Natural Prevention of America’s Leading Killer – Heart Disease
Americans are battling high blood pressure at alarming rate, afflicting one in every three adults, and only about half of those diagnosed have their blood pressure under control. From lifestyle choices such as inactivity and high calorie, low nutrient diets to high stress at work and home life, we are literally killing ourselves. Heart disease is the number one leading cause of death among Americans, and taking action quickly to control blood pressure or to prevent an issue with blood pressure is one step towards living a longer, healthier life.
High blood pressure is usually determined by having a blood pressure reading higher than 140/90 mm, though it is usually only diagnosed when high blood pressure is sustained, which can put great strain on your heart muscle and can lead to cardiac arrest.
If you are at low to moderate risk of high blood pressure due to lifestyle and genetic factors, or you are diagnosed to have pre-hypertension, which is classified as having elevated blood pressure that has not yet reached ‘high’ levels, it is advisable to take preventative measures to keep your blood pressure at normal levels to sustain your heart health.
If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, normally a doctor will recommend that you make some lifestyle changes such as implementing a regular cardiovascular fitness routine, reducing salt intake, practicing relaxation techniques such as meditation and yoga and including stress management activities in your daily life. Also, medication is often prescribed to treat high blood pressure. While it is not advisable to stop taking prescribed medications, you can also help to control it with natural remedies, but if you have been prescribed medication, please communicate with your doctor about the natural remedies you with to incorporate to ensure that they will not interfere with medicinal treatments.
- Herbal Tea with Lemon: Drink a warm cup of natural herbal tea (not containing real tea leaves) with the juice of one half of a lemon. You may also use plain warm water with lemon juice as well. For best results, drink first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, and do not add sugar or sweeteners.
- Coconut Water: It is critical to stay hydrated to help control high blood pressure, and coconut water is great for that. It also contains potassium, magnesium and vitamin C, which are known to decrease systolic levels in blood pressure.
- Garlic: Eat one or two crushed garlic cloves daily. If you don’t like the idea of eating raw garlic, try an all-natural garlic supplement.
- Watermelon and Poppy Seed Blend: Grind equal parts of dried watermelon seeds and poppy seeds, and take one teaspoon on an empty stomach twice per day-once in the morning and again in the evening.
- Reduce or Eliminate Caffeine Intake: Caffeine is a stimulant commonly found in beverages such as coffee and soda and, of course, energy drinks. Stimulants naturally raise blood pressure as a byproduct of providing energy by stimulating the adrenal system. Eliminating caffeine from your diet will prevent your body producing an unnatural surge of energy that raises your blood pressure.
- Reduce or Eliminate Salt Intake: This includes avoiding most processed, canned and packaged foods. If you are not eating a diet comprised only of whole natural foods, this is recommended. Otherwise, at least read labels carefully and avoid foods with high sodium content, including MSG and all other flavor enhancers. Salt is an essential part of our diets and is critical in helping balance our internal chemistry, but there is already a good quantity of sodium that naturally exists in some foods such as celery and seafood. Unless you play intensive sports or work out intensely resulting in profuse sweating, it is unlikely that your body chemistry will need additional salt beyond what you already consume in a natural diet.
Remember that no matter what your blood pressure is today, taking natural preventative measures to prevent problems in the future is the key, but do be sure to consult your physician before making any dramatic dietary changes.