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Foods Can Lower High Blood Pressure

Mar 11, 2008
Over 25% of the American adult population is at risk of developing hypertension. This disease has the potential to cause premature death because it is a silent killer that has no obvious symptoms. Therefore, the real key to solving this growing problem in our country is prevention.

Such things as regular exercise, no smoking, maintaining a normal weight, and eating a balanced diet are among the regulars in the advice list doctors pass on to their patients. It's those words, "balanced diet," that seem to throw a wrench into everything. We Americans just can't seem to get a grasp on exactly what that entails. So we eat what we like and what's convenient.

The relationship between food and high blood pressure can basically be summed up into one word, fat. High fat content products contribute to this disease. Maintain a diet lower in saturated fat and those pressure readings goes down. Meat and dairy are very high fat content products. There's the option of eating "lean" and "low fat," but quantity makes that null and void in short order. This is why vegetarians generally experience fewer of these complications than people who rely on animal protein as the foundation of their diet.

Animal protein foods have higher levels of sulfur-containing amino acids than plant foods which causes sodium to be retained in the body. This in turn causes fluid retention and hypertension. Soy protein is a great food to use as an alternative for meat. The lower content of sulfur-containing amino acids in soy brings about a greater excretion of salt via the kidneys.

The fermented soy foods, natto and miso, contain antihypertensive peptides. These are chains of amino acids that occur in a specific order. These peptides interfere with the enzyme that promotes the chemical, angiotensin, which elevates the bloods pressure. An interesting note about this is that many of the medications used today to remedy the program are trying to block that very same enzyme. Now I'm not advocating that you immediately run out to find natto and miso to add to your diet. My understanding is that they have very strong flavors and acquire some getting used to. But they are traditional Japanese foods and their usage as a source of nutrition dates back hundreds of years. They may be foods that you'll want to investigate and try.

To lower blood pressure it's imperative to switch from an animal based diet to a plant mainstay. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains and beans should create the larger percentage of the "balanced diet." All of these vegan foods contain calcium, which is well known for its value for bones and teeth, but calcium also plays a needed role in the regulation of hypertension.
About the Author
Dee Overly is an artist who discovered the health benefits of soy milk and now sells a
Soymilk Maker at www.SoymilkCrossroads.com.
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