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Blood Pressure and Nutrition

 

Elevated blood pressure is a major risk factor for a heart attack or stroke. Since over eighty per cent of patients with high blood pressure are in the borderline-to-moderate range, most cases of high blood pressure can be brought under control through changes in diet and lifestyle. Nutrition plays a vital role in regulating blood pressure, and if we reverted to our early evolutionary diet the problem of high blood pressure would disappear. Population-based and clinical studies have shown that the higher the intake of vitamin C the lower the blood pressure. Over sixty double-blind studies have demonstrated that either fish oil supplements or flaxseed oil are very effective in lowering blood pressure. Hawthorn extracts exert mild blood-pressure-lowering effects.


A healthier diet, one with much less salt and increased potassium through an increase in fruit and vegetable consumption, a reduction in fat intake with substitution of saturated by monounsaturated fat, and a reduction in meat and dairy products with an increase in fish consumption, will have positive effects on blood pressure. Such a diet will also decrease other cardiovascular risk factors, particularly high cholesterol and glucose intolerance.


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