leafy vegetables (such as spinach, kale, and broccoli) Foods that are high in magnesium
include: whole grain breads and cereals, green leafy vegetables, and beans.  Foods that
are high in potassium include: bananas, orange juice, spinach, dried fruit, dried beans,
and potatoes.  
See complete list below.  Research shows that taking calcium,
magnesium, and/or potassium supplements doesn't offer added benefits for reducing
blood pressure.


What Is High Blood Pressure?

One of the main functions of the circulatory system is to circulate blood throughout the
body.  The main components of the circulatory system are: the heart, blood, and blood
vessels.  The heart's main function is to pump blood which goes through the blood
vessels.  The blood vessels' main function is to transport that blood throughout the
body.   The three major types of blood vessels are: the arteries (carry the blood away
from the heart), the capillaries (enable the actual exchange of water and chemicals
between the blood and tissues), and the veins (carry blood from the capillaries back
towards the heart).  

Blood pressure is the force of blood against the walls of the arteries, which occurs when
the heart pushes blood into the arteries.  Blood pressure naturally rises and falls during
the day.  High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, means that there is
consistently a higher-than-normal force of blood (blood pressure) being pushed on the
walls of the arteries.  Over time, blood gets pushed with more force and tension through
the arteries, and as a result the blood vessels become stiff and constricted.  High blood
pressure damages artery walls and speeds up plaque formation, which narrows the
passage for blood.  While plaque builds up in the arteries and blood flow is restricted,  
blood pressure goes up even higher.    

High blood pressure causes the heart to work harder.  The higher the blood pressure,
the greater the heart is working to pump blood.  The greater the heart is working to
pump blood the higher the risk of having a heart attack or stroke.  High blood pressure
can cause other health problems such as kidney disease, blindness, and heart failure.   


Causes of High Blood Pressure:

High blood pressure is a very complex condition.  The causes of high blood pressure are
still unknown for most cases.  There are several factors that practitioners and other
health professionals consider when trying to determine hypertension causes including:
family history of high blood pressure, race, overweight, age, sodium sensitivity, smoker,
heavy drinker, diabetes, high blood lipids, and other health problems such as kidney
disease.  

Although stress may raise blood pressure levels temporarily, Hypertension isn't a result
of emotional tension or stress.  People who are calm and relaxed can also have high
blood pressure.  Stress may be a factor, but the evidence isn't clear at this time.  
Doctors and other health professionals still recommend relieving stress for the overall
quality of our lives.


Symptoms of High Blood Pressure:

High blood pressure usually has no symptoms. Occasionally, headaches may occur.
A person can have high blood pressure for years without knowing it.  During that time,
high blood pressure can damage the heart, blood vessels, kidneys, and other parts of
the body.   Some people don't learn about their hypertension condition until it has
caused problems such as coronary heart disease, stroke, or kidney failure.  That's why
it's so important to get regularly tested for high blood pressure even when feeling fine.  


Suggestions For Keeping Blood Pressure Under Control:

After tests are completed, if blood pressure is normal, their are guidelines that can be
followed in order to keep it that way.  If blood pressure is too high, proper medical care
can be given such as taking prescription medication.  Other guidelines to follow so that
blood pressure can be kept under control include: reducing sodium intake; avoiding
alcohol intake or maintaining moderate alcohol intake; increasing physical activity; eating
natural foods high in calcium, magnesium,  potassium, and omega 3 fatty acids; and  
loosing excess weight.  


List of Foods That Lower High Blood Pressure:

Studies suggest that foods high in calcium, magnesium, potassium, and omega 3 fatty
acids can lower blood pressure.  

Calcium: low fat dairy (milk, yogurt, cheese), Chinese cabbage, rhubarb, spinach, white  
beans, bok choy, kale, pinto beans, red beans, and broccoli.

Magnesium: oat bran, brown rice, spinach, almonds, swiss chard, lima beans, blackstrap
molasses, peanuts, okra, and hazelnuts.

Potassium: baked potato with skin, plums, raisins, prune juice, lima beans, acorn
squash, bananas, spinach, tomato juice, artichokes, sunflower seeds, orange juice,
oranges, and almonds.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids: fatty fish (such as salmon, albacore tuna, and mackerel), nuts,
and flax seed oil.



Sources:
1. American Dietetic Association: Complete Food And Nutrition Guide (2nd Edition)
Roberta Larson Duyff, MS, RD, FADA, CFCS  
2. University of Arizona, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (High Blood Pressure)
3. Yale University, School of Medicine (Heart Book)
4. Colorado State University, Extension (Potassium and Health)
5. University of New Jersey, Rutgers Health Services (Sodium)
6. Harvard Medical School, Harvard Health Publication (Ten ways to lower blood pressure)
7. National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (High Blood Pressure)
Foods That Lower Blood Pressure
Foods that lower blood pressure
are those that are great sources of
calcium, magnesium, potassium,
and Omega 3 fatty acids.  Research
shows that natural foods containing
high levels of those nutrients can
help to lower blood pressure to
normal levels.  The recommended
diet for lowering and controlling
blood pressure emphasizes
consuming fruits, vegetables,
low-fat dairy products, whole
grains, poultry, fish, and nuts.
Foods that are high in calcium
include: Low-fat dairy products
(milk, yogurt, cheese), and green
Copyright © EveryNutrient.com
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The content on
this website is for educational purposes only.  Please consult with your physician before using natural
remedies and before making any drastic changes to your diet or exercise
program.
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