Hypertension Diet

Because hypertension is currently a chronic incurable disease, prevention is more important than cure. Diet is strongly linked to the prevention and treatment ofhypertension.

Obesity increases the risk of hypertension. About one-third of people with hypertension are overweight, and even a small decrease in weight can reduce the risk of hypertension. Many studies indicate that exercise and keeping to a reasonable weight may be the best way to control hypertension.
Hypertension Diet Effective stress management, watching salt intake, limiting coffee intake and drinking alcohol in moderation may also help to prevent high blood pressure.

High intakes of fruit and vegetables seem to be linked to lower blood pressure as they contain so many beneficial nutrients. An effective diet for blood pressure reduction is low in fat, particularly saturated fat; high in essential fatty acids; low in sugar, especially refined sugar; low in cholesterol; high in fiber; low in salt and high in potassium, magnesium, calcium and vitamin C.

• Probably the single most important step in reducing high blood pressure is for you to eat a properly constructed diet focusing on several fundamentals: adequate in lean protein, extremely low in sugar and refined starches, reduced in fat, high in fiber, and with an increase in consumption of raw fruits and vegetables. The diet traditionally prescribed for high blood pressure—a high-complexcarbohydrate, low-salt, low-fat diet—doesn't work; even now the current medical research literature on hypertension has begun to dub it the "controversial high-complex-carbohydrate, low-fat diet used in the treatment of high blood pressure." It doesn't work, quite simply, because the vast majority of people with "essential" hypertension most likely have a problem relating to the overproduction of insulin. Force-feeding them a diet heavily weighted with starches (complex carbohydrates are nothing more than starches with added fiber) only makes their insulin problem worse, which makes their blood pressure problem worse. The diet we describe for you in the Macronutrient discussion will help to alleviate the overproduction of insulin and consequently reduce blood pressure.

• Essential fatty acids, through their ability to control the production of "good" or "bad" prostaglandin messenger production, have a powerful influence on blood pressure.

Too many "bad" ones leads to hypertension, plenty of "good" ones to reduced blood pressure. Adding small amounts of these eicosinoid forerunners to your nutritional regimen can help direct the flow of these messengers toward the good side. Recommendation: To facilitate the best response from essential fatty acids, begin with the proper macronutrient framework. Then to that nutritionally sound base, add gamma-linoleic acid (GLA) and fish oil (EPA) in a 1:4 (GLA:EPA) ratio. The EicoPro essential fatty acid product manufactured by Eicotec, Inc., of Marblehead, Massachusetts, contains ultrapure sources of linoleic acid and fish oils already combined in the proper ratio. If you cannot get that product, you can purchase linoleic acid in a product called evening primrose oil at most health and nutrition stores and EPA fish oil as well. Because it is not as pure a form, the milligram dosing will be different from the EicoPro product, but you can make a reasonable substitute by combining 500 mg of evening primrose oil (a source of linoleic acid in capsule form), plus 1000 mg EPA fish oil, plus 200 IU vitamin E 1 to 3 times a day. (Warning to diabetics: EPA fish oil can cause blood sugar fluctuations in some diabetics. Carefully monitor your blood sugar if you use this supplemental oil and discontinue its use if your blood sugar becomes difficult to control.)

•  Hypertension dietVitamin A deficiency may contribute to hypertension. Because your body stores vitamin A and it could build up and cause problems itself, you should not supplement additional vitamin A for this condition, unless your personal physician confirms on blood testing that you have a deficiency. You can, however, safely add the vitamin A forerunner, beta-carotene, to your diet without risk of problems. You body converts beta-carotene to vitamin A as you need it. Recommendation: Take 25,000 IU (15 mg) beta-carotene per day.

•  Vitamin C deficiency may contribute to the development of hypertension, and supplementation may help to slightly reduce the pressure. Vitamin C also reduces blood-clotting tendencies. Recommendation: Take 3000 to 6000 mg time-release vitamin C in divided doses, daily. Refer to the discussion of this important vitamin for information about its many health benefits and how to determine your own tolerance level for the vitamin.

•  Vitamin D assists in the absorption of calcium, which has been shown to reduce blood pressure. Recommendation: Because your body can store vitamin D, regular supplementation can result in a buildup and possible health problems. Your body can make plenty of vitamin D as long as your skin gets some exposure to sunlight. As little as 30 minutes a day will probably be enough. In addition, dairy manufacturers routinely fortify their products with vitamin D. From either of these sources, you can get enough vitamin D to prevent deficiency that could impair your ability to absorb calcium.

Minerals in hypertension diet

Blood pressure is regulated by a balance of the minerals sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium. Hypertension appears to be associated with an imbalance of these minerals where sodium and possibly chloride are too high, and potassium, calcium and magnesium are too low.

Increasing dietary intakes of potassium, calcium, and magnesium have each been reported to lower blood pressure, but the extent of blood pressure reduction in epidemiological studies and clinical trials has varied. Studies in China have shown that multivitamin and mineral supplements lower the risk of hypertension in a population with a vitamin/mineral-poor diet.

If your intake of calcium is low (under 700 mg per day from all sources), you increase your risk for developing high blood pressure. Supplementation of extra calcium helps to reduce the pressure in these instances. It is also important to keep the calcium and its mineral partner, phosphorus, in the proper ratio of 2 parts of calcium for 1   part of phosphorus. Recommendation: Take 1000 to 2000 mg of calcium per day along with 500 to 1000 mg phosphorus for 2 months, regularly checking your pressure to assess your response to this regimen.

• Magnesium has the ability to relax the blood vessels and allow them to open more widely. This relaxing effect reduces blood pressure. Deficiency of magnesium alters the balance of calcium flowing into the smooth muscle of the walls of the blood vessels; the vessels constrict or spasm, and the blood pressure goes up in a fashion similar to what happens when you put a nozzle on a water hose. When you reduce the size of the opening, the pressure of the stream of water coming out shoots up. Recommendation: Take 500 to 1000 mg daily (1/2 the dosage of whatever calcium supplement you are taking).

•  Coenzyme Q10 lowers blood pressure. Recommendation: Supplement with 100 mg daily.

• A deficiency of selenium has been linked to heart disease. Recommendation: Take 200 micrograms daily.

•  Low potassium can contribute to high blood pressure, but the effect is especially magnified when calcium and magnesium levels are deficient. If you have high blood pressure and take diuretic medications (fluid or water pills) such as hydrochlorothiazide, Lasix, or Bumex, you are at higher risk to develop potassium deficiency because these medicines make you lose potassium in your urine. Recommendation: If your physician has prescribed diuretics that require extra potassium, he or she will usually have given you a prescription for the drug. However, even if you don't take water pills and do have high blood pressure, your potassium may become low. Eat foods rich in potassium, such as broccoli, tomatoes, citrus fruits, and bananas. You can purchase a product in the salt section of your local market called NO SALT that is nothing more than potassium salts. Use it to sprinkle on foods in cooking to add extra potassium. You can also take 99 mg potassium gluconate daily to help raise your potassium levels. Warning: Some blood pressure medicines— Zestril, Capoten, Capozide, Zestoretic, or any other member of the group of blood pressure medications called ACE inhibitors—help your kidney conserve or hang on to potassium, and if you take these medications for blood pressure, you should not supplement extra potassium unless your personal physician advises you to do so.

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