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Denver Nutrition, LLC
Transformation Through Nutrition
with Nutrition Therapy

Debbie Allen, MNT, CHHP
Master Nutrition Therapist

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High Blood Pressure, Hypertension
... Could It Be Nutrition?

Lifestyle Tips   Foods That Help   Foods to Avoid   Hydration  
Supplements  Nutrition Therapy

What is High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)?
When the heart pumps blood through the arteries (large blood vessels), it pushes the blood against the arterial walls with a force that is measured as "blood pressure". Ideally, we should all have a blood pressure below 120 over 80 (120/80). This is the ideal blood pressure for people wishing to have good health. At this level, we have a much lower risk of heart disease or stroke.

High blood pressure is a serious condition that can lead to coronary heart disease, also known as coronary artery disease, heart failure, stroke, kidney failure, and other health problems.

Your blood pressure is highest when your heart beats, pumping the blood. This is called systolic pressure. When your heart is at rest, between beats, your blood pressure falls. This is the diastolic pressure.

Your blood pressure reading uses these two numbers, the systolic and diastolic pressures. Usually they are written one above or before the other.

Using this blood pressure chart:
To work out what your blood pressure readings mean, just find your top number (systolic) on the left side of the blood pressure chart and read across, and your bottom number (diastolic) on the bottom of the blood pressure chart. Where the two meet is your blood pressure.

  • 120/80 or lower is normal blood pressure
  • 140/90 or higher is high blood pressure
  • Between 120 and 139 for the top number, or between 80 and 89 for the bottom number is prehypertension

High blood pressure usually has no symptoms, but it can cause serious problems such as stroke, heart failure, heart attack and kidney failure. You can control high blood pressure through healthy lifestyle habits and taking medicines, if needed.

Causes and Symptoms
Hypertension is often called a "silent killer" because even severe, uncontrolled high blood pressure usually has no obvious symptoms. Blood pressure tends to rise with age. Follow a healthy lifestyle helps most people delay or prevent this rise in blood pressure. People who have high blood pressure can take steps to control it and reduce their risk of related health problems. Key steps include following a healthy lifestyle: staying active, drinking clean water and eating organic local whole foods.

Excessive pressure makes the heart work harder, increasing its oxygen demands and contributing to angina, and can eventually lead to an enlarged heart (cardiomegaly), as well as damage to blood vessels in the kidneys and brain. Hypertension, therefore, increases the risk of heart attacks, stroke and kidney disease.

Hypertension is the most common form of cardiovascular disease in America, affecting about 50 million people - that's close to one out of four adults. The good news is that hypertension is easy to detect, and can often be improved or controlled with natural remedies for high blood pressure and changes in diet and lifestyle.

    Hypertension Lifestyle Prevention Tips
  • Stress Reduction
    Stress causes hypertension by activating the sympathetic nervous system, causing the arteries to maintain a more rigid tone. Relax more. Meditation, yoga, exercise, and breathing exercises are all relaxation techniques that can help lower blood pressure.
  • Stay Active - Move Every Day
    Exercise for at least 30 minutes a day. Walking is truly the easiest and most effective natural remedies for high blood pressure.
  • Eating Less Sodium
    Eat less processed, fast and junk food, which usually contains excessive amounts of sodium can cause water retention which expands blood volume and ultimately increases blood pressure. Insulin resistance can increase blood pressure by causing the kidneys to retain sodium.
  • Maintain optimal weight
    Lose the excess weight. Even small amounts of weight loss can improve blood pressure.
  • Do Not Smoke
    Smoking contributes to all cardiovascular diseases, including high blood pressure, as well as other life-threatening conditions as well.
  • Drink Less Caffeine
    Caffeine acts as a cardiovascular stimulant and raises blood pressure. Limit your consumption of caffeine in coffee, tea and soda which contribute to high blood pressure.
  • Reduce Alcohol Consumption
    Regular alcohol intake can increase blood pressure.
  • Review medications often
    Medications, prescription drugs, including steroids, birth control pills, decongestants, NSAIDS and diet pills can raise blood pressure. Some over-the-counter medicines, such as those containing licorice root, ephedra, guarana, kola nut, yerba mate, ginseng and yohimbe, may also raise blood pressure.
Hydration - Water
Drinking adequate amounts of water is, quite simply, one of the healthiest, cheapest, and most effective ways that you can help lower your blood pressure. Chronic dehydration causes blood vessels to constrict, which helps the body conserve water by reducing water loss through perspiration, urination, and respiration. Unfortunately, constricted blood vessels require your heart to work harder, resulting in a spike in blood pressure.

Sipping suggestion:
We all know the 8-glasses-a-day rule, but don’t abide by it. An easy way to figure what you need is to divide your body weight in two.

Example: 150-pound person should shoot for at least 75 ounces daily.
Try to aim to drink this much water.

Lower High Blood Pressure with FOOD!
NATURAL ORGANIC foods and juices that can help you keep your Blood Pressure in check, WITHOUT THE POISONOUS MEDICINE. God has given mankind EVERYTHING that we need to live happy and healthy lives on this boutiful earth.

Mother Nature provides a bounty of nutrient vegetables. Look at your vegetable garden. If you don’t have a garden, check out your local farmer's market, or look for fresh organic produce at your grocery store.

The food list below is designed to help you wean yourself from any and all of those harmful chemically-laden-drugs, (that your body was never designed to absorb). By adding the foods noted below to your diet, you will feel better, and maybe be able to wean completely off the medcation.

Foods That Help Reduce Blood pressure - contain potassium
The most natural way to lower blood pressure is to eat right, and STAY hydrated.
- ADD potassium-rich foods to your diet.
- EAT ORGANIC vegetables and grass fed meats.
- DRINK WATER lots of fresh pure water
(Best ratio: 1/2 your weight in ounces - You weight 100 pounds - drink 50 oz. of water.
    The Top 10 Potassium-rich Fruits
  • Papaya (medium size) - 781 milligrams (mg) of potassium
  • Guava (1 cup) - 688 mg
  • Fresh figs (8 oz) - 526 mg
  • Cantaloupe (1 cup) - 494 mg
  • Banana (1 medium) - 422 mg
  • Prunes (1/4 cup) - 316 mg
  • Kiwi (1 fruit) - 252 mg
  • Strawberries (1 cup) - 239
  • Orange (1 medium) - 237 mg
  • Raspberries (1 cup) - 187 mg
    Potassium-rich Vegetables
  • Swiss chard (1 cup, boiled) - 960 mg of potassium
  • Lima beans (1 cup, cooked) - 955
  • Yams (1 cup, cooked) - 911
    Yams/Sweet potatoes are loaded with antioxidants, Vitamin A and fiber. Fiber helps “sweep off” bad cholesterol which could just be the cause of fatty deposits while the antioxidants help fight off the negative effects of free radicals in the body by neutralizing them. Free radicals are the by-products of the oxidative processes inside the body.

  • Winter squash (1 cup, baked) - 900 mg
    Winter squash is also packed with fiber and beta-carotene. Not only is this vegetable good for the eyes, it happens to be good for your heart too.

  • Avocado (1 cup, sliced) - 874 mg
  • Spinach (1 cup, boiled) - 838 mg
  • Pinto beans (1 cup, cooked) - 800 mg
  • Black beans (1 cup) - 801mg
    Black beans are a nutrient-dense source of fiber and magnesium, which are essential for healthy blood pressure levels.

  • Lentils (1 cup, cooked) - 730 mg
  • Kidney beans (1 cup, cooked) - 713 mg
  • Beets (1 cup, boiled) - 518 mg
    Beets contain high levels of potassium, manganese and folate. These are nutrients are essential for the proper functioning of the heart. Beet root is very nutritious, and the beet greens are also good for the heart as well.

  • Baked potato (with skin) - 510 mg
  • Broccoli (1 cup, steamed ) - 505 mg
    Broccoli is a warehouse of nutrients including: calcium, magnesium, fiber, potassium, and vitamin C - all nutrients that help lower blood pressure. One cup of steamed broccoli provides more than 200 percent of the vitamin C you need each day.

  • Green peas (1 cup, boiled) - 433 mg
    Green peas are rich in vitamins and fiber which helps promote a healthy heart. A study revealed that yellow garden peas contain a protein that helps in lowering high blood pressure levels while reducing the strain in our kidneys.

  • Tomato (1 cup, raw) - 399 mg
  • Carrots (1 cup, raw) - 394 mg
  • Green beans (1 cup, boiled) - 373 mg
  • Celery (1 stalk) - 166 mg
    Eating at least 4 stalks of celery daily helps lower high blood pressure levels. Celery is said to contain phthalides, a phytochemical which promotes relaxation of the muscle tissues in the walls of the artery, allowing blood to flow smoothly and thereby lowering one’s blood pressure.
    Potassium-rich Protein sources
  • Halibut (4 oz. baked/broiled) - 653 mg of potassium
  • Snapper (4 oz. baked/broiled) - 592 mg
  • Cod (4 oz. baked/broiled) - 586 mg
  • Yogurt (1 cup, lowfat) - 572 mg
  • Cow's milk (1 cup, 2%) - 376 mg
  • Goat's milk (1 cup) - 498 mg

Foods to Avoid
Avoid food that boosts insulin levels, which in turn can raise blood pressure levels. - ELIMINATE processed, fast, junk and canned foods, which contain chemicals your body cannot process, as well as large amounts of sodium will help lower your blood pressure.

- REDUCE Sugar-laden foods and grains will raise your insulin. These foods include whole, organic grains which rapidly break down to sugars, as well as packaged cereals, rice, pasta, potatoes, pastries and breads of all kinds.

Potassium Rich Foods - Heart Healthy
Following a healthy, well-balanced, and plentiful diet of foods high in potassium will help you keep your body's minerals in balance. Potassium is naturally found in fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Meat, poultry and fish foods are high in potassium too, but an entirely carnivorous diet will be detrimental to your health, causing a rise in acid levels and depleting potassium levels. Keep it all in balance and stay healthy!

Supportive Supplements
Quality Whole Food MultiVitamin
Taking a daily multivitamin simply ensures that you get the energy you need to drive metabolism. If you're not eating a diet rich in fresh whole foods, and if you don't get plenty of fruits and vegetables, a multivitamin may help you fill in the gaps. My favorite MultiVitamin is Catalyn, from Standard Process. Introduced in 1929, Catalyn, Dr. Lee's first product, contains vital nutrients from whole food sources and supports overall well-being.

Vitamin D
Normalizing your vitamin D levels can have a powerful effect on normalizing your blood pressure. Lower Vitamin D levels affect your immune system and increase risk for heart disease. Additionally, recent studies link Vitamin D to the regulation of many other bodily functions including blood pressure, glucose control, and inflammation, all of which are important risk factors related to heart disease.

Vitamin D levels can be normalized by simply including 20 minutes of sun exposure, per day. The normal "functional" range for vitamin D is approximately 40 to 74 nanograms per mL of blood. This range may vary slightly from one lab to another. If you have less than 40 nanograms of vitamin D per mL of blood, you probably have a deficiency. Vitamin D Supplements are available in pill form, as well as simple flavored cod liver oil.
My favorite Vitamin D supplement is:
Cataplex D from Standard Process.

Omega 3 fatty acids
According to multiple studies done, omega 3 fats lower blood pressure and improve blood vessel function. Clinical trials have revealed that fish oil reduced blood pressure readings by 3.0mm Hg for systolic pressure (top number) and 1.5mm Hg for diastolic pressure (bottom number).

My favorite sources of omega 3 fats are wild-caught salmon, snapper, halibut, cod, shrimp and scallops. An excellent plant source of omega 3 fatty acids is ground flax seeds.
My favorite omega 3 supplement is:
Tuna Omega 3 from Standard Process.

Are you ready to address your high blood pressure with nutrition?
Debbie Allen is a Master Nutrition Therapist and owner of Denver Nutrition. Debbie works with individuals who have a genuine motivation to become healthier through diet and lifestyle changes. With Nutrition Therapy, Debbie will provide you with ongoing, individualized dietary plans and nutritional education based on your goals and food preferences to make the process easy and fun, while integrating the use of whole natural foods.

Good health begins with taking responsibility for our own body.
Contact Me Now to Begin Your Transformation.

If you have questions, need more information or would like to schedule
a FREE 30 minute phone consult: Call Debbie Allen, MNT at 303-782-4842.

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