Blood pressure is the amount of force that pushes against artery walls to get blood through the body. If the force is too strong for too long, arteries weaken over time.
In the United States, 70 million people—that’s almost 1 of every 3—have high blood pressure. In Canada, it’s 1 in 6. Hypertension increases the risk of heart disease, artheriosclerosis, stroke, and kidney failure. Managing this condition is therefore critical not just for all-around health and feeling good but to prevent life-threatening illness.
Meds Increase Risk of Cancer
Studies have shown that taking the most commonly prescribed type of drug—calcium channel blockers—for an extended period puts you at risk for developing cancer 2½ times that of someone who doesn’t and the odds increase as you age.(1)
Two Types of Hypertension
Hypertension can be hereditary or acquired through a high-risk lifestyle. There are 2 types: essential (primary) and secondary.
In the case of essential hypertension, there’s no apparent cause and it gradually develops over many years. Secondary hypertension is usually associated with another condition(s):(2)
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Kidney problems
- Adrenal gland tumors
- Thyroid problems
- Certain congenital blood defects
There are several risk factors for high blood pressure:
- Excessive use of alcohol or drugs of any kind
- Race – high blood pressure is more common in African Americans than white Americans
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Tobacco use
- Chronic vitamin D and/or potassium deficiency over time
- Too much salt
- Other chronic conditions such as diabetes and kidney disease
If you have high blood pressure and the medication may kill you faster than the hypertension itself, what can you do?
How To Manage High Blood Pressure
Studies have shown that high intake of vegetables and fruit reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease with demonstrated anti-inflammatory effects due to the group of phytonutrients called anthocyanins. (3) You can find a list of 10 proven foods that reduce blood pressure here.
1. Lower your salt intake. A 2012 study concluded:
“Dietary salt intake reduction can delay or prevent the incidence of antihypertensive therapy, can facilitate blood pressure reduction in hypertensive patients receiving medical therapy, and may represent a simple cost-saving mediator to reduce cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.”(4)
2. Exercise can’t be stressed enough. A 2007 study declared: “Exercise is a cornerstone therapy for the prevention, treatment and control of hypertension.”(5)
3. Avoid foods that exacerbate hypertension, like processed meats, ramen noodles, alcohol, and anything with high sodium content.
Go with the flow.
Below is a recipe for hypertension tea that is delicious and will provide nutrients to reduce blood pressure.
Celery contains phthalides, phytonutrients that act to reduce constriction in artery walls, allowing increased blood flow.
Red dates contain high levels of potassium, a nutrient known to lessen the effects of sodium in the bloodstream, thereby reducing blood pressure.(6)
- 2 quarts water
- 7 ounces of organic celery
- 2 ounces red dates
- Wash and clean celery and red dates.
- Cut celery into small sections.
- Put all ingredients in a soup pot and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Strain the chunks from the liquid.
- Drink the tea as often as possible.