A healthy blood pressure is essential to our health and wellbeing, But how does it work and what can go wrong?
The heart pumps oxygenated blood through the arteries to the entire body. Our veins bring back deoxygenized blood through lungs to re-oxygenate, and so the heart pumps it back through the body. Blood pressure measures the force of the blood against the artery walls, this measurement is called systolic. But we also measure the pressure of the blood when the heart is between beats – called diastolic. A healthy blood pressure is 120 (systolic) over 80 (diastolic).
Blood pressure does not stay the same throughout the day, it can go up like when we exercise or put effort in to and activity we are doing or if we get nervous or anxious or even when we get excited. Blood pressure will measure at its lowest when we are asleep. This is entirely normal. (Presctription for Nutritional Healing et. al.)
How hard your heart works depends on how high or low your blood pressure is. With high blood pressure for example the heart has to work harder to pump blood to all of the body.
High Blood Pressure:
The Prescription for Nutritional Healing says high, low or normal blood pressure is dependant upon a number of factors for example output of blood from the heart which can be affected if the heart is injured in any way, or the volume of blood is less than the body needs due to blockages. This in turn could affect the amount of blood getting to the organs and all of the above affects blood pressure.
High blood pressure means that the heart works harder to pump enough blood through the body to ensure that tissue and organs maintain good health. Having high blood pressure though can result in some pretty serious conditions such as kidney failure, heart failure and stroke, any one of which can be fatal.
So how do we get high blood pressure?
There are a number of reasons one can get high blood pressure according to Prescription for Nutritional Healing: coronary heart disease, kidney disorders, hyperthyroidism, diabetes, obesity and adrenal tumours.
It is certain that more and more people are getting high blood pressure due to obesity or being overweight. Losing weight and exercise can bring high blood pressure down and so take us out of the danger zone for heart problems, stroke or kidney failure – provided overweight and obesity is the reason for the high blood pressure.
The trouble with high blood pressure…
The biggest problem when we have high blood pressure, is that we do not know we have it hence it is called the ‘silent killer’ as many people only find out they have high blood pressure when disaster strikes. Most people who have high blood pressure experience no symptoms at all, very few people do experience symptoms such as head aches, sweating, rapid pulse, shortness of breath, dizziness and visual disturbances but these are normally felt only in advanced hypertension and again, not by everyone.
But what can we do about it…
First we should get regular checks with out doctor.
When high blood pressure is primary – not as a result of an illness – such as due to obesity then we can take steps to lower it on an immediate basis with good nutrition, and exercise.
Food these days is all but stripped of its nutritional value and made addictive to us, so that we crave fast food and junk food all loaded with salt, fat and sugar. This in turn brings about a very unhealthy situation for the body, making us overweight or obese; predisposing us to high blood pressure, diabetes and heart problems.
We can reverse this with our diet. But what to eat?
Okay so we know that we need to have a healthy lifestyle, lose weight and exercise so that we can eliminate the risks of high blood pressure, but how can our diet better help our blood pressure? According to the Prescription for Nutritional Healing the following foods contain essential nutrients to help achieve and maintain a healthy body.
Nutrient and their source:
Milk, yoghurt, cheeses, dried herbs, brazil nuts, collards, turnip, flaxseed, almonds, sesame seeds, herring and tofu.
Black beans, broccoli (raw), spinach, halibut, whole grain cereal, whole wheat bread.
Halibut, salmon, trout, cod, banana, avocado, orange, chicken, pork, milk, yoghurt.
Unprocessed meats such as pork, beef, organic eggs, vegetable fresh, fish.
Oily fish such as mackerel or salmon, walnuts, eggs, dark leafy vegetables.
Peanuts, walnuts, brazil nuts, coconut, animal products (milk and milk products, pork, beef, chicken, turkey), seafood’s, cereals (oats and wheat), and chocolate. Legumes such as soybeans’ and chickpeas
Nuts, fruits, cereals, pumpkin, sesame and sunflower seeds and greens such asparagus and broccoli
Meats, seafood, beans, raw spinach, raw parsley and cabbage.
Brazil Nuts, Sunflower Seeds, tuna, halibut, sardines, flounder, salmon, oysters, mussels, shrimp, clams, scallops, Beef, liver, lamb, pork, chicken, turkey, eggs, mushrooms, wheat germ, barley, brown rice, oats and onions.
Sunflower seeds, almonds, spinach, swiss chard, turnip greens, papaya, mustard greens, collard greens, asparagus, peppers
(Vitamin C with bioflavonoids)
Brussel sprouts, broccoli, red peppers, cauliflower, red and green hot chili peppers, spinach, garlic, papaya, guava, kiwi, green tea.
Soybeans, fatty meats such as beef and liver, and eggs.
You can buy cloves of garlic, dried granules or powdered.
As you can see the foods above are normal everyday foods that we can get. Organic is best as the quality of the food is so much better.
The reason the body eats is so that it can get the nutrition to operate; food is the body’s fuel! If your food is lacking in nutrition, then the body urges you to eat more and more in an effort to get the amount of nutrition needed to operate well. Organic food has all of it’s nutrition as nature intended hence when you eat organic food the body does not demand more and more as it is getting the nutrition it needs in the volume it needs from the food. So, whilst we may think that organic is more expensive this may not be the case! Check it out.
You may also feel that as you are not able to get organic foods, you will supplement your diet with vitamins, minerals, amino acids etc. and that is fine, but you must not replace your food with supplements as the body depends on the action of digesting food to absorb the nutrients. It is essential that you also eat a healthy diet.
If you are intending to lost weight, then you may be able to incorporate the foods and supplements above in to your diet, but also use the information from our earlier blogs ‘Food Cravings…’ and Calories….’ as these may help you with your meal and snack planning with the aim of losing weight. They may also help you with exercise, how to get started and how to maintain them…
I hope this article helps you better understand high blood pressure and the consequences of it, and the foods that will help your body get the nutrition it needs.
Nancy Grier G&G Vitamins
disclaimer: Nothing in the above article is intended to diagnose or prescribe for any condition. Always seek your doctors’ advice with any illness of condition or are taking medication. Consult your doctor before making any drastic lifestyle changes.