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Lower Your Blood Pressure with Whole Foods

beth February 26, 2013
Lowering Blood Pressure With Whole Foods
Image derived from Zeusandhera

Blood pressure is a funny thing. Some people have low blood pressure and think that”s normal, some people have normal blood pressure and maybe take for granted that they”ll always have good blood pressure, and some people have high blood pressure but keep it under control with medications like Diamox or Atenolol, and don”t give it a second thought. Most people would agree that sodium or heredity is what causes high blood pressure. That may be true in some cases, but I don”t think that there has been nearly enough attention given to specific foods, vitamins and minerals that we can feed our bodies to help relax and support our blood vessels and promote healthy cholesterol levels. Here are a few that I really like and why.

Buckwheat

What makes buckwheat so beneficial to blood pressure is a flavonoid (a chemical compound found in plants) called Rutin. Rutin helps keep blood platelets from clotting too much. Some clotting is good. It keeps us from bleeding to death when we get cut, but too much clotting can cause a build up in our blood vessels and make it difficult for blood to pass through. Rutin also protects LDL (bad cholesterol) from being oxidized into potentially harmful cholesterol oxides, which can also build up in blood vessels.

Buckwheat also contains magnesium, a mineral that relaxes blood vessels,which in turn helps improve blood flow and the body”s ability to deliver nutrients to every system in the body.

When I say buckwheat, some people”s eyes glaze over. 🙂 It”s not the most common food and casino online people aren”t always sure how to incorporate into their diet. You could always try my yummy, kid-approved Apple Carrot Flax Muffin recipe that has buckwheat flour in it. You can also find a buckwheat pancake recipe on my website. Disclaimer: They don”t fluff up like buttermilk pancakes, but they are pretty darn good, and a great alternative for gluten sensitive people.

Alfalfa

Just like buckwheat, alfalfa also contains Rutin and Magnesium. I recently had a friend tell me that she had gone to her doctor friend about a year ago, who told her that she had high blood pressure. He automatically recommended a blood pressure medication, and she, being the holistically-minded woman that I love, told her doctor that she was going to go at it from a online casino food angle and see what she could do. She did some research and found that alfalfa was supposed to have some blood pressure lowering properties. So she ate alfalfa every day for a year and went back. Her blood pressure was back in the normal range, and when she told him what she had done, all he said was “I know.” She said “What do you mean you know?” He said ” I knew that it would work. I just couldn”t tell you that.”  My point in telling that story isn”t to bad mouth doctors. I do think they prescribe medications too quickly, but my goal is really to inspire and motivate people to take charge of their own health and realize that simple changes (I know, this is just my opinion 🙂 ) in the diet can make a huge and life changing difference.

Alfalfa also has Potassium which helps balance fluid in the body. With all of the sodium that is consumed through junk and processed foods these days, it”s especially important to make sure we get enough Potassium to help keep blood pressure in the normal range. That and making sure we get enough water in every day. Half your body weight in ounces is a good rule of thumb.

Alfalfa can be added to salads, stuffed in pita with tomatoes, falafel and tzatziki sauce, or sauteed with bell peppers, onions and chicken.

Nutritional Relaxing Agents

Lastly, there are 3 B Vitamins that are known as nutritional relaxing agents. Riboflavin (B2), Niacin (B3) and Pyridoxine (B6). They”re vasodilators, which means they open up the blood vessels by relaxing the nerves in the blood vessels. Most people ask “Well, can”t I just take a B Complex or a multi- vitamin to help with that?” The answer is USUALLY no, and that”s because most B Vitamin supplements are synthetic. They cause flushing, upset stomach, and aren”t absorbed or used very well in the body because the body doesn”t recognize it as food. B Vitamins are water soluble, so whatever your body doesn”t use just gets flushed out.

A really great food source of multiple B Vitamins in high doses (which a lot of people need- muscle soreness, spasms, mood, energy, sugar cravings, night sweats) is nutritional yeast. You can find it in the spice section of Sprouts, Whole Foods or most any other health food store.  Bragg”s is the brand I recommend. It”s $6 for a big bottle and can be mixed into smoothies, salads, soups, etc. on a daily basis.

Happy Eating!

 What Foods Do You Consume To Lower Blood Pressure?

 

 

 

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8 Comments

  1. Excellent information here! I am going to pass this along to a friend who is on blood pressure medication.

    Reply

  2. Do you think these recommendations would also apply for pregnancy induced high blood pressure?

    Reply

    • Those things would definitely help support blood vessel health, but pregnancy induced high blood pressure has a lot to do with adrenal fatigue and a calcium need in the body.

      Reply

  3. […] -Lower Your Blood Pressure With Whole Foods – Need a lower blood pressure without a […]

    Reply

    • Calcium lactate, high doses of vitamins a, c and d from whole foods(raw milk, carrots, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, oranges, kiwis, apples, salmon, free range eggs) or whole food supplements are really great for supporting the immune system. Sovereign silver is also a really great antiviral / antibacterial that you can buy in a nasal spray at sprouts or other health food stores.

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  4. My hubby has had high blood pressure, and the 2 meds, reducing sodium, etc. didn’t work very well. But what has worked is CPAP… he has been on the machine at night for about 8 months now and his blood pressure is so good he has been able to come off one of his meds. If his BP is good at the 1 year on CPAP mark, he gets to come off the other med too. We are amazed! I have been able to keep my borderline high BP under control by lowering sodium intake, losing some weight, and choosing healthier food options (like fruits and veggies instead of junk food). My doctor agrees that the extra vitamin D, and magnesium I take everyday along with a multivitamin have helped too. Our cholesterol levels have always been completely normal without any nutritional intervention. Water is our primary beverage of choice. We are working on eating more fruits and veggies, have greatly reduced our intake of fast foods, and I cook a lot more often than I used to, but otherwise nothing too extreme. Not sure if we’re ready for alfalfa and buckwheat… trying to find where to buy it, then figure out how to prep it for eating might just be enough to raise my BP. Perhaps someday I may try it if other things stop working.

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I’m Kate, mama to 5 and wife to Ben.  I love meeting new people and hearing their stories.  I’m also a big fan of “fancy” drinks (anything but plain water counts as ‘fancy’ in my world!) and I can’t stop myself from DIY-ing everything.  I sure hope you’ll stick around so I can get to know you better!

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