Hypertension and nutrition

Hypertension and nutritionRead also... Useful products about this

Summary

Changing lifestyle habits can help prevent, and even treat hypertension

Hypertension, according to WHO (World Health Organization), ranks second after smoking and before alcoholism on the list of factors that decrease the number of healthy years of life. Even if the causes of hypertension are multiple obesity, stress as well as some bad eating habits are known to aggravate it. Changing lifestyle habits can help prevent or even treat hypertension: practice regular physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day approximately 3 times a week, stop smoking and eat the right foods. But what are they really ?

Hunting certain foods :

  • Excessive intake of fat in general and saturated fat in particular is recognized as a major risk factor in the development of conditions such as cardiovascular disease and obesity. They are present in butter, cheese, cream, meat (especially red meat), meat preparations (sausages, hamburgers), whole milk products, deli meats, pastries, juices and cooking fats, margarines, palm and coconut oils.
  • Food "fats" are not the only culprits: sugars also have a major impact on blood triglyceridemia. Under the effect of insulin, the liver evacuates excess blood glucose by turning glucose into triglycerides. Goodbye to cookies, pastries, sweets of all kinds but also watch the "hidden" sugars contains in many industrial products: soups, sauces, crackers, white bread, ready meals without forgetting alcohols.
  • In addition to the higher or lower sugar levels in some alcoholic beverages (appetizers, liqueurs), alcohol increases the pressure, 10 to 15 hours after consumption, although it produces a rapid hypotensive effect after consumption. Moreover, it raises the triglyceride level, which has a thickening effect on the blood and leads to additional resistance in the arteries. However, sometime you can enjoy a glass of red wine: the procyanicides (resveratrol) that it contains promote blood pressure control (Interviews of Bichat 2004).

Limiting salt intake: an effective attitude or not ?

  • Even if the reduction of salt intake on hypertension does not make unanimity in the scientific spheres (JAMA 1998; 279: 1383-1391), the simplest course of action is to balance its consumption (5 to 8g per day). The majority of the salt that we consume does not come from the salt shaker but by the products that contain it !
  • So pay attention to hidden salt in condiments, soups, deli meats, bouillon (cube, powder, concentrate), salted meat or fish, smoked, all canned products, sauces, bread and other industrial preparations. Beware of some cheeses especially cooked such as Comté, Beaufort, which contain large amounts of salt.

Garlic with every meal * :

Garlic is one of the best plants for the cardiovascular sphere, because of its hypotensive, anti-atherogenic, hyperlipidemic and anti-thrombotic action. Crush the garlic with a garlic press and spread it on a plate and leave it at least 10 minutes: the contact with the air promotes the release of allicin, one of its major active ingredients.

Increase dietary fiber intake :

In its 2010 update, CHEP (Canadian Hypertension Education Program) recommends as much in hypertensive subjects as in subjects at increased risk of hypertension, a diet rich in dietary fiber, containing mostly soluble fiber. Many foods can be eaten daily: cereals (especially those based on oats, barley, buckwheat), quinoa, asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, green beans, onions, sweet potatoes, artichokes. Among the fruits, you have the choice between mango, orange, grapefruit, peach, pear or apple.

Omega-3 good for the heart : EPA and DHA

  • In addition to lowering blood pressure, omega-3 also have the ability to stop and even treat angina pectoris. These are mostly those found in all small fatty fish: sardines, mackerel, herring, halibut.
  • Think also to purslane and lamb's lettuce, also rich in these precious elements, as well as the first cold pressed oils of colza, linseed, camelin, without forgetting the oilseed (almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts).

Some trace elements in sufficient quantity :

  • The daily intake of calcium should not be overlooked when hypertensive: think about fresh fruits and vegetables, often very rich in calcium and well assimilated by the body as well as mineral waters high in calcium.
  • Avoid as much as possible cheeses that often contain too much salt..
  • The balance of magnesium and calcium must be well balanced, the two trace elements working together. In addition, magnesium macro-minerals help to reduce and maintain good blood pressure. Consume oilseeds and fresh vegetables such as spinach and green beans regularly : they are also rich in potassium, another important trace element.

A diet rich in antioxidants :

  • Hypertension causes micro-lesions in which LDL molecules find themselves trapped: the fatty acids contained in this LDL can generate oxidative stress, thus making the bed particularly of atherosclerosis. A good way to neutralize these released free radicals is to absorb antioxidants.
  • Green tea and dark chocolate: the epicatechins ** they contain have demonstrated their beneficial effect on the decrease in systolic and diastolic pressure, provided that they consume regularly.
  • Refill with vitamin C ***, another major antioxidant, by consuming red berries, citrus fruits, sweet pepper but also fresh herbs such as parsley or coriander.
  • Vitamin E is not a vitamin synthesized by the body. It must then be provided by our diet, especially by the consumption of products such as wheat germ oil, cereal germs, oilseeds, avocado and green leafy vegetables, to a lesser extent.
  • A rosemary herbal tea after the meal, why not ? Rosemary inhibits the oxidation of LDL in human blood by carnosol, rosmanol, and the epirosmanol it contains. In addition to relieving your liver, it can help to act on hypertension.

An amino acid not to be neglected : arginine****

It is not only one of the 20 amino acids that make up our proteins. It is also a precursor of nitric oxide (NO), a substance that our body uses to promote the dilation of blood vessels. Having sufficient intake of arginine can lower blood pressure in people with low to moderate hypertension.

Where is your stress ?

Chronic stress can have a major impact on hypertension, or even be its main component: restful sleep, soothing or relaxing leisure activity can complement good eating habits.

Caution : hypertension can have serious health consequences if not followed. If you suspect hypertension, please consult your doctor.


* Silagy CA, Neil HA. « A meta-analysis of the effect of garlic on blood pressure. » J Hypertens. 1994 Apr;12(4):463-8.
** (21) Ellinger S, Reusch A, Stehle P, Helfrich HP. « Epicatechin ingested via cocoa products reduces blood pressure in humans: a nonlinear regression model with a Bayesian approach ». Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Jun;95(6):1365-77.
*** (17) Juraschek SP, Guallar E, Appel LJ, Miller ER 3rd. « Effects of vitamin C supplementation on blood pressure: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. » Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 May;95(5):1079-88. Epub 2012 Apr 4. Review
**** (18) Ast J, Jablecka A, Bogdanski P, Smolarek I, Krauss H, Chmara E. « Evaluation of the antihypertensive effect of L-arginine supplementation in patients with mild hypertension assessed with ambulatory blood pressure monitoring. » Med Sci Monit. 2010 May;16(5):CR266-71.

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Marie-Christine LANGGUTH CUEVA
Naturopathe - Iridologue - Nutrithérapie
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