(NaturalNews) High blood pressure (BP) or hypertension is considered a high risk factor for heart attacks and strokes as well as kidney failure. Many have high BP, but most don't know as it doesn't usually have its own symptoms.
Blood pressure readings are in two sets of numbers. The top number, systolic pressure, indicates pressure on the artery walls when the heart beats. The lower number, diastolic pressure, shows the pressure on artery walls between heart beats.
A normal reading is 120/80. Above those numbers up to 140/90 is considered pre-hypertension while above 140/90 is hypertension. But people with normal health in the pre-hypertension zone are not considered at risk for strokes, heart, or kidney failure.
Those who are overweight or diabetic are more at risk with higher than normal BP. Over half of the high BP population is diabetic. Men are more likely to have high BP, and those who smoke and drink alcohol excessively are more likely to have high BP.
Pharmaceutical medications with decongestants, NSAIDs (non-steroid ant-inflammatory drugs), such as ibuprofen, steroids, birth control pills, and antidepressants are likely to raise blood pressure. Mainstream medicine considers salt/sodium consumption as a main factor of high BP.
But processed and fast foods account for over 80 percent of the sodium intake using toxic processed salt, mixed with other health damaging additives such as HFCS and trans-fatty acid oils, which are more responsible for causing high blood pressure than pure, unprocessed sea salt.
Foods that can help reduce high blood pressure
(1) Cayenne is in chili peppers. Using those with food is good for reducing blood pressure, even though it may not feel that way.
Herbal masters Dr. Christopher and Dr. Schulz recommend taking a teaspoon of at least 40,000 heat units of cayenne pepper powder mixed in water two times daily to support complete heart health and more.
(2) Hibiscus or Jamaica (hu-my-ca) tea on ice is well known as a refreshing beverage in the Caribbean islands, South America, and Mexico. It has been clinically proven to lower high BP. You can dowse the flame out of your mouth from cayenne with a Jamaica iced tea and double the benefits.
Dried hibiscus flower petals are used to make the tea. Some health food stores may have them. Stores specializing in Hispanic foods most likely will. Or you can order them online.
To prepare: Simply cover the bottom of a large pan thickly with the petals, then pour hot (not boiling) water over them. Cover and let it steep for a half hour. Strain while pouring into a glass container then refrigerate and use when desired.
(3) A Louisville medical center study found that snacking on raisins three times daily could reduce BP among those in a prehypertension group. Amazingly, they even used processed food snacks containing raisins. 
(4) The American Heart Association has discovered through research that eating three kiwis a day reduces BP.
(5) The American Chemical Society claims purple root vegetables, such as purple potatoes, have chemical properties that reduce BP.
(6) A Florida State University study found that watermelon lowers BP. In addition to watermelon's potassium contribution, they found a specific amino acid that contributes to lowering BP. 
(7) Speaking of potassium, don't forget to eat bananas. The Harvard Medical School reported a UK study that determined foods containing potassium nitrate were even better than supplements using potassium chloride for lowering BP.
(9) We can't forget chocolate, can we? It should be organic and dark or bittersweet without milk and with very little sugar. Yes, it has been researched; there are compounds in cacao that dilate blood vessels and lower blood pressure (http://www.naturalnews.com).