1. MANAGE STRESS: Although stress is a normal phenomenon of the human experience, it is how we control stress. Stress and anxiety produce chemicals to be released into your body, increase your blood pressure and trigger a reduction of blood flow to your heart. Most people in Stage 1 or 2 of adrenal fatigue typically have high blood pressure secondary to increased cortisol and adrenaline. Those with hypertension should always eliminate heavy metal toxicity. LDL cholesterol levels may be resulted from excessive stress too.
Winning Formulas to Relax and Manage Stress (practice some form of stress reduction EVERY day):
– Prioritize – write down your priorities
– Breathe – Full, deep belly breathing. Start with a minimum of two minutes every day and gradually increase to ten minutes daily.
– Listen to calm music
– Warm, aromatherapy bath with Epsom salts
– Change how you view situations
– Surround yourself with like-minded people and friends. You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Be aware and eliminate unhealthy, stressful social behaviors including arguments, drama, drinking, inactivity, unhealthy eating and over-eating.
University of Utah psychologist found that women in strained marriages are more likely to feel depressed and suffer high blood pressure, obesity and other signs of “metabolic syndrome,” a group of risk factors for heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
– Dissolve unhealthy lose-win relationships and focus on attracting only win-win relationships.
2. ELIMINATE ALL PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED OILS (TRANS FATS): Partially hydrogenated oils are found in thousands of processed foods (breakfast cereals, cookies, chips, fried foods, packaged foods, all CRAP food). Trans fats are proven to cause heart disease. Restaurant food, especially from fast food chains, often serve food loaded with trans fats.
Consequences of a diet high in trans fats include:
– immune function
– Decrease IQ – learning disabilities. American IQ has dropped 20 points in the past 20 years.
– Elevated blood pressure
– Free radical production
– Heart Disease
– Interferes with neurological & visual development of fetus
– Liver damage
– Type II diabetes
3. LOSE BODY FAT: This is achieved with the “4 Powers” – Nutrition, Lifestyle, Exercise and Supplements. Excess body fat stresses your joints and organs, including your heart. Decreasing body fat in a healthy, slow, steady manner will improve your health, lower your cholesterol and reduce blood pressure and your risk of diabetes.
4. CONSISTENT EXERCISE: This isn’t breaking news. Exercise will help you reduce stress, decrease body fat, increase your metabolism and lower your risk of diabetes. Adequate, consistent exercise will lower your blood pressure and increase the “good” HDL cholesterol and lower your triglycerides. Take a brisk 30 minute walk every day. There is evidence that resistance training results in a more favorable balance in myocardial oxygen supply and demand than aerobic exercise due to the lower heart rate and higher myocardial perfusion pressure. Moderate intensity strength training can control or prevent hypertension. Circulation 116: 572-584, 2007.
5. ELIMINATE HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP: HFCS is the number one source of calories for most Americans and causes obesity. You’ll find high-fructose corn syrup in processed crap food, sodas, syrup that goes into your Latte from Starbucks, etc. HFCS is extremely toxic to your liver, increases inflammation, oxidative stress and creates an aggressive insulin response.
6. SUPPLEMENTS FOR HYPERTENSION: Omega-3 fish oils, magnesium, vitamin D, Biotics VasculoSirt, Green Tea Extract, Hawthorne Extract, Digestive enzymes, Probiotics, Folic Acid, Ginger
– Ginger has blood pressure-lowering effects that can protect against the chronic brain injury caused by hypertension. Vascul Pharmacol, 2005 Oct;43(4):234-41
– Supplementation with at least 5000 microg/d folic acid for at least 6 weeks may reduce systolic blood pressure slightly. Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, 2009; 8(1): 15-24.
– Diuretics cause potassium levels to drop increasing the risk of hypokalemia.
– Beta-blockers reduce heart rate and cardiac output potentially reducing exercise performance.
– With calcium channel blockers systolic and diastolic blood pressures are reduced during exercise which may result in light headedness and peripheral edema post-exercise.
– Additional side effects from hypertension drugs include: dizziness, increased risk of breast cancer, memory loss, nausea, asthma-like symptoms, joint pain and impotence in men.
SUPPLEMENTS FOR ELEVATED CHOLESTEROL: Omega-3 fish oils, tocotrienols, pantethine, vitamin D, Biotics VasculoSirt or GlucoBalance, Green Tea Extract
According to a recent study, men with higher vitamin D levels had a 59% reduction in heart attacks. So if vitamin D’s only benefit was to reduce coronary heart attack rates by 59%, the net savings (after deducting the cost of the vitamin D) if every American supplemented properly would be around $ 85 billion each year. Arch Intern Med. 2008 Jun 9; 168(11):1174-80
7. FOR HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE increase potassium rich foods such as vegetables, fruits, legumes and fish. Most Americans consume only half the recommended daily intake of potassium and twice the suggested limit for sodium! Potassium can influence BP levels by increasing sodium excretion from the body by stimulating the blood vessels to dilate, opening potassium channels.
FOR ELEVATED CHOLESTEROL increase consumption of plant sterols, sometimes called phytosterols. Plant sterols are the healthy compounds that occur naturally in a variety of plant foods such as fruits and vegetables, seeds and nuts. These foods are recognized for their proven role in lowering LDL “bad” cholesterol levels.
FOR BOTH, ELEVATED CHOLESTEROL and HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE include beta-glucan for fiber, a natural occurring soluble fiber found in whole-grain, oat based cereals. Beta-glucan has LDL cholesterol lowering benefits and substantial decreases in blood pressure.
8. INCREASE CONSUMPTION OF SMART FATS and ORGANIC PROTEIN:
FATS – avocado, wild fish, raw (unsalted) organic nuts and seeds, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil
PROTEINS – Grass-fed beef and buffalo, cage-free poultry, wild salmon, fish, eggs, quality whey protein isolate or concentrate.
9. DECREASE ALCOHOL and CAFFEINE CONSUMPTION and INCREASE WATER INTAKE: Alcohol and caffeine cause adrenaline rushes that make blood pressure soar. Alcohol, sugar and processed, refined grains also lead to insulin resistance, hypertension and elevated cholesterol. Alcohol can affect your nerves and how your liver processes fat in the blood. Alcohol and caffeine disrupt blood glucose levels. Not only is alcohol hard on the body, just one drink can cause cellular death in several organs such as the brain.
Take your bodyweight and multiply by .7 – this will give you the number of ounces you should be drinking daily. Add a pinch of Celtic sea salt and lemon to your water.
10. ELIMINATE SUGAR, REFINED CARBOHYDRATES and ALL ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS: Phenylalanine, especially found in Nutra-Sweet and OTC antihistamines, can aggravate high blood pressure.
Sugar is more addictive than cocaine! Sugar has a profound influence on your brain function and your psychological function. When you consume excess amounts of sugar, your body releases excess amounts of insulin, which in turn causes a drop in your blood sugar, also known as hypoglycemia. Sugar and refined carbohydrates wreak havoc on blood glucose levels.
In addition, sugar is pro-flammatory and damages skin collagen and promotes again and wrinkles, increases your appetite, depletes your body of B vitamins, causes joint degeneration, ADHD and other behavior disorders, stimulates cholesterol synthesis and weight gain. This is just a small list of sugars’ toxic side effects.
Hypertension and elevated cholesterol (as well as diabetes) can be managed WITHOUT pharmaceutical drugs. HOW? Healthy lifestyle habits, stress management, supplements, diet and nutrition, a proper exercise program and fat loss.
Copyright © 2009 Paula Owens
Author of THE POWER OF 4
Master of Holistic Nutrition