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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Are there specific foods that can help lower blood pressure?

I know to stay away from salt and high sodium foods. thanks ,
Thu, 10 Dec 2009
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Celery: "Research [sic] at the University of Chicago Medical Center are credit [sic] with one of the first studies of celery’s effects on blood pressure, which was prompted when the father of one of the scientists noted a drop in his blood pressure from 158/96 to 118/82 after eating ¼ pounds of celery (about four stalks) daily for just one week." (1) and: "3nB is a compound that is unique to celery and is responsible for the characteristic flavor and odor of celery. 3nb was discovered as the active component of celery in response to investigations by researchers seeking to explain some of the medicinal effects of celery including the lowering of blood pressure and the relief of arthritis. 3nB first drew significant scientific attention when researchers at the University of Chicago Medical Center identified it as the factor in celery responsible for the blood pressure lowering effect of celery.1 The research was prompted by one of the researcher's father, who after eating a quarter-pound of celery every day for one week observed his blood pressure dropped from 158 over 96 to a normal reading of 118 over 82. Subsequent animal studies found that a very small amount of 3nB lowered blood pressure by 12 to 14% and also lowered cholesterol by about 7%." (2) You DO need sodium! Your body cannot function without it! BUT you need the right kind! I have posted on the benefits of sea salt elsewhere. Your body needs sodium and potassium in the right ratio for proper electrolyte function! So don't ELIMINATE salt, just eliminate foods with added table salt and instead use a little sea salt with your meals. Eat a banana or potatoe (eat the skin) or drink some orange juice each day for potassium. Drink 1/2 your body weight in oz. of water DAILY. For every 6 oz. of alcohol or caffeine you consume, drink 10 oz more water. It is interesting that your ratio of CALCIUM to sodium intake may also be key! "Studies have shown that high blood pressure can be prevented and lowered by consuming a diet high in calcium, and surprisingly, a diet high in salt. Using calcium is far more effective with the essential use of salt. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) of calcium is 800 mg, and by meeting the RDA along with a diet high in salt, we will not raise, but lower our blood pressure. This is responsible for some of the lowest blood pressures in our society. Studies have shown that people who use the saltshaker more frequently and consume salty snack foods tend to have lower blood pressures than those who do not use salt with such frequency. This may also come as a shock, but low salt diets are associated with increases in blood pressure, and this is consistent with data from the U.S. clinical sites participating in the INTERSALT Study. This study found that the highest blood pressures were found in those with the lowest salt excretion in their urine. If we want to lower our blood pressure and prevent high blood pressure, we must use salt as well as calcium, as higher blood pressures were noted in the small percentage of the population eating high-salt low-calcium diets (which lessened the potassium, magnesium, and phosphorous). People who consumed large amounts of salt and had high blood pressure lowered their blood pressure by using calcium. The same thing happened for those who were using a lot of calcium and had high blood pressure; their blood pressure lowered when they started using salt. All of these studies show that calcium’s effect on blood pressure is most visible in those consuming at least the RDA of salt. Therefore, it makes sense for doctors to make sure that patients who have or are at risk of high blood pressure consume enough salt and calcium daily. I hope this information will provide Americans with a more attractive and nutritional approach to lowering their blood pressure." (3) CHECK WITH your DOCTOR before taking any supplements, especially if you are already on medication! BUT, ALSO do your OWN research into natural cures! Conventional Medicine and Natural Medicine can be at odds, but BOTH sides have a purpose in our society. Practitioners of conventional medicine can be quick to prescribe medication which only treat the symptoms of disease but doesn't cure them. Natural medicine (to be more specific I only mean common sense dietary and basic vitamin and mineral support) will look at the ROOT of what is causing your high blood pressure and actually help CURE it! And the cure can be so simple as eating whole fresh foods, drinking lots of pure water and taking small amounts of needed minerals. Hope this helps!
Disclaimer: These answers are for your information only and not intended to replace your relationship with your treating physician.
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