Watch the video
High Blood Pressure - Hypertension
High blood pressure is a disorder that affects over 10 million people, of which only ¼ are able to control it.
Medically, high blood pressure is denoted by the term hypertension and it is defined as such when there is a permanent increase in blood pressure, above the values considered normal. Specifically, the limits for diagnosing hypertension are: minimum pressure> 90mmHg and maximum pressure> 140mmHg.
Almost always (in 95% of cases), high blood pressure is of an essential type, therefore independent of other pathological conditions; this form of hypertension is still idiopathic, ie the specific causes are not known. There are also other types of hypertension, called secondary, which owe their onset to kidney or heart disease.
Essential hypertension (which from now on we will simply call "hypertension") is likely to have a multifactorial etiology; among the most important causes are recognized: genetic predisposition / familiarity, overweight, improper diet, sedentary lifestyle, alcohol abuse and stress. The increase in pressure is also linked to aging.
All this attention to high blood pressure comes from the fact that severe hypertension, and / or aggravated by other risk factors (e.g. smoking, diabetes, overweight, etc.), SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASES THE RISK OF CARDIO-CEREBRO-VASCULAR EVENTS ( stroke and coronary heart disease).
Lower the Pressure
To lower the pressure (whether it is already definable as hypertension, or which is still one of the cases of PRE-hypertension) it is necessary to intervene on several fronts. First of all, if possible, it is essential to remove the primary triggering agent; otherwise, it is necessary to resort to drug therapy under medical supervision. In both situations, it is always advisable to reduce the overall cardiovascular risk index by also intervening on any collateral risk factors, such as diet and lifestyle.
Ultimately, if high blood pressure is due solely to a physical, dietary and lifestyle condition, the priority interventions are:
- Low-calorie diet and increase in overall energy expenditure (in case of overweight and obesity)
- Low-sodium diet, rich in potassium, magnesium and omega-3, low in saturated / hydrogenated fatty acids (possibly supported by some supplements such as arginine and herbal products)
- Begin a protocol of mainly AEROBIC motor / sports activity, perhaps associated with muscle toning exercises
- Eliminate all alcohol (and possibly also drinks containing STIMULATING nerves - such as coffee)
- Eliminate smoking
- Minimize mental stress, also considering the intervention of a psychological professional or the use of anxiolytic drugs.
Generally, this type of high blood pressure occurs with age and in proportion to the increase in body fat; however, in the West, we are witnessing more and more the manifestation of precocious hypertension (puberty).
On the contrary, if a hereditary basis is so strong that it ignores any other risk factor, pharmacological intervention is almost inevitable. Among the various molecules are used (alone or in combination): diuretics, adrenergic inhibitors, calcium antagonists, inhibitors of the renin-angiotensin system, direct-acting vasodilators.
Natural Ways To Lower Blood Pressure
As anticipated, high blood pressure is the result of a profound metabolic decompensation.
Sometimes it is enough to intervene EXCLUSIVELY in a "natural" way e without using drugs which, in general, once taken, they CANNOT be interrupted but only reduced! However, this approach requires two essential requirements: a weak genetic basis and total compliance with the strategy without exceptions.
In the previous paragraph we mentioned the priority interventions to be carried out to lower the pressure; they are almost all natural with the exception of drugs and, for the more "severe", supplements. Let's analyze them one by one:
- Elimination of cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption and the abuse of stimulating nerves.
- Low Calorie Diet and Increased Overall Energy Expenditure: overweight is one of the factors that most affect the increase in blood pressure. It goes without saying that by reducing excess fat up to normal weight, you can also enjoy a clear moderation of blood pressure; however, even the simple loss of a few excess kilos is useful, so much so that in general for every kg lost, a 1mmHg reduction in blood pressure can be expected.
To lose weight, it is essential that the overall energy balance is negative, i.e. that the calories consumed are lower than those consumed. This result can be obtained with a low-calorie diet, perhaps supported by an increase in overall physical activity. The extent of the energy cut is approximately 30% of the total expenditure. The increase in expenditure affects both basic physical activity (daily activities: cycling or walking, climbing stairs, etc.) and desirable or motor activity. Increasing expenditure means being able to benefit from a richer low-calorie diet, i.e. with more nutrients and energy, therefore more bearable.
- Nutritional Balance and Attention to the Needs of Hypertension: in addition to being low-calorie, the diet for hypertension must have some very specific requirements. These are:
- TOTAL elimination of added sodium chloride (table salt) and, sometimes, of the sodium naturally present in food. Sodium is a mineral which, if in excess, appears to be involved in the mechanisms of onset and aggravation of high blood pressure.
Sodium is naturally present in foods but, through the intake of raw (unprocessed) foods, it is never possible to create a nutritional surplus. The only exception is made up of certain bivalve molluscs which, being alive and sealed, release sea water from their inside at the time of cooking. On the other hand, the main food sources of sodium in the human diet are linked to sodium chloride added in food during industrial processing or at the time of consumption, and to the sodium contained in certain food additives. To help reduce pressure, certain precautions will therefore be indispensable such as: prohibition of the addition of sodium chloride on foods at the time of consumption, prohibition of the consumption of broth cube and prohibition of the consumption of preserved meats, preserved fish, aged cheeses and vegetables in a jar.
- Increase of potassium and magnesium with food: if sodium is a mineral responsible for the increase in pressure, potassium and magnesium (some also hypothesize calcium) act with a diametrically opposite mechanism. Among other things, in healthy subjects, "excess" potassium and magnesium are easily excreted by the kidneys, which greatly facilitates nutritional intervention: the more you take with food, the better! Obviously, this indication must subordinate to other nutritional considerations. Since these are minerals typically contained in vegetables, fruit, whole grains and legumes, their massive intake could lead to some imbalances such as: excess dietary fiber and excess fructose.
- Increase of omega 3 essential fatty acids and reduction of saturated / hydrogenated ones: in addition to significantly contributing to the production of endogenous cholesterol (increasing cardio-vascular risk), saturated / hydrogenated fats are in some way related to the increase in blood pressure; it does not matter if it is a direct or indirect relationship, the important thing is to drastically reduce them by avoiding: fatty meats (again the preserved ones are involved, mentioned in point A), butter and fatty cheeses (almost all mature ones).
On the other hand, omega 3s play a very important IPOtensive role and intervene in the reduction of cardiovascular risk through the reduction of triglycerides in the blood, the improvement of cholesterolemia, the anti-inflammatory function and the protection from compromises related to a possible type of diabetic condition. 2. These nutrients are quite difficult to find and are found mainly in the oils of algae, krill, fish liver, flaxseed, hempseed, kiwi seed, wheat germ, soybean and (at lower concentrations) all other foods from which these condiment fats are extracted.
- Begin a motor / sports activity protocol: as mentioned, this must be predominantly AEROBIC, preferably combined with muscle toning exercises. As for aerobics, it is recommended to practice at least 3-4 weekly sessions lasting 50-60 ', with intensity oscillating between the aerobic range and just above the anaerobic threshold.
Toning with overloads takes on a secondary role and can be done after the aerobic one or in independent sessions for 2 times a week, avoiding excessive loads and working at high repetitions.
- Use of herbal products and supplements: they are not all natural products. For example, arginine is a synthetic amino acid (responsible for the endogenous production of nitric oxide at the cellular level). Its real hypotensive efficacy is still the subject of controversy. The same goes for potassium, magnesium and omega 3, even if in this case the beneficial effect is overt. On the other hand, there are extracts and herbal products, in raw or dried form, which can help fight high blood pressure; among these we remember the SPECIFIC hypotensive plants, such as: garlic, onion, rauwolfia, birch, hawthorn, heart, ginkgo biloba, blueberry, orthosiphon, mistletoe, red vine, olive tree, periwinkle, uncaria, lily of the valley, ligustico, carcadè (hibiscus), evodia and Iranian yarrow. Eventually, they can be associated with foods / extracts with diuretic functions such as: pineapple, birch, artichoke, cucumber, walnut leaves, onion, horsetail, fennel, apple, nettle, elderflower, corn stigmas and dandelions.
Balances Hawthorn Garlic
This supplement is designed to promote the well-being of the cardiovascular system and keep blood pressure values under control. The formulation of the equilibra product is made up of extracts of hawthorn and garlic, two plants known for their positive impact on heart and pressure. Do not be intimidated by the presence of garlic because, thanks to the technology of dispersion of the oily particles in the capsule, the pungent flavor typical of this plant does not remain in the mouth. The tablets do not contain gluten.
Dr. Giorgini's garlic food supplement
This supplement is entirely based on garlic extract and promotes the maintenance of regular blood pressure. Not only that, it is also an ally of the cardiovascular system and helps promote the metabolism of triglycerides and cholesterol. It can also prove to be a precious ally for those who want to strengthen their immune defenses.