Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Controlling Hypertension with Natural Foods

Hypertension is a medical term given to high blood pressure. High blood pressure is often referred to as the "silent killer" as it usually has no symptoms but can still lead to life threatening situations. However, there are ways to manage this silent killer.

Food is one of the main factors implicated for causing hypertension. Your blood pressure can shoot up or remain normal as a result of what you eat. This means that food can help you in controlling your blood pressure. You take in more salty foods and chances are that your blood pressure will go up. Which other foods can help you control your blood pressure?

Apples: One of the most valuable fruits, an apple is a rich source of vitamins, minerals and pectin. Pectin is the active therapeutic agent present in apple. Apples are considered invaluable in case of hypertension. It has a diuretic effect, which causes increased secretion of urine and brings back the blood pressure to normal. Due to increased urination the sodium chloride levels in the body goes down and this relieves the load on the kidneys to process excessive sodium chloride. At the same time apples being rich in potassium result in a fall in the tissue sodium levels.

Lemon: One of the richest source of vitamin C is lemon. For proper functioning of vitamin C, lemon has an abundance of vitamin P. This vitamin is essential for controlling hemorrhage as well as prevents the formation of fragile capillaries. As a result of this function lemon helps in preventing the adverse effects of high blood pressure. It helps in strengthening the entire circulatory system and at the same time helps in controlling many circulatory diseases.

Garlic: This is regarded as one of the most effective remedies to control blood pressure. Owing to its properties to reduce the spasms of small arteries, garlic helps in lowering the blood pressure. It slows the pulse rate while at the same time modifies the heart rhythm. Garlic also has the property of relieving the symptoms of dizziness, shortness of breath and acidity. One can take about two to three commonly available garlic capsules as an aid to control blood pressure. Studies have shown that due to its dilatory effect, garlic helps in widening the blood vessels, thereby reducing the pressure.

Rice: Whether rice helps in controlling blood pressure or it just prevents it is an controversial issue. Rice in itself is a low fat, low salt and vitamins rich food. It has been seen that communities where rice forms the main food have a lower incidence of hypertension. So it can be said that owing to its properties rice can help in preventing this silent killer.

Levels of sodium restriction
200 to 300 mg (extreme sodium restriction): no salt in cooking
500 to 700 mg (severe sodium restriction): no salt in cooking
1000 to 1500 mg (moderate restriction): no salt in cooking
2000 to 3000 mg (mild restriction): some salt in cooking can be added

Thus it can be said that natural foods are great healers to control hypertension.

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