A Disease without Symptoms

According to the National Institutes of Health(NIH), an estimated 50 million Americans have high blood pressure ~ one in four adults.  The heart must work harder to pump blood in those with hypertension, often leading to heart failure and stroke. High blood pressure is often associated with coronary heart disease, arteriosclerosis, kidney disorders, obesity, diabetes, hyper-thyroidism and adrenal fatigue. The risk of hypertension increases with age, weight and inactivity. Some Americans, such as older Americans  (57% of older Americans are hypertensive) and African Americans are particularly at high risk for HBP.

Unfortunately hypertension is often without symptoms ~ then suddenly!  Advanced warning signs include headache, profuse sweating, rapid pulse, flushed complexion, and shortness of breath, dizziness and vision disturbances. It is often precipitated by cigarette smoking, stress, obesity, excessive use of stimulants, i.e., coffee, tea or chocolate, drug abuse, high sodium intake and contraceptives.

Those with hypertension are being told that lifetime drug therapy is the best solution to the existing condition, however, the long-term side effects outweigh the benefits of these drugs. New studies published in the journal, Circulation, find that calcium channel blockers increase heart attack risk up to 60%. Also, British studies show they raise the risk of suicide. These drugs are also linked to breast cancer and memory loss.  Side effects of beta-blockers are dizziness, nausea, fatigue, depression, joint pain, respiratory problems and impotence in men.

How Can You Know If You have High Blood Pressure?

Most people only get their blood pressure checked when they go to the doctor which means all the well people with silent hypertension are falling through the cracks.  I recommend that every family have a blood pressure monitor.  This is especially needed for those that have a history of HP and all those over 40.  There are a number of good do-it-yourself models on the market.  The digital models will also monitor your pulse, which is helpful to know ~ pulse should ideally be between 60-80.

When checking your blood pressure, you want the top number (systolic) to be less than 140, and the bottom number (diastolic) to be less than 90.  The higher number represents the maximum pressure in your blood vessels at the time the heart pumps the blood. The lower number (diastolic) represents the minimum pressure when the heart is at rest between beats.

Checking your blood pressure on a daily basis will give you on the spot information on how well your medication is doing, if that is the route you are taking, but it will also show how your body is responding to a more natural protocol of vitamins, minerals, enzymes and herbs.  It also affords you the opportunity to see what other factors in your life change your blood pressure.  I have clients with food allergies or sensitivities whose pressure is normal if they avoid all allergens, yet shows in the hypertensive range when they eat the wrong foods, i.e., caffeine, chocolate, cigarettes, white pasta, white potatoes, white rice, etc.

Hypertension Prevention Diet

Approximately 85% of high blood pressure is preventable with out harmful DRUGS! A diet change is the best thing you can do to control high pressure. The key to salt balance in your body is drinking plenty of water. When your body perceives that it is becoming dehydrated, it responds by retaining sodium to reduce further water loss, starting a vicious cycle of craving for salty foods and liquids that end in an elevation in blood pressure.  FYI: Taking diuretics on a consistent basis will aggravate the craving cycle.

The newest information shows that most people do not require medication to control their disease. Millions can reverse high blood pressure with simple diet, nutritional therapy and body work. Harvard Medical School (1997) research found that a low-fat, low sodium diet may lower blood pressure as much as drugs, but without the long-term health issues.

Health Recommendations

  • Include high fiber foods, i.e., gold flaxseed, and oat bran. Eat plenty of vegetables, especially, broccoli, bananas, dried fruits, potatoes, seafood, bell peppers, celery, brown rice and leafy greens, fruits and grains. Eat only white fish and skinless turkey or chicken.
  • A salt-free diet is essential for lowering blood pressure. Just lowering your salt intake is not enough: eliminate all salt from your diet. Read all labels carefully and avoid those foods that have soda, sodium, or the symbol Na on the label.
  • Avoid Accent flavor enhancer, (monosodium glutamate), baking soda, canned vegetables and soups, commercially prepared foods, soft drinks, foods with mold inhibitors (aged cheeses and meats), preservatives, meat tenderizers, softened water and soy sauce. Avoid all animal fats, anchovies, avocados, chicken liver, chocolate, pickled herring, sour cream, sherry, wine, bacon, corned beef, pork, sausage, fried fatty foods, caffeine heavy pastries and smoked or processed meat. All cause potassium depletion and encourage arterial plaque build-up.
  • Avoid smoking because it constricts blood vessels, making your heart work harder. It also aggravates high blood sugar levels.
  • Do not take phenylalaline (found in Nutra-Sweet/Aspartame) or L-Tyrosine. Avoid, certain dentifrices, over-the-counter medications, especially antihistamines, which may aggravate hypertension and ibuprofen (Advil and Nuprin).
  • Keep your weight down. Regular moderate exercise is important to maintain proper circulation. Do not over-exert in hot or humid weather. Avoid excessive exercising and emotional stress. Take a brisk 30-minute walk daily, focusing on deep lung breathing.

Herb & Supplement Therapy

  • Factor Fifteen: Systol-D encourages healthy blood pressure and is clearly one of the best formulations on the market today.
  • Factor Seven: Digestin plant based formulation for the breakdown and absorption of food groups, i.e., proteins, carbohydrates, fats, dairy and fiber (2 prior to meals).
Please don’t feel deprived or left out of the group just because you had to say bye bye to the salt shaker.  Here are 7 ways to add zip, zing and pizzazz to your dishes without salt. After trying these you’ll be saying ~ “Why did I wait so long to get flavor snappy!”

      Go Nutty.  Garnish dishes with toasted nuts and seeds for a crunchy, buttery accent.

      Herb Merge.  Cook with lots of pungent herbs, like basil, rosemary, and parsley in fresh  or dried form.

      Get Spicy.  Use strong spices, such as cumin, cinnamon and curry powder to add              richness to the taste.

      Go Fruity. Fresh and dried fruits add sweetness, texture and intensity for the palate.

      Think Heat.  Fire up foods with chilies, hot pepper sauces, horseradish and wasabi            (Japanese horseradish). This is not for the faint!

      Sharpen Flavor. Sprinkle dishes with acidic and sour liquids, such as lemon/lime or            apple cider vinegar, before serving.

      Add Bite.  Zing with garlic, onions, scallions, ginger or lemon grass in raw, dehydrated or cooked forms.

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