Do you have High Blood Pressure?
Is your blood pressure borderline high?
Did you have hypertension during your pregnancy?
Do you take medication for your high blood pressure?
Have you been told that hypertension is genetic?
Did you know that your diet plays a role in Hypertension?
Have you been told sodium causes high blood pressure?
Did you know that high insulin levels increase your blood pressure?
Have you heard that a low carb diet can help hypertension?
Did you know that YOUR Diet matters?
If this topic applies to you – Read on
High Blood Pressure or Hypertension is a risk factor for stroke as well as heart disease, hardening of the arteries, kidney disease and even damage to your eyes.
As we age we are more likely to develop Hypertension.
Smoking raises your risk of high blood pressure.
Weight gain can increase blood pressure and weight loss sometimes reduces it [but not always].
High Blood pressure is considered “The Silent Killer” – most people do NOT feel their blood pressure.
Again, MOST people do not feel their blood pressure – even if you don’t feel it – it can still KILL.
Many Hypertensive patients develop Kidney disease and even require dialysis if untreated.
It is very important to regularly have your blood pressure checked and treated if it is high.
Have your blood pressure checked regularly.
Borderline high blood pressure is treated with diet and exercise.
If hypertension runs in your family – it may be because you eat alike. DIET matters.
“While scientists debate what actually causes hypertension, one thing is clear: it is very responsive to nutrient and diet therapy.”
~ Dr Robert Akins – from the Vita-Nutrient Solution
Is Sodium the cause of Hypertension? Yes and No.
A little background:
There are four minerals that interact to keep us alive.
Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium and Sodium.
Each of these mineral are vital to our bodies.
Each of these minerals have dozens of functions and purposes.
Without sodium we have a low blood pressure and brain swelling.
If potassium is lacking our hearts will stop and will cause confusion.
Magnesium deficiency causes the high blood pressure of pregnancy [pre-eclampsia]
Magnesium is needed to avoid allergies, kidney stones, muscle spasm, asthma, heart arrhythmia, and even seizures.
Besides being good for the bones, calcium prevents muscle twitching, insomnia, Road Rage, PMS as well as low back pain.
This list goes on and on……
Important factoid ; It is not the presence of sodium in our diets that causes high blood pressure – it IS the LACK of potassium as well as imbalances in calcium and magnesium levels and ratios.
“Salt Sensitivity” or the tendency to swell/”retain fluid” when exposed to salt is due to the lack of calcium in the diet.
Conversely, with proper calcium supplementation most cases of fluid retention resolve in a week or two. Potassium plays a role but a smaller one.
Sodium is Everywhere in the American diet.
Improving the sodium to potassium ratio is an important endeavor…..
Here is a paper on risks of a high Na:K ratio [sodium : potassium]
AKA – Too much sodium and not enough potassium
From the Archives of Internal Medicine
Sodium and Potassium Intake and Mortality Among US Adults
Prospective Data From the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey
Quanhe Yang, PhD; Tiebin Liu, MSPH, et al.
Background: Several epidemiologic studies suggested that higher sodium and lower potassium intakes were associated with increased risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Few studies have examined joint effects of dietary sodium and potassium intake on risk of mortality.
Methods: To investigate estimated usual intakes of sodium and potassium as well as their ratio in relation to risk of all-cause and CVD mortality, the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey Linked Mortality File (1988-2006), a prospective cohort study of a nationally representative sample of 12 267 US adults, studied all-cause, cardiovascular, and ischemic heart (IHD) diseases mortality.
Conclusion Our findings suggest that a higher sodium-potassium ratio is associated with significantly increased risk of CVD and all-cause mortality, and higher sodium intake is associated with increased total mortality in the general US population.
As you can see, this is important stuff.
This is one case where “Eating Right” can help us get and stay healthier.
It is Simple….
Processed food tends to be low in potassium [and high in sodium]
Natural foods including fruits and vegetables tend to be richer in potassium and magnesium.
If we make an effort to eat more natural foods and avoid processed foods we will do better.
If you are not on board with fruits and veggies there are a few alternatives.
One is juicing, another is blending and there are always concentrated fruit/vegetable pills, potions and powders.
It is your choice – To be healthy or to be sick – Diet matters!!!
For the more serious supplement takers there is a long list of nutrients that have shown promise in the battle against high blood pressure.
Here is partial list of what Dr Atkins recommends for hypertension:
Taurine : 1,500-3,000 mg
Vitamin C : 1-3 grams
Magnesium : 500-1,000 mg
Potassium aspartate : 400-800 mg
Arginine : 2-5 grams
Vitamin B6 : 100-200 mg
Inositol : 500-1,500 mg
EFA’s : 3,600-7,200 mg
CoQ10 : 100-200 mg
Choline : 1,000-1,500 mg
Carnitine 500-1,000 mg
Calcium : 750-1,500 mg
Chromium : 300-600 mcg
Natural Vitamin E : 400-800 IU
Let me reiterate –
Visit your doctor on a regular basis and take an interest in your health.
Do not change you medication or stop taking any medication without your doctor’s direction.
You cannot feel your blood pressure get it checked regularly.
Be aware that untreated high blood pressure can kill you or cause serious health problems including strokes, kidney failure and heart failure.
Finally, your diet does affect your blood pressure – seek out healthier diet options that include foods rich in potassium and magnesium.
The EFA’s or essential fatty acids found in fish oil and flax oil can reduce blood pressure.
A lower carb diet reduces insulin levels and subsequently blood pressure.
Sugar depletes B vitamins.
Supplemental B vitamins are important to take – foods alone don’t give you optimal amounts.
Sunlight per day can reduce your risk of hypertension.
Vitamin D is made in your skin when you get sunlight.
The darker your skin the more sunlight per day you’ll need.
15-45 minutes per day is the range – from fair to dark skin, respectively – to create adequate vitamin D.
Once activated, Vitamin D increase calcium absorption by 10 times for a full 24 hours.
On the topic of calcium – do not drink dark colas – their phosphorus robs the body’s calcium.
[One 12 ounce cola contains 1 gram of phosphorus and steals 2 grams of calcium from your supply.]
Take Home Message……….
We cannot get “Full Spectrum Nutrition” from foods alone.
We MUST to supplement our diets to get “Full Spectrum Nutrition”.
To achieve Optimal Health we need “Full Spectrum Nutrition”.
And as I always say….
To achieve optimal health we need Full Spectrum Nutrition.
Around 90 nutrients are considered ESSENTIAL.
These nutrients can be divided into 4 groups:
Vitamins, Minerals, Amino Acids [Protein] and Fats/Oils.
If Optimal Health is the goal, it is virtually impossible to get “everything you need” from foods alone.
To get full spectrum nutrition we ALL need to supplement our diets.
Supplements to consider:
1) Get a good multiple vitamin/mineral product. Versions with “Chelated” minerals are best. I also like those with some plant based vitamins.
2) Take a quality Calcium product. Look for MCHA as the calcium source and one that includes Magnesium, vitamin D and some assorted trace minerals.
3) Take Omega 3 oils. Flax oil is the best to start. Adding Krill or fish oil later [BTW – Krill oil in the container has a distinctive odor – if you place 3-4 desiccant packs in the bottle and refrigerate it, the odor is gone in 12 hours]
4) Find a good Colloidal mineral product for trace minerals. Make sure it’s from Humic shale and NOT ionic minerals. Humic shale is the “fossilized” remains of the dinosaur days. Plant based colloidal minerals are 98% absorbed.
5) Vitamin E is difficult to get in sufficient amounts from foods. I advise people to supplement with at least 400 IU per day.Natural versions are best, look for “d-tocopherol” but avoid “d-l-tocopherol”- it’s the man-made version and is only 25% usable. Look for a vitamin E with mixed tocopherols that also contains selenium.
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