Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Hypertension Fix Pt2

You'll know from part one what (modest) changes I've made to my diet in terms of restrictions.  So what about my wider dietary practise?  First of all let me list my objectives (based upon the key factors that *may* by responsible for my episode of HBP):
  • Alkalize my body.  Cordain suggests elevated acid is one source of hypertension.  As an aside, anyone familiar with Supperversity cannot help but be impressed my the ergogenic benefits of raised alkalinity in the body (primarily via Bicarbonate of Soda). 
  • Lower chronically elevated cortisol levels - through increased sleep, reduced light exposure after sundown and elimination of excessive stressors such as cold water exposure.
  • Increase iodine consumption.  This is crucial for thyroid function and implicated in HBP.  Also, a shredded idiot is still an idiot.
  • Address sodium intake.  High quality sea salt is exceptional in taste.  As with much of this stuff, it is RATIOs that matter - but bear in mind that these ratios will be dynamic and perhaps impossible to manipulate directly save for providing your body with appropriate nutrition and letting it do the rest.

To this end I've made the following changes and amendments:
  1. A large salad for lunch.  I still mainly eat fish or boiled eggs, and some fruit, at lunchtime but this is accompanied now by a large salad.  Pride of place in the salad usually goes to one or more of beetroot, celery, avocado and spinach.
  2. Lunchtime protein will comprise of shellfish once or twice a week (this is a new introduction to my diet).  In an attempt to increase my iodine levels I've taken to eating mussels and alternatively shrimp.  Delicious.
  3. Apple Cider Vinegar.  There are LOTS of health claims made for ACV - and if they are to be believed, this stuff is Chuck Norris's Tears.  I use this to dress my salad but will occasionally just squeeze fresh lemon juice over the salad instead as lemon raises your body's alkalinity significantly.
  4. Sea salt (a pinch is added once or twice a week - usually to my bone broth).  I never salt my foods and figured that if I am to address my potassium to sodium ratio, I'd better ensure I have adequate levels of both (and then let my body work out where to go from there).  A small pinch on liver is particularly enjoyable.
  5. Pretty much all my meat now comes from a quality butcher, not from a supermarket.  This is especially important if you make bone broth from the bones.
  6. Beverages are mainly water and camomile or hibiscus tea - the latter is held to lower BP.
My number still spike on occasion, but morning and evening readings give regular sub 140/80.

I need to reiterate that I am not medically trained and am not conferring any advice as such.  I'm simply looking for non-pharmacological interventions that will allow my body to thrive and do what it evolved to do.

Hypertension is a symptom of some other dysfunction.  The bigger picture is a question of whether treating high blood pressure does any good and whether the side effects of medication are worse than the cure.

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