(NaturalNews) High blood pressure afflicts over 74 million Americans. The cause of high blood pressure, or HBP, is not known in many cases, but diet and exercise have been shown to help reduce blood pressure and improve quality of life. Raw fruits and vegetables can help alleviate many of the symptoms of high blood pressure, and specific foods have been shown to have a more dramatic action on reducing blood pressure. Daily exercise is also an important tool in maintaining a healthy heart.
Bananas Lower Blood Pressure Research has shown that two bananas a day can lower blood pressure. A study conducted in 1997 concluded that 5 bananas a day had the same effect as blood pressure lowering drugs. Research conducted in India in 1999 showed that two bananas a day lowered blood pressure by 10%. Study subjects at the Kasturba Medical College in Manipal ate two bananas a day for one week to achieve this level blood pressure lowering action from the bananas.
Salt Raises Blood Pressure The American Heart Association suggests a diet with less than 1,500 mg of salt a day. Raw fruits and vegetables contain very low amounts of salt compared to processed or canned foods. When eating canned foods, rinsing the foods can help eliminate some of the salt added in food processing.
Potassium Foods containing potassium can offset salt intake, as sodium and potassium work together in the body to help lower blood pressure. The daily recommended intake of potassium is 4,700 mg a day. This averages out to about 5 servings of vegetables or fruits each day.
Raisins Lower Blood Pressure Raisins are a good source of potassium, as well as iron, and provide a nutritious way to lower blood pressure. Raisins contain a quarter of the daily requirement of potassium and low amounts of salt. A serving of raisins has 1,400 mg of potassium and only 50 mg of sodium.
Wheat Bran Contains Fiber and Lowers Blood Pressure Wheat bran is another excellent source of potassium and a good food to help lower blood pressure. Wheat bran has over 1,100 mg of potassium per serving. Bran also contains fiber and research has shown that fiber lowers blood pressure. Adding fiber to the diet also helps improve digestion, aids elimination, and reduces high levels of cholesterol in the blood.
Alcohol Raises Blood Pressure Research has shown that drinking alcohol can raise blood pressure. A study published in the "Journal of Human Hypertension" showed that alcohol consumption raises blood pressure and damages the blood vessel walls as well.
Melanie Grimes is a writer, award-winning screenwriter, medical journal editor, and adjunct faculty member at Bastyr University. She also teaches homeopathy at the Seattle School of Homeopathy and the American Homeopathic Medical College. A trained homeopath, she is the editor of the homeopathic journal, Simillimum, and has edited alternative and integrative medical journals for 15 years. She has taught creative writing, founded the first Birkenstock store in the USA and authored medical textbooks. Her ebook on Natural Remedies for the Flu is available at: http://melanie-grimes.blogspot.com/2009/04/b... Follow her blog at http://melanie-grimes.blogspot.com/ www.melaniegrimes.com