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What can we do in our daily life to reduce the chances that this will happen to us? Studies have shown that certain foods can increase our blood pressure.

1) Salt/Sodium

2008 UK study carried out by researchers at The University of Cambridge found a link between high dietary salt intake and high salt pressure.

Our kidneys can process a certain level of salt but when more than this manageable amount of salt is consumed it leaks into the bloodstream. This salt collects water and the water then increases the volume of our blood which produces high blood pressure. This Cambridge study is significant because of the size of the cohort used in the study which includes 11,000 men and women throughout Europe.

2) Processed Foods

National Institutes of Health, promoted the reduction of processed foods in diet in favor of fresh fruits and vegetables due to the high sodium content of processed foods which, was here again linked to high blood pressure. Processed foods include most snacks, cold cuts and processed meats such as salami and pepperoni.

3) High Carbohydrate Diet

2008 study carried out at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, in Dallas found that high-carbohydrate, low-fat, diets caused “significantly higher” systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure than low carbohydrate diets. Carbohydrates stimulate our production of insulin which also causes our central nervous system to overwork and to increase our blood pressure, according to the study.

4) Fructose

2010 study undertaken at University of Colorado Denver found a relationship between over consumption of fructose, a natural sugar found in fruit and table sugar, and high levels of blood pressure. The level of fructose consumption considered potentially dangerous for blood pressure levels is 74g daily.

5) Fatty Foods

2003 study carried out by the University of Georgia at Augusta explored the link between fatty foods and high blood pressure.

The study found that fatty foods are linked to obesity and that this condition causes the Leptin system in our bodies to fail. The protein hormone, Leptin, triggers the body’s production of the neurotransmitter catecholamine which regulates the nervous system, in particular in relation to our stress levels.

Catecholamine, in turn, is supposed to shut down our Leptin production, but, this often does not happen in obese people. As a result they often suffer from high blood pressure. The answer here is to start age & health appropriate exercise program.

6) Red Meat

2009 study published by the Maryland based National Cancer Institute found a link between elevated red meat intake and high blood pressure. The study found that those with a high red meat intake, approximately 160g of red meat daily, were more inclined towards elevated blood pressure levels. Red meat can contain toxins consumed by the animal that are potentially hazardous to humans.

7) Yohimbe Raises Blood Pressure

Yohimbe is an evergreen tree indigenous to Zaire, Cameroon and Gabon. A 1983 study carried out by researchers from Tennessee’s Vanderbilt Medical School found that Yohimbe doses of (0.016-0.125 mg/kg) caused a rise in systolic, and diastolic hypertension by stimulating the blood’s plasma renin activity.

8) Tyramine

Tyramine is compound derived from the amino acid Tyrosine. It is naturally found in dairy products and nuts. A 1998 Italian study carried out at The University of Milan found that Tyramine, as an adrenaline releasing agent, induced a temporary rise in blood pressure.

9) Caffeine Raises Blood Pressure

1978 study published by researchers at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee, found that Caffeine increased plasma renin activity by 57 per cent, plasma norepinephrine by 75 per cent and plasma epinephrine by 207 percent and can be linked to a rise in blood pressure.

10) Alcohol

2001 Finnish study conducted at Oulu University found a relationship between alcohol intake and high blood pressure. The study found that men with severe hypertension manifested a 12-fold increased risk for cardiovascular disease mortality associated with heavy binge drinking.

For more information on specific programs to address your blood pressure, contact Dan Prater, ND on 219.613.1161 or via email.

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