High Blood Pressure

Posted by on Jun 16, 2012 in Health, Natural | No Comments

by Mary Broedell, Certified Health Coach

What is Blood Pressure?
It is measured by the Systolic Pressure / Diastolic Pressure

  • Systolic Pressure = the force of blood against the walls of the arteries when the heart contracts to pump blood to the rest of the body
  • Diastolic Pressure = the pressure within the arteries as the heart relaxes and refills with blood

Blood Pressure Levels:

  • Normal: Less than 120/80
  • Prehypertension: 120-139/80-89
  • Stage 1 high blood pressure: 140-159/90-99
  • Stage 2 high blood pressure: 160 and above/100 and above

Lifestyle Changes:

  • Weight – The greater your body mass, the more pressure there is on your artery walls and the more blood is produced to supply oxygen and nutrients to tissues in your body.
  • Activity level – Lack of physical activity tends to increase heart rate, which forces your heart to work harder with each contraction. Twenty minutes of sustained activity a day is recommended, i.e. walking…
  • Stress – Stress can raise blood pressure. Meditation, yoga or a peaceful 20 minute walk can help lower blood pressure.
  • Caffeine – is a cardiovascular stimulate which raises blood pressure
  • Tobacco – Chemicals in cigarettes and tobacco can damage artery walls.
  •  Limit alcohol intake – Blood pressure increases as your body metabolizes alcohol.
  • Avoid processed foods – These are the biggest sources of processed sodium in today's diet an the least nutritional.
  • Eat 8 to 10 servings of whole fruit and vegetables per day.
  • Water – drink six to eight 8oz glasses of water a day
  • Limit animal protein to 6 oz per day, emphasizing lean sources.
  • Sodium – Excessive sodium in the diet can result in fluid retention and high blood pressure, especially in people sensitive to sodium. Reduce sodium intake an use a non-processed salt, like Celtic salt or sea salt.
  • Potassium. Low potassium can result in elevated sodium in cells, because the two balance one another.
    Foods with potassium:

    1. sweet potatoes,
    2. beet greens,
    3. white potatoes,
    4. white beans,
    5. dates,
    6. tomatoes,
    7. and raisins.
  • Garlic – Has a modest effect on lowering blood pressure and may help relax blood vessels.
  • Consume 4 to 5 servings of nuts, seeds and dry beans per week (2 Tbsp nuts or seeds, or 1/2 cup cooked dried beans).
  • Eat plenty of fish – Include at least three servings of fish a week, emphasizing cold-water fish like wild Alaskan salmon and sardines, which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Take fish-oil supplements if you cannot get enough omega-3-rich foods.
  • Calcium – Inadequate intake of both of these minerals has been associated with high blood pressure. Women should get between 1,000 and 1,200 mg of calcium a day from all sources, while men may want to get no more than 500-600 mg daily from all sources.
  • Magnisium – Most dietary magnesium comes from vegetables, particularly dark green, leafy vegetables. Other foods that are good sources of magnesium are:

    1. Legumes and seeds
    2. Nuts (such as almonds and cashews)
    3. Whole grains (such as brown rice and millet)
    4. Fruits or vegetables (such as bananas, dried apricots, and avocados)
  • Vitamin C – A supplement of this antioxidant vitamin has been shown to lower blood pressure in people with mild to moderate hypertension
  • Medications – Some prescription drugs, including steroids, birth control pills, decongestants, NSAIDS and diet pills can raise blood pressure. Some over-the-counter medicines, such as those containing licorice root, ephedra, guarana, kola nut, yerba mate, ginseng and yohimbe, may also raise blood pressure. 

Supplements that may help reduce high blood pressure:

  • CoQ10
  • Garlic
  • Hawthorn
  • Fish Oil
  • Folic Acid
  • Magnesium
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Calcium

A recommended Whole grain Diet to help reduce high blood pressure:

  • 7 to 8 servings of whole grains
  • 4 to 5 servings of whole vegetables – raw or lightly steamed
  • 4 to 5 servings of whole fruit – raw or lightly cooked
  • 2 or less servings of meat, fish, or poultry
  • 2 to 3 servings of fats and oils
  • 4 to 5 servings per week of nuts, seeds, and dry beans (walnuts are highest in Omega 3 Fatty acids of all the nuts)
  • Less than 3 servings a week of sweets

Serving Sizes:

  • 1/2 cup cooked whole grain rice or pasta
  • 1 slice whole grain bread
  • 1 cup raw vegetables or fruit
  • 1/2 cup cooked vegetables or fruit
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 3 ounces cooked meat

Essential Oils that may help reduce high blood pressure:
The following is a good list of oils most often mentioned: 

Most Common Essential oils:

  • cassia,
  • frankincense,
  • helichrysum,
  • lavender,
  • lemon,
  • marjoram,
  • and ylang ylang

Other Essential oils and blends:

  • Balance,
  • Citrus Bliss,
  • and Serenity

Essential Oil Application:
Those that have been successful have selected oils and/or blends from the following list mixing them with a carrier oil and consistently applied them topically at least three times a day. 
Key points for application have included:

  • the feet,
  • the wrists,
  • over the heart,
  • on the carotidal arteries,
  • to the back of the neck
  • to the reflexology points on the hands and feet

or

  • diffuse,
  • one drop of the essential oil in honey or a 4oz beverage

To order any of these essential oils, visit my Essential Oil site.