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Eating Your Way To Normal Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is at epidemic proportions in the United States today with more than 65 million people suffering from high blood pressure and another 45 million suffering from a condition known as pre-hypertension. High blood pressure is a symptomless disease which heightens your risk of stroke and heart attack and you could quite easily have it without even knowing it until it is too late.
There are of course medicines available which can help in lowering blood pressure, but some of these have accompanying side effects and, even though some people may need to take medication in the short term to control high blood pressure, a much better solution is to seek out some natural remedies for high blood pressure if you can.
For the majority of us high blood pressure is related to weight and diet and this is a major problem today when two out of every three Americans are either overweight or obese. Additionally, the majority of Americans get much too much salt in their diet and not enough of the many other beneficial things which can act to lower blood pressure. In short, you can eat your way to a normal blood pressure, as long as you know what you are doing.
In truth, it is sometimes possible to reduce your blood pressure in a very short period of time if you change your diet and start exercising. Having said this, if you have not been exercising for a long time you ought not to suddenly start exercising vigorously and it is always a good idea to talk to your doctor before you start any exercise program.
First of all though let’s talk about some things which you should avoid and top of the list comes salt. Salt (or sodium) is one of the main offenders in today’s high blood pressure epidemic. Excess dietary fat is also a culprit as it promotes weight gain, arteriosclerosis, and other difficulties which lead to high blood pressure. Thus, two things which you should avoid in your diet are salt and excess fat, principally saturated or trans fats.
What types of food should you include in your diet to help you to reduce your blood pressure? Well, potassium is one of the chief substances that is missing in today’s American diet and that is extremely beneficial for your blood pressure. It helps lower blood pressure just as salt helps raise your blood pressure and thus getting sufficient potassium in your diet can help even out blood pressure.
It’s very easy to get enough potassium into your diet by merely adding plenty of fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, as long as they do not have any added suger or salt. Although this might seem tasteless to many people, it’s one of the best ways to make sure that you normalize your blood pressure. Naturally of course, at the same time you also need to cut down on the salt to the daily sodium intake recommended of approximately 2400 mg a day. A great way to achieve this is not to add salt to your diet at all as natural and unprocessed foods contain sufficient salt and, if you wish to flavor your food then simply try using herbs and spices.
Magnesium and calcium are two further minerals that can help to reduce blood pressure. Both magnesium and calcium are considered calming minerals and most Americans don’t get enough of either in their diets. Low-fat dairy products are an excellent source of calcium as are nuts, legumes, and dark leafy green vegetables. You should seek to get a balance of about two parts of magnesium to three parts of calcium. Foods such as white beans, soybeans, and sesame seeds not only contain a lot of calcium and magnesium but they are also excellent sources of potassium.
Lastly, ensure that you drink enough water and get sufficient fiber in your diet. Fiber helps to clear toxins and unhealthy substances out of your body and it can help you feel full so that you are not tempted to overeat.