Naturopath and Holistic Health Expert
High blood pressure (or hypertension) is a problem that, according to the Heart Foundation, affects 4.6 million Australians aged 18 years and over¹.
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Whether you’re managing high blood pressure or want to ensure your heart health long into the future, these five natural remedies should be your first port of call.
Dr. Carolyn Dean, author of Magnesium Miracle, says that magnesium has been proven in numerous clinical trials to lower blood pressure.
How much? She writes: “Twenty-five years of research shows that, under ideal conditions, approximately 300mg of magnesium is required merely to offset the daily losses. Since at best the body is actually absorbing only half of what is taken in, researchers feel that most people would benefit from magnesium supplementation. Otherwise, body tissue must be broken down to supply vital areas of the body with essential magnesium. If you are under mild to moderate stress caused by a physical or psychological disease, physical injury, athletic exertion, or emotional upheaval, your requirements for magnesium increase from 6 mg/kg/day up to 10 mg/kg/day.”
Where do we find magnesium in our diet? Legumes & nuts – properly prepared (soaking or activating), Green leafy vegetables, Whole grains – properly prepared (overnight soaking), natural salt, bone stock from pastured bones and high-quality organic pastured dairy products (milk, yogurt, cream, cheese etc).
NB: Magnesium is difficult to obtain from food. Nuts and seeds are the highest source, but it’s difficult to eat enough of them to meet magnesium needs without developing an intolerance to them. Another issue is that magnesium levels in food have dropped as modern soils have become increasingly depleted. With this in mind, it is useful to take an Epsom Salt (magnesium sulfate) bath 3x per week – magnesium is well-absorbed trans-dermally (across skin membranes). Using high quality magnesium oil topically can also be a good way to increase levels.
2. Wonderful Water
According to Dr. Batmanghelidj, author of the book Watercure, water prevents and helps to cure high blood pressure. He says,”hypertension is a state of adaptation of the body to a generalised drought, when there is not enough water to fill all the blood vessels that diffuse water into vital cells. As part of the mechanism of reverse osmosis, when water from the blood serum is filtered and injected into important cells through minute holes in their membranes, extra pressure is needed for the injection process. Water and some natural balanced mineral salt such as Celtic or Himalayan (not refined salt which can raise blood pressure with too much sodium), will bring blood pressure back to normal!”
But what kind of water and how much? 3% of your body weight in kg = the number of litres required per day. Drink more if you are exercising or working in hot environments. Drink filtered or spring water and avoid fluids that dehydrate your body such as caffeinated drinks and alcohol.
3. Fight Fructose
A diet high in sugar and grain products could contribute hypertension, heart disease, and diabetes particularly an increase in fructose. Fructose is a simple sugar that is a key component in table sugar (sucrose) and high-fructose corn syrup (added into many commercial and processed foods such as soft drinks, take out and general junk food) The recent increase in fructose consumption in industrialised nations mirrors the rise in the prevalence of hypertension, but epidemiologic studies have inconsistently linked these observations.
According to Dr Mercola, if you have hypertension, it’s very likely you also have insulin resistance and unstable blood sugar levels; as your insulin rises, so does your blood pressure, as the two conditions usually go hand in hand. Eliminate all sugar from your diet including sweet and starchy fruit, dried fruit, jams, condiments and alternative sweeteners such as honey and maple syrup. Choose green leaf stevia and sweet spices such as cinnamon.
4. Curb Caffeine
Caffeine, the buzz chemical which increases your mental performance and energy, can cause a short, but dramatic increase in your blood pressure, even if you don’t have high blood pressure. According to the Mayo Clinic, some researchers believe that caffeine could block a hormone that helps keep your arteries widened. Others think that caffeine causes your adrenal glands to release more adrenaline, which causes your blood pressure to increase.
Start reducing caffeine to one kind per day and eliminate poor quality sources of caffeine such as cola drinks and instant coffee. Choose the best quality and try other forms such as organic green tea which also offers antioxidants that protect your heart.
5. Energise Exercise
What kinds of exercise are best to lower blood pressure? According to Blood pressure UK, different kinds of exercise and activity have different effects on your body.
If you have high blood pressure, you should try to focus on activities that will help your heart and blood vessels. Aerobic activity is the type that helps your heart the most and this can be in the form of jogging, brisk walking, swimming, dancing and playing sport. Exercise reduces insulin resistance which in turn helps lower blood pressure.
3. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/10/08/discover-the-secret-to-lowering-your-blood-pressure-in-15-minutes.aspx and http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/10/08/discover-the-secret-to-lowering-your-blood-pressure-in-15-minutes.aspx