High blood pressure is a very common disease that can have various causes. It can be caused by both heart disease and kidney disease. The most common cause, however, is arteriosclerosis, also known as hardening of the arteries, a condition in which the blood vessels lose their elasticity. To be more precise, calcification is initially a question of obesity, which means that the amount of fats transported in the blood - the so-called serum lipoids - increases.
Schematic representation of the anatomy and structure of the arteries and blood circulation in high blood pressure. Click to enlarge.
But that doesn't mean that high blood pressure is solely a symptom of old age. In recent years, a tendency to high blood pressure has also been observed in young people from around the age of 15. Heart and kidney diseases rarely play a role. The cause usually lies in the reaction of the central nervous system to environmental factors.
Statistically it has been shown that the number of young people suffering from high blood pressure is highest in England and America.
According to Pavlov's theory, as is well known, all processes in the human and animal body can be influenced by the central nervous system and thus largely controllable. It is obvious that insecurity in life, poverty, violence and fear make nervous blood pressure increases more frequent.
Too high blood pressure - including that caused by the central nervous system - promotes the development of arteriosclerosis in all organs of the human body. Both the early incapacity for work and the relatively high mortality rate with this disease give cause to use all possible means to combat it.
In addition to medical, and above all medication, measures, the right early change in lifestyle and an aligned healthy diet are among the possibilities to favorably influence or even prevent high blood pressure. In this article, the most important diet measures should therefore be pointed out.
The diet must be structured according to the following principles: low salt content, crude protein, carbohydrate and fat restrictions (in relation to the total number of calories) while at the same time being rich in vitamins and minerals. Since table salt is contained in all foods, albeit in different amounts, you will have to learn which foods are absolutely to be avoided. In particular, salted meat, bacon, smoked pork, all marinated and smoked fish, such as kippers and canned fish, as well as stock and meat soups.
Almost all types of cheese, salted butter, salted bread, sauerkraut and pickled cucumbers. All commercially available meat and vegetable salads, boiled potatoes and milk in larger quantities, as these contain a relatively large amount of table salt. For this reason, salt must not be added when preparing the food. Even salt substitutes, which are usually labeled as diet salt, should be avoided if possible.
How can the food be made tasty anyway? Herbs have to help: parsley, dill, chives, savory and marjoram, onions and horseradish. Spices such as cloves, paprika, nutmeg, pepper, bay leaf, spice grains, cinnamon and vanilla may also be used. In order to improve the taste even further, you can fry and roast, because this means that the lack of salt is not felt so strongly. Acidifying some dishes with vinegar or lemon as well as the sweet-sour taste are also recommended.
If you cannot do without the salty taste, a small amount of dietary salt may be used when preparing meat and potato dishes. It should be said, however, that diet salt is not free from table salt and the sodium contained in table salt has a decisive influence on high blood pressure, as sodium is highly water-binding. The more salt a person takes in, the more water the organism holds on to, which can result in swelling of the legs and body.
The most important part of the diet is made up of vegetables. The vegetables have a high content of potassium, which is in a sense the antagonist of sodium.
The protein content in food should not exceed 80 grams of raw protein per day. This corresponds to an amount of meat and fish that is actually eaten on average. However, if possible, lean varieties should be used. Sausage consumption is not recommended because of the relatively high hidden fat content (often 60 to 70 percent) and the high salt content.
Eggs can be eaten, but should not appear too often in the menu or on the breakfast table. All types of preparation are allowed. Since milk, as already mentioned, contains a relatively large amount of salt in addition to protein (one liter around 1.6 grams), no more than a quarter of a liter should be used daily, even as sour milk, yoghurt or buttermilk.
Because fat is of great importance in all vascular diseases, the total amount must not exceed 50 to 70 grams per day. The butter should only have a portion of 10 to 20 grams and be used to spread one or two slices of bread. For cooking, frying and serving salads, the whole oil types, which are produced cold-pressed, are recommended. They contain a high proportion of unsaturated fatty acids, which are considered to be of greater importance in combating arteriosclerosis.
The best protein, salt and fat restriction can be achieved with a rice diet. This diet consists of 250 to 400 grams of rice. 150 grams of honey and from fruit, raw or cooked. The rice is cooked in water, in fruit juice or with the addition of fruit. You can also use soaked dried fruit, but not preserved fruit if possible. The specified amount must now be distributed over the day.
The possibility of variation exists in strict form only by changing the types of fruit. If the implementation is not so strict, vegetables can be used instead of fruit, of course also as raw vegetables. This rice diet can be used successfully for a few days to lower blood pressure for a number of months.
For hypertensive sufferers, in addition to limiting protein, salt and fat, it is important to keep the fluid intake within limits, because the cardiovascular system should not be unnecessarily stressed. However, the reduction in fluid intake affects not only the amount of drink, but also the soups. You will clearly have to impose restrictions on yourself in this regard and only rarely be able to enjoy a pre-soup.
However, if you stick to reducing the amount of salt, then it is not at all difficult to reduce the total fluid intake, since you will feel less thirst. The consumption of fruit and fruit dishes is highly recommended because they quench your thirst and at the same time carry minerals and vitamins.
The drinks should be enjoyed in the form of fresh juices made from vegetables and fruits. Small amounts of mineral water can be considered if they do not contain salt. Wine, coffee and tea may only be drunk with the consent of the doctor.
The most important part of the diet is made up of vegetables, because carbohydrates, such as bread, potatoes and pasta, can only be consumed to a modest extent. The vegetables have a high content of potassium, which is in a sense the antagonist of sodium.
It drains the body and thus helps lower blood pressure. It is of course best to eat the vegetables raw, but then they have to be chopped up well so as not to overburden the stomach and intestines. All types of vegetables can be used. It is best to steam them because the flavors are best preserved.
This diet makes some demands on the willpower and discipline of humans. To do it successfully, you should always sit at a nicely laid table and eat with peace and quiet, because these factors play an important role in the treatment of hypertension. The interaction of these things creates a protective mechanism for the patient, especially when eating, which supports the restoration of the functions of the heart and circulation.