According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost one in three adults has high blood pressure. Another third of the adult population has pre-hypertension, or is at risk for high blood pressure.
With these numbers, it’s clear that most people need to have a better understanding about how to effectively remove the threat of cardiovascular disease from their lives.
High blood pressure, or hypertension, will increase the risk of a stroke, heart disease and kidney disease. The risk to your health decreases (dramatically) by simply having your blood pressure within the normal range – which means around 120/130 for the systolic blood pressure reading and 70/80 for the diastolic reading. If your blood pressure is high, don’t worry, there are several ways to lower blood pressure naturally – without the need for toxic medications.
Taking pharmaceutical drugs for hypertension can be risky
Naturally, big pharma loves to teach the public that when ‘diet and exercise aren’t enough’ to lower blood pressure – simply talk to your doctor about prescription drugs, such as ACE inhibitors in combination with channel blockers. Of course, what the T.V. ads don’t tell you is, conventionally-trained physicians know little (to nothing) about nutrition. They’ve only been taught to ‘treat’ (and manage) disease symptoms with toxic drugs.
Let’s not forget – commonly prescribed blood pressure medications offer many serious side effects. The unwanted result of taking drugs include, weakness, trouble breathing and headaches. According to Dr. Elliott and Dr. Ram from Rush University in Chicago, “high doses of dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers often cause edema, headache, flushing and tachycardia.”
Fortunately, for all of us, there are much safer (better) ways to lower blood pressure.
A natural approach to dealing with hypertension
Obviously, step one would be to clean up your diet. Try to eliminate all heavily-processed foods, excess sugar, artificial sweeteners like aspartame and eat more whole (natural) foods. In addition, moderate (relatively easy) amounts of exercise per week, like walking, can do wonders for your health. So, don’t overeat and walk with a loved one for 30 minutes – 3 to 5 times per week. The results may surprise you.
If you don’t want to go on medications, you may want to investigate the effectiveness of natural remedies to lower blood pressure. Of course, before starting any ‘new’ routine – check with a qualified (well-educated) holistic physician about your goals and desires. Here are some suggestions:
Olive leaf extract: Secoiridoid glycosides are compounds in extract from olive tree leaves, and they interact with angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) in your body. That helps prevent a compound from angiotensin from causing your blood vessels to constrict, thus raising your blood pressure. Olive leaf extract basically has the same effect as ACE inhibitors, and they also lower triglyceride levels in your blood to improve cardiovascular health.
Clinical trials have found impressive drops in blood pressure due to olive leaf extract. In one eight-week study among twins, those taking 1,000 mg per day of olive leaf extract had an average drop in systolic blood pressure of 13 mm Hg and a drop of 4 mm Hg in diastolic blood pressure. “Bad” LDL cholesterol levels also decreased.
Celery seed extract: Celery seed contains a compound called L-3-n-butylphthalide, or 3nB. It acts like calcium channel blocker medications to dilate your blood vessels and lower blood pressure.
Clinical trials have shown significant results of celery seed extract without reports of serious side effects. In one six-week study, participants with mild-to-moderate hypertension took 75 mg of extract twice a day. The amount of 3nB they took is the amount in 50 pounds of celery. Their systolic and diastolic blood pressures each dropped over 8 mm Hg on average.
Garlic extract: One study looked at the effects of garlic extract in patients with treated but uncontrolled hypertension. After 12 weeks, the blood pressure of patients who took garlic extract decreased similar to the amount expected when taking first line medications. The good news also included a high rate of acceptability of the garlic supplement.
If you are one of the two-thirds of American adults with hypertension or pre-hypertension, you need to change your lifestyle immediately – in order to avoid unwanted health consequences down the road. Remember, in the words of Benjamin Franklin, “an ounce of prevention equals a pound of cure.”
Sure, lifestyle changes do require an effort, but the rewards are remarkable. Plus, I’ve got just one more question for you, aren’t you worth the effort?