(NaturalNews) Poorly controlled blood pressure damages the kidneys and vascular networks resulting in heart attacks, stroke, & kidney failure. Over 1000 deaths are attributed to high blood pressure every day in the US. It is estimated that blood pressure issues account for over 40 million doctor visits each year. Lifestyle induced oxidative stress is a major culprit in this process. Beat hypertension naturally with good nutrition and specific superfoods.
Researchers have recently focused on oxidative stress as a major causative factor in the majority of hypertensive issues. Scientists have noted an imbalance in the production and elimination of reactive oxygen species (ROS) which damage vascular tissue. This imbalance also appears to create metabolic shifts to favor a pro-inflammatory environment that further damages vascularity and blood flow regulation.
When oxidative stress is elevated it can cause the angiotensinogen glycoprotein to convert to angiotensin. The hormone angiotensin causes sodium retention and vascular constriction. This 'oxidative switch' floods the system with angiotensin and dramatically affects blood pressure balance.
Professor Aiwu Zhou and colleagues at the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research have studied specific nutrients and their ability to prevent this oxidative switch. They have highlighted a few specific anti-oxidant compounds that inhibit the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE). There are many medications designed as `ACE inhibitors` to affect this same pathway. These medications are great at lowering blood pressure. However, these medications never address the oxidative stress and therefore never get to the true underlying cause of the problem.
The best defense against the oxidative switch begins with an anti-inflammatory diet. This begins with a diet rich in phytonutrient dense vegetables, healthy fat and clean protein sources. Non-starchy vegetables, herbs, & teas are great sources of anti-oxidants and have very low carbohydrate content. Healthy fat sources include coconut products, avocados, olive oil, nuts, seeds, & purified omega-3 fish oil supplements. Healthy protein includes wild-caught fish, grass-fed red meat and free range chicken, turkey, and eggs.
A very useful superfood is non-denatured whey protein from cows and goats that grazed on organic grass alone. These whey peptides boost cellular glutathione stores. Glutathione is our bodies' most potent defense against oxidative stress. Professor Zhou has demonstrated that a diet rich in high quality whey protein acts as a potent ACE inhibitor. Additional research has shown that these whey peptides provide a second metabolic pathway for blood pressure control. As they fight oxidative stress, they inhibit the release of other vessel constricting components such as endothelin-1.
Certain berries and fruit extracts also contain powerful anti-hypertensive effects. Grapes contain the polyphenol resveratrol that protects the blood vessel walls and improves the way these cells respond to metabolic shifts that affect blood pressure. This nutrient appears to also reduce salt sensitive cases of hypertension. Resveratrol along with the anthocyanins found in berries also act to fight against the potent inflammatory factors caused by glycolysis.
Pomegranate extract is rich in some of nature's most powerful polyphenols. This has been demonstrated to act as a natural ACE inhibitor. Pomegranate has also been shown effective in blocking inflammatory damage induced by angiotensin in key tissues involved in blood pressure control. This nutrient also improves the activity of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS). The presence of eNOS results in greater dilation of the blood vessel and less stress on the vascular wall.
It is recommended for anyone concerned about hypertension to adopt an anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle and to utilize these specific nutrients. High quality whey protein can be used in shakes with berries and coconut, almond, hemp, or rice milk. Resveratrol and pomegranate polyphenols can be found in specific anti-oxidant blends.
Dr. David Jockers owns and operates Exodus Health Center in Kennesaw, Ga. He is a Maximized Living doctor. His expertise is in weight loss, customized nutrition & exercise, & structural corrective chiropractic care. For more information go to www.exodushc.com To find a Maximized Living doctor near you go to www.maximizedliving.com