“Why is high blood pressure so bad?”
question: I have been told I have high blood pressure. Is it that bad and are there any natural ways I can lower it? answer: High blood pressure or hypertension is a symptom rather than a disease. But it is a symptom that must be treated. If you have hypertension you are four times more likely to develop heart disease.
High blood pressure often has no symptoms, however the repercussions are serious so it’s best to at least know you have it. Some people do notice symptoms such as headaches, reddening face, buzzing or noise in the ears, nose bleeds, fatigue and confusion.
We now eat 10 times more sodium than our hunter-gatherer ancestors. Sodium has an osmotic effect on the body, drawing out water and increasing blood pressure. Sodium is part of the molecule sodium chloride, better known as salt, which is added to processed food to enhance taste and as a preservative.
The best way to lower your salt intake is not by choosing “low-salt”, processed foods, but by ditching processed foods altogether. Potassium regulates sodium levels. We should be eating twice the amount of potassium as we do sodium. However, we eat four times less potassium than our ancestors.
Potassium-rich foods include bananas, citrus fruit, apricots, avocado, parsley, potatoes, almonds, cashews, pecans, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, sardines, kelp and kidney beans.
Herbs which can be useful in lowering blood pressure include Coleus forskohlii, valerian, olive leaf and hawthorn.
Losing any extra kilograms also helps shift blood pressure readings in the right direction.
Stress hormones are another factor that increase blood pressure and many studies have shown that meditation lowers stress hormones.
High blood pressure usually responds to a change in diet and lifestyle. However, if you still have high blood pressure after making these changes, take medication from your doctor, knowing you have done all you can naturally. bodyandsoul.com.au For more of Mim Beim’s naturopathy tips visit bodyandsoul.com. au/healing