Copyright (c) 2009 Bill Lewis
Did you know that your local grocery store is one of your best resources for finding remedies that lower high blood pressure? Well, it’s true. Mother nature has given us a shopping basket full of natural foods that are beneficial to heart health in general and hypertension (high blood pressure) in particular.
Even cardiologists who rely heavily on prescription drugs are quick to say that a healthful diet should be the objective of every heart patient. And a healthful diet for a heart patient should include certain foods that are effective in helping to reduce high blood pressure to within the normal limits of 140/80.
Each of the foods listed has a proven track record of reducing high blood pressure, as well as making other important contributions to heart health, and each one is readily available at most any grocery store.
Garlic: Garlic not only adds flavor and zest when used for culinary purposes, but it reduces high blood pressure. As an important bonus, it increases HDL (the good cholesterol) while lowering LDL (the bad cholesterol). And, as if all this were not enough, garlic contains antioxidants that protect the arteries from free radical damage, and it offers protection against platelet and blood clot formation that can lead to strokes and heart attacks.
There is, however, a word of caution for people who are on blood-thinning drugs. Garlic acts as a blood thinner, so be sure and check with your doctor before taking garlic as a daily supplement.
Celery: This food ranks high on list of those credited with treating hypertension and is used widely in Asian cultures to reduce blood pressure. Celery contains 3-n-butyl phthalide, a chemical that relaxes the muscles of the arteries, permitting blood to flow more freely. Stress hormones, which cause the blood vessels to constrict, are reduced by the phthalides found in celery, and laboratory tests have shown that when these phthalides are injected into animals their blood pressure dropped 12 to 14 percent. The University of Chicago Medical Center tested a man whose blood pressure was 158/96. By eating only four stalks of celery a day for one week, his reading dropped to 118/82.
Oats, Oat Bran: A study involving 850 participants conducted by researchers at Johns Hopkins University found that people who consumed as little as one ounce of oatmeal daily had lower blood pressure and cholesterol than those who never ate oatmeal. Unlike wheat, barley and most other grains, oats retain their bran and germ layer nutrients even after processing. Oat bran is a more powerful component of oatmeal. In one study, the participants experienced a 3.5 percent drop in LDL cholesterol by eating oatmeal, but a 15.9 percent drop in LDL cholesterol by eating the same amount of oat bran. As an alternative to oatmeal as a cereal, a few seconds of grinding the dry flakes in a blender results in a coarsely ground oat flour that can be used for pancakes and other home made breads that contribute to heart health, especially so if oat bran is added to the mix.
If you have hypertension (high blood pressure), you may find that natural foods will keep your blood pressure under control without the need for a doctor=s prescription.
Hypertension is a disease to be taken seriously. Each of the above natural foods, plus others that are heart-healthy, can contribute in the fight against hypertension, but there are additional factors such as exercise, lifestyle, vitamins, herbs and certain supplements that play an important role in keeping this life-threatening condition under control. Don’t delay learning more about what you can do to control your high blood pressure. You owe it to yourself and your loved ones.