Thoughts and comments from Malik Cotter in this online Blog

How to Lower Blood Pressure Through Food & Lifestyle

Mediterranean-style diet – traditionally, this diet includes plenty of fresh vegetables, therefore high fiber, moderate protein intake mostly fish (Omega-3 rich), some grains, olives and olive oil, and fruits are eaten seasonally.

Best Foods to Maintain or Lower Blood Pressure:

  • High fiber foods: Unprocessed foods high in fiber such as vegetables, fruits and seeds should be the basis of any healthy diet. Eat foods high in healthy fiber help stabilize your blood pressure
  • Low sodium foods: Excess salt consumption raises blood pressure. Limit your consumption to no more than 1,500–2,000 mg daily.
  • High potassium foods: Potassium counteracts the effects of sodium and helps lower blood pressure. Include foods like melons, coconut water, avocados and bananas.
  • Omega-3 rich foods: Omega-rich foods flax seed oil wild caught salmon, chia and flax seeds reduce inflammation.

Specific Foods that Reduce Blood Pressure:

  1. Dark chocolate – Dark chocolate contains at least 200 milligrams of cocoa phenols, which can reduce blood pressure. At least 70% cacao.
  2. Garlic – Garlic and garlic supplements can help lower blood pressure and relax smooth muscles. Garlic helps to thin the blood, prevent the blockage in blood vessels, and therefore lower blood pressure.
  3. Spinach – Spinach is rich in magnesium and folate, which can help prevent high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.
  4. Sunflower Seeds – Rich in potassium, magnesium and healthy plant fats. Sunflower seeds can help reduce cholesterol levels, open up blood vessels and promote healthy blood pressure.
  5. Bananas – Bananas are rich in potassium and fiber.
  6. Tomatoes – Cooked tomatoes are loaded with calcium, potassium, vitamins A, C, and E and lycopene. Compounds in tomatoes can lower cholesterol buildup in blood vessels and combat the development of hypertension in a variety of ways. Lycopene in tomato’s is activated by heat, add cooked tomatoes to your food program.
  7. Broccoli – Broccoli and cruciferous vegetables have been found to have beneficial health effects. They have high amounts of potassium and chromium that help regulate blood sugar levels and weight, both related to high blood pressure.
  8. Melon – Eat melons that are rich in potassium, such as cantaloupe and watermelon which are especially rich sources.
  9. Beets – Rich in Nitric Oxide, generates the endothelial derived relaxing factor, which relaxes blood vessels, and iron producing nutrients.

Supplements that Can Help Lower Blood Pressure

  • Garlic
  • Vitamin C
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Omega-3 supplement
  • Chinese Herbal Formula – Jiang Ya Ping Pian
  • Probiotics
  • Vitamin D3 with Vitamin K2
  • CoQ10
  • Cranberry and Pomegranate juices
  • L-Arginine
  • Potassium
  • Hawthorn berries
  • Magnesium
  • Chinese herbal Dan Shen Yin
  • Vitamin B6
  • Dr. Christopher’s Blood Circulation Herbal Formula
  • Chinese Herbal Formula – Hypertension Repressing Tablets

Foods to Avoid to Maintain Healthy Blood Pressure

  • High sodium foods: Sodium raises blood pressure; avoid high sodium processed foods, pickles, olives or canned foods.
  • Trans fats and Omega-6 fats: These fats increase inflammation and blood pressure and are found in packaged foods and conventional meats.
  • Sugar: High sugar consumption is connected to high blood pressure.
  • Caffeine: Too much caffeine can cause an increase in blood pressure.
  • Alcohol: Narrows arteries and can increase blood pressure.

Lifestyle Tips to Lower Blood Pressure

  • Regular exercise and diet play a large role, reduce stress, better sleep, more free-time and fun, relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, yoga, journaling or art therapy, surround yourself with encouraging friends and exercising on a daily basis.

Blood Pressure – What it is and What to look out for

Blood pressure is a combination of systolic and diastolic pressure. Systolic pressure represents blood force, or pressure, while the heart is beating and diastolic pressure stands for blood pressure when the heart is at rest.

Systolic pressure is the top measurement in a blood pressure reading. In a reading of 130/80, 130 represents systolic pressure and 80 represents diastolic pressure. In pre-hypertension, systolic numbers range from 120–129 and diastolic numbers are less than 80.

Blood pressure ranges include:

Normal: Less than 120/80 mm Hg
Pre-hypertension: Systolic between 120–129 and diastolic less than 80

Stage 1 high blood pressure: Systolic between 130–139 or diastolic between 80–89
Stage 2 high blood pressure: Systolic at least 140 or diastolic at least 90 mm Hg

High blood pressure happens when the pressure on the arteries and blood vessels becomes too high and the arterial wall becomes distorted causing extra stress on the heart. Long term-high blood pressure increases the risk of stroke, heart attack and diabetes.

Results of high blood pressure include:

  • Arterial damage
  • Aneurysm
  • Heart failure
  • Blocked or ruptured blood vessels
  • Reduced kidney function
  • Vision loss
  • Loss of cognitive function: concentration, memory and ability to learn
  • Metabolic syndrome: a cluster of metabolic disorders such as high cholesterol and insulin, atherosclerosis and increased waist size

There can be no symptoms as blood pressure increases, but warning signs for very high blood pressure can include chest pains, confusion, headaches, ear noise or buzzing, irregular heartbeat, nosebleeds, tiredness or vision changes.

Causes of high blood pressure include:

  • High-salt diet
  • Poor nutritional dietary intake
  • Emotional stress
  • Obesity
  • Birth control pills
  • Lack of exercise
  • Alcohol
  • Heavy-metal poisoning
  • Caffeine
  • Smoking

How to Monitor Your Blood Pressure

  • Don’t exercise, eat, drink caffeinated beverages or smoke within 30 minutes of measuring your blood pressure.
  • Sit still with your back straight and your feet flat on the floor. Follow your monitor’s instructions or ask your doctor how to use it correctly.
  • Make sure you check your blood pressure at the same time each day.
  • Check your blood pressure two or three times each time you sit down to measure it. Wait one minute in between each reading. Be sure to track your measurements, either writing them down in a journal or using an online tracker.

Castor oil packs aid in elimination and detoxification. Castor oil packs have many applications and are used in many conditions including fibroids, cysts, headaches, migraines, constipation, intestinal disorders, gallbladder and liver conditions, and other dysfunctions when used properly and consistently.

Supplies:

  • Small/dish towel, piece of flannel
  • large/bath towel
  • hot water bottle or heating pad
  • castor oil

Directions:

1) Apply a generous amount of castor oil to the desired body part

2) Put a piece of plastic wrap or a plastic bag over the area you just put castor oil on

3) Place a dry dish towel or flannel over the plastic

4) Place a hot water bottle or heating pad over the towel/flannel

5) Cover all with a larger towel, creating a tent-like effect to keep the heat in (If too hot place a second towel/piece of flannel over the plastic)

6) 20-minute minimum rest. You may sleep, use visualization, or meditation at this time.

* With pregnancy consult your physician.