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Want to lower your blood pressure and keep your heart healthy? Follow these seven steps…

by , 30 September 2013

When your heart beats, blood is forced through your arteries to bring essential oxygen and nutrients to your body's organs and tissues. The force your blood exerts against the walls of your arteries is called blood pressure. High blood pressure is diagnosed when this force is excessive. Left unchecked this force can cause your arteries to harden and thicken, making it more difficult for your heart to pump blood. Read on to discover how to successfully lower your blood pressure so you can prevent life-threatening conditions such as heart disease and stroke.

According to Rachael Linkie, author of Seasonal Diets from the East, blood pressure is recorded as two numbers. The systolic pressure is the force of blood in the arteries as your heart beats and the diastolic pressure is the force of blood in the arteries as your heart relaxes between beats.

It’s the diastolic blood pressure that is an important indication of hypertension. The higher the diastolic blood pressure, the greater the risk for heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure.

The good news is there are simple methods you can use to regulate your blood pressure and reduce your risk of chronic conditions.

Use these seven natural remedies to lower your blood pressure and keep your heart healthy

Step1: Eat plenty of green vegetables and fruit as they contain high amounts of potassium, magnesium, vitamin C and fibre – which can all lower blood pressure.

Step2: “The right balance of sodium and potassium is vital for regulating blood pressure,” says Linkie.

“So limit your salt intake and eat more potassium-rich foods, such as leafy green vegetables, bananas, citrus fruit and sunflower seeds,” adds Linkie.

Step3: Magnesium is also crucial and is found in dark green vegetables, nuts and figs. One study showed there’s a close link between a low magnesium intake and high blood pressure.

Step4: Vitamin C in fruit and vegetables is another powerful preventive against high blood pressure. And research shows that hypertension and strokes occur most frequently in people who eat the least vitamin C.

Step5: Eat plenty of celery. The chemical that gives celery its distinctive smell (3-n-butyl phthalide) lowers blood pressure by reducing stress hormones.

Step6: Garlic and onions can also reduce blood pressure, due to their content of adenosine, a natural vasodilator (a substance that widens your blood vessels).

Linkie explains that garlic has been used by traditional herbal practitioners for hundreds of years for its heart-protecting properties.

But it wasn’t until recently that Israeli scientists discovered that its active ingredient, allicin, could block certain groups of enzymes involved in the production of cholesterol.

Linkie adds that when leading European heart specialist, Professor Gustav Belz conducted a two-year study of more than 200 participants he found that the group taking garlic had healthier heart arteries, making them 15 years younger in both appearance and function than the control group.

Step7: Olive oil also reduces blood pressure. According to one study, just two teaspoons a day can help you reduce blood pressure on average by 5 points.

It’s that simple. Be sure to follow these steps to help lower your blood pressure and keep your heart healthy.

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