Mousab Kassem Azzawi
2020 / 10 / 14
Researched by Academy House Team
Edited by Mousab Kassem Azzawi, MSc, MD, PhD.
High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke, kidney failure and vision loss. It is also known as hypertension. High blood pressure is often referred to as “the silent killer” because most people are unaware that they have high blood pressure. In this lecture, we will discuss several natural approaches to treat high blood pressure by addressing four key components: nutrition, exercise, supplements, and responses to stress and tension.
Blood pressure is the force of blood exerted against the walls of the arteries in your body. It is measured in millimetres of mercury and is recorded as two numbers. The top number is called the systolic blood pressure, which is the number that assesses the pressure when the heart squeezes. The bottom number is the diastolic blood pressure, which is the number that assesses the pressure when the heart rests. Both numbers are equally important.
Before the age of 55, it appears in the research that the diastolic blood pressure is a greater predictor of future risk for developing cardiovascular disease. After the age of 55, the top number, the systolic blood pressure, predicts risks the best.
A normal blood pressure is 120/80. If you have a blood pressure between 120 and 139 on the top´-or-between 80 and 89 on the bottom, then you are considered to have pre-hypertension. If your blood pressure is 140/90´-or-above, you have high blood pressure.
The best way to decrease your blood pressure naturally is to decrease your weight. Eleven clinical trials have shown that for every single kilogram of weight that is lost, the systolic blood pressure is decreased by 1.6 millimetres of mercury and the diastolic blood pressure is decreased by 1.1 millimetres of mercury.
A body composition tells you how much fat you have on your body and how much muscle you have on your body. Ideally, women should have a body fat composition of less than 22 and men should have a body fat composition of less than 16.
The best ways to decrease your weight are proper nutrition and exercise. Combining daily aerobic exercise (40 minutes to one hour per day) with strength training (three times per week) has been shown to decrease blood pressure by 10 to 15 millimetres of mercury on the top and five to 10 millimetres of mercury on the bottom.
Exercise increases lean muscle mass, burns calories, and decreases your weight, which in turn decreases your blood pressure. Exercise also lowers your triglycerides, blood sugar, and LDL cholesterol and brings a plethora of health benefits to your body. Moreover, at the mental level, physical exercise has a tremendous effect in reducing the complaints of depression and anxiety.
One cup of coffee per day, which has about 100 milligrams of caffeine, is the maximum that you can drink if you want to get your blood pressure down. Organic green tea is a much better choice, with only 20 milligrams of caffeine in every cup.
Sodium,´-or-salt, is one of the major issues with the globalised standard diet in many nations. The average individual in the Western world takes in about 5,000 milligrams of sodium per day, but the body only needs 500 milligrams. There is a -dir-ect relationship between increased sodium intake and high blood pressure.
Salt is usually added excessively in packaged and canned foods because it works as an ideal preservative for these foods. Salt is also hidden in just about every item on a menu at a restaurant. Look for the sodium content on the label of any packaged´-or-canned foods that you buy and try hard to keep your sodium content under 1,500 milligrams per day.
Garlic lowers blood pressure. Four cloves of fresh garlic every day will lower your systolic blood pressure by 10 points. You will get the same benefit as four cloves of garlic per day in 900 milligrams of aged garlic extract.
Consuming about three grams per day of high-quality, dried wakame,´-or-seaweed, will lower your blood pressure by 14 millimetres of mercury on the top.
Drinking 30 grams of hydrolysed whey protein in a smoothie every day can reduce your systolic blood pressure by 11 points.
Lycopene, the active ingredient in tomatoes, has been proven to lower blood pressure. Enjoy fresh tomatoes´-or-take a lycopene supplement.
Magnesium—which we need for our bones, heart, and bowel -function-s—is a mineral that can be obtained by consuming green leafy vegetables, but the majority of adults in the western world consume less than the recommended daily allowance.
Research shows that as the intracellular level of magnesium,´-or-the red blood cell magnesium, decreases, blood pressure increases. Supplementing your daily magnesium intake will lower your blood pressure about five millimetres of mercury on the top and about three on the bottom.
If you decide to use magnesium as a supplement, there are three beneficial preparations: chelated magnesium, magnesium aspartate, and magnesium glycinate. Take about 500 milligrams per day of any of these. Please remember people with kidney problems should not take magnesium without a physician’s guidance.
People with low levels of vitamin D tend to have the highest blood pressure. The lower your vitamin D, the higher your blood pressure. Vitamin D supplementation—with´-or-without a vitamin D deficiency—has been shown in both animals and humans (both men and women) to decrease blood pressure.
Research has shown that vitamin D replacement vitamin D deficient patients decreases blood pressure approximately 13 points on the top. Moreover, A vitamin D level in the blood that is above 55 nanograms per millilitre of blood is ideal for the cardiovascular health with an added benefit that it appears to protect against breast cancer. Vitamin D can be taken in the form of over-the-counter supplements formulas, which contain 4,000 international units per day. Higher doses can be taken to replenish vitamin D storage in the liver if a vitamin D deficiency has been diagnosed.
Another deficiency that is associated with high blood pressure is the deficiency of enzyme CoQ10. The lower the CoQ10, the higher the blood pressure. Research shows that taking 200 to 400 milligrams of CoQ10 per day can lower systolic blood pressure by 11 points.
Adding more foods that are rich with omega-3s, such as fish in moderation as well as purified fish oil from heavy metals that may contaminate the organs of the fish, along with eliminating saturated fats can also help you lower your blood pressure. Research shows that four grams of omega-3 per day can result in 4.5 points reduction in systolic pressure and 3.1 points reduction in diastolic pressure.
In addition to micronutrients and supplements, dealing with the stress in your life in a calm and rational manner can help lower your blood pressure. Stress causes blood pressure to rise, so the next time you are experiencing stress´-or-tension, take a deep breath and react calmly and rationally as much as possible.