Food for Life – Lowering your Blood Pressure

This month we will review lifestyle changes or treatment remedies that will be helpful in lowering your blood pressure:

  1. Low salt diet: Be aware that salt added to prepared food is only a part of the problem. The greater problem is foods that are high in sodium, especially processed foods.
  2. Decrease your weight to that recommended for your height by eliminating all snacks, drinking only water between meals, eating a good breakfast and a moderate lunch, and eliminating the evening meal or only having whole fruit. Eliminate or greatly reduce refined sugar and free fats or fatty foods in the diet. Eliminate all animal products from your diet. Increase foods high in fiber.
  3. Abstinence from alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine. All three of these raise blood pressure and should be totally avoided.
  4. Beginning moderate, daily, aerobic exercise—exercise that calls into play the heart and lungs—can significantly lower blood pressure. Healthful exercise usually occurs when you are exercising such that you can talk and exercise at the same time. If you are over 35 years of age and have not been exercising, be sure to consult your physician before beginning an exercise program.
  5. Life stresses can raise blood pressure. External pressures that confront us and our internal reactions to those stresses are both important. Good stress coping mechanisms should be adopted for improved blood pressure.
  6. Diet is also important in lowering blood pressure. When our food intake is high in natural foods as grown from the earth and prepared with as few additives as possible, blood pressure can be lowered. A diet high in fiber is also very helpful in binding the absorption of cholesterol and calories.

Treatments other than lifestyle changes and drugs that have been associated with lowering blood pressure include:

  1. Consumption of foods that are high in calcium: leafy green vegetables, grains such as oatmeal, quinoa, and amaranth, lentils, dried figs, sesame seeds, and filberts.
  2. Consumption of a bowl of oatmeal each day.
  3. Consumption of garlic. A clove of garlic or two may be taken one to four times daily. To help reduce “garlic breath,” the garlic can be marinated in olive oil for a week and then taken out of the oil and consumed. Onions, because of the chemical similarities, may also help with these conditions.
  4. Consumption of grapes.
  5. Consumption of plant foods high in Omega-3 fats: flax seed, walnuts, wheat germ, green soybeans, spinach, and almonds.
  6. Consumption of lecithin: one tablespoon of lecithin granules one to three times daily.
  7. Gradual daily exposure to bright daylight sun, making sure not to get a sunburn. This “sunbath” can last up to 30 minutes on each side of your body with as much skin exposed as possible.
  8. Daily consumption of foods high in L-arginine, such as black walnuts, lima beans, red kidney beans, garbanzo beans, lentils, soybeans, and roasted pumpkin kernels.

It is our prayer that through lifestyle modification and natural treatments you will be able to lower your blood pressure and not only extend your life but improve your health and ability to work for the Lord.