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10 Facts you should know about high blood pressure

1. Hypertension is related to conditions such as arteriosclerosis and atherosclerosis (which are narrowing and hardening of arteries), cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol and heart attack. According to National Stroke Association, hypertension can increase the chances of strokes by seven times but it’s also one of the most controllable health factors for strokes.

2. Using diuretic drugs can increase excretion of magnesium via urine. Magnesium and calcium are needed to be taken to prevent bone decay and help to maintain a normal heart rhyme and muscular contraction. In fact, researchers in the University of New York found that lower level of magnesium in the body can cause high blood pressure. Be aware that herbal diuretics are a lot safer than synthetic drugs. Diuretic drugs might also cause potassium deficiency and heart malfunction. Consult with your physician before taking diuretic dugs.

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3. People with hypertension sometimes suffer from sleep apnea which means they stop breathing for few seconds at nights. These individuals feel extremely sleepy during the day and treatment of sleep apnea can significantly reduce blood pressure. Heavy snores at night might also be related to high blood pressure and malfunction of a part of the brain responsible for fluent breathing.

4. Avoid stress and anxiety as much as you could and do not take supplements that have amino acids, phenylalanine and tyrosine. Also avoid artificial low calorie sweeteners such as Equal and NutraSweet since aspartame has phenylalanine.

5. Taking drugs and medication for high blood pressure can lead to low blood pressure called hypotension. Hypotension can result in nausea, weakness, loss of consciousness and sweating. In some cases low blood pressure can also be a sign of heart disease or loss of blood.

6. Our bodies need 500 mg of salt a day but a roasted beef sandwich has three to four times more salt than what our body needs. In fact, an average American consumes 3400 mg salt a day and 80% of Americans have increased sensitivity to dietary sodium. Salt, sugar and fat are the cocaine of typical American diet. Avoid processed foods, canned foods and fast foods and have a diet high in fiber with plenty or organic fruits and vegetables.

7. Increase the amount of your potassium intake. In a study by Tulane University, the blood pressure of people who took potassium supplements dropped by 5 points. But be aware that excessive potassium (like eating too many bananas) can also cause muscle cramps.

8. There are certain foods and herbs that can help to reduce high blood pressure such as cayenne, watermelon, raisins, cranberries, Hawthorne berries (herbal extracts), dark chocolate or raw cacao beans and bananas (because they have lots of potassium). Consume a diet high in fiber with lots of raw organic fruits and vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, flaxseed, cantaloupe, eggplant, garlic, grapefruits, green leafy vegetables like lettuce and kale, melons, peas, raisins, squash and apples.

9. Cut down salt from your diet completely. Lowering your salt intake isn’t enough so make sure to read product labels very carefully. Also avoid processed foods that have preservatives like MSG, high fructose corn syrup, sodas and soft drinks and canned foods completely. You should also avoid red wine, milk chocolate, dairy products, smoking, alcohol and caffeine.

10. Get regular exercise and meditate 15 to 20 minutes a day. In a study, a group of people who practiced transcendental meditation twice a day had a greater reduction in their blood pressure than those who exercised regularly or reduced the amount of salt, alcohol and calorie intake. Music can also help to reduce stress and blood pressure.

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