems in the production of essential chemicals), other types of hypertension, however, are caused by bad habits, and thus, can be avoided.
So here’s our game plan: We’re going to introduce a series of dietary and nutritional rules which can act as very effective natural remedies in fighting and regulating high blood pressure.
First: How can you control your diet?
Some general rules that are necessary to incorporate into your daily diet are:
- Get more calcium in your diet
- Increase the amount of potassium you consume
- Lower your salt intake
- Reduce the amount of alcohol you consume (it’s been proven recently that there’s no basis to the belief that a moderate consumption — the classic “glass of wine a day” — can prevent or reduce blood pressure)
- Controlling your diet is fundamental, especially in people who are overweight or obese. If you’re one of these people, try eating a low-calorie, or hypocaloric, diet:
- Avoid candy, creams, processed foods, cookies, sweets, sauces
- Reduce the amount of saturated fats you eat (found in red and fatty meats, full-fat or cured cheeses, and whole milk)
- Eat more fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, and grains (preferably whole grains, which are high in fiber and low in sugar)
- Take between two to three tablespoons of olive oil a day (You can also use moringa seed oil in smaller amounts, although it’s harder to find in a Western market)
- Lose weight. It’ll reduce your blood pressure, and reduce your need for medication to lower your blood pressure.
How can you increase your calcium intake?
Since you don’t want to gain weight or eat too much fat, you should try to focus on eating:
- Fruits and vegetables: Spinach, kale, onion, watercress, thistle, chard, turnip greens, broccoli, and moringa. It’s important to remember that moringa (whether you consume the leaves or moringa seed oil) has a level of calcium four times greater than that of milk
- Legumes: White beans, chick peas, and lentils
How can you eat more potassium?
You should try to eat at least two or three pieces of fruit a day (bananas are a good option) to optimize your blood pressure.
Additionally, the consumption of Moringa oleifera can give you three times more potassium than just eating a banana.
Second: what natural remedies can you take? How much?
Some of the remedies that you can use to maintain complete control over your blood pressure are as follows:
- In the Western world, olives are well-known for for their ability to lower blood pressure, and consuming olive oil is very recommended. You can also prepare olive leaves in food, or take them ground up in supplements. The amount you should take depends on the quality of the olives.
- In the traditional Ayurvedic medicine of India, moringa seed oil is often used, as it can rival and even surpass olive oil. As with olive oil, though, the amount of this oil that you should take depends on the quality.
- Garlic, in addition to reducing blood cholesterol, can dilate the arteries (imagine your “pipes” increasing their capacity) and prevent the formation of blood clots, which can also reduce hypertension. It’s preferable to eat raw garlic, and the amount that you should aim for is one clove of raw garlic per day. You can also also take garlic supplements.
- Gingko biloba is a powerful vasodilator, which makes it one of the best supplements to improve circulation. Similarly, it can prevent the build-up of plaque in the arteries, which allows blood to flow more smoothly. The usual dose is about 30 to 40 mg of extract, taken three times a day.
- Buckthorn infusion. Pour one cup of boiling water, insert two teaspoons of white buckthorn flowers, and let it steep for 25 minutes. The best dose: one cup three times a day.
- You can also use soursop, also called graviola or guanabana. The optimal dosage is 500mg, one or two times per day.
Conclusion: hypertension, a battle on various fronts
Several natural remedies can help you reduce your blood pressure, many of which involve small changes in our day-to-day habits. Instead of being sedentary, it is vital to have a good amount of activity to control your weight and promote cardiovascular health. What does this mean? Well, in addition to changing your diet (neuropathic medicine), you have to exercise regularly, such as walking, hiking, biking, etc.
Physical activity consumes energy and calories in your body, promotes the increase of production of certain hormones which help control your blood pressure and can purify the blood by increasing your urine levels (diuresis).
Consider, also, that people who are undergoing drug treatment for hypertension should never suspend or stop their treatment, unless recommended by a specialist. Although natural treatments can help, they can never substitute pharmacological treatment in severe cases of hypertension.