Is it possible that we still have, basically, a Stone Age body that cannot process modern foods without becoming ill? Does our modern lifestyle(sedentary) also add to our diseases – like high blood pressure?

High blood pressure is one of our most common health problems and is steadily increasing in most modern societies. Knowing that you have this condition can be very disturbing, especially if you don’t fully grasp whats behind it and the implication for toy future health. When you understand what’s going on inside your body you’ll be better able to cope with it and find effective options for treatment.

Blood Pressure Numbers

The numbers that make up the pressure reading include systolic pressure, which is the pressure when the heart is pumping blood, and diastolic pressure, which is the pressure when the heart is resting between beats. Often, your blood pressure will be written and stated as systolic over diastolic. For example, you might see 120/80 mmHg, which someone would say aloud as “120 over 80”.

BP may fluctuate, but if your numbers are consistently above normal, you are at risk for developing high blood pressure. Levels above 120/80 mmHg raise your risk, which continues to rise as the numbers increase. “Prehypertension” implies that you are prone to developing high BP if steps are not taken to prevent it. If you have been treating HBP and your numbers have been in normal range, your BP is under control, but you still have the condition. Therefore, it is important to continue the treatment to maintain normal levels even if you attain a healthy blood pressure at some point.

Causes

High blood pressure is common in senior citizens because blood pressure tends to rise with age unless you take steps to prevent or control it. For this reason, it is important that senior citizens and those involved in their elder care monitor blood pressure to ensure that it remains in the normal range.

There are certain medical problems that may raise blood pressure levels, such as chronic kidney disease thyroid disease, and sleep apnea. Some medicines may also raise blood pressure. This includes medications for asthma(corticosteroids) and even over-the-counter cold relief products.

Some women experience a raise in blood pressure if they use birth control pills, become pregnant, or use hormone replacement therapy. For women going through menopause, taking hormones to reduce symptoms can cause a small rise in systolic blood pressure. If you already have HBP and would like to begin taking hormones, you should discuss the risks and benefits with your physician. If you decided to follow through with taking hormones, it is important to find out how to control your blood pressure and how often you should get it checked to prevent more serious health problems.

Your doctor may recommend the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension(DASH) eating plan if you have HBP. The DASH eating plan focuses on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and other foods that are hearth healthy and lower in sodium(salt). The paleo diet and lifestyle seems to be an effective, simple, and safe way of treating high blood pressure.

There are also some tweaks to the diet that can make it even better, including supplements and specific lifestyle changes that show some effectiveness in treating hypertension. Dr. Max Bircher-Benner – a German doctor practicing in Europe in the late 19th century – was known for his ground breaking work with raw food nutritional therapy. His physician son, Dr. Ralph Bircher, published studies in the 1960s about certain widespread modern eating habits that caused high blood pressure. Today, there’s an entire body of scientific work that claims hypertension is your body’s natural and smart response to modern eating habits.

The Cave Man Diet (aka the Paleo Diet) was first popularized by Dr. Walter Voegtlin in his book, “The Stone Age Diet: Based on In-Depth Studies of Human Ecology and the Diet of Man”. His book was originally published in 1975! Dr. Voegtlin, a gastroenterologist, believed that modern human genetics had barely changed since the Agriculture Age, some 10,000 years ago. In other words, our bodies haven’t adapted to modern culture very much since the Stone Age.The evidence to back up his philosophy exists in plain sight to this day.

There are primitive societies of people on earth today who are all slim, stronger and faster than we are. They all have straight teeth and perfect eyesight. Arthritis, diabetes, hypertension, hyper tension, heart disease, stroke, depression, schizophrenia and cancer are absolute rarities for them. These people are the last 84 tribes of hunter-gatherers in the world. They share a secret that is over 2 million years old. Their secret is their diet: a diet that has changed little from that of the first humans 2 million years ago, and their predecessors up to 7 million years ago. Theirs is the diet that man evolved on, the diet that is coded in our genes. It has some major differences to the diet of civilized man.

This diet is usually referred to as the “Paleolithic Diet”(referring to the Paleolithic or Stone Age era). It is also referred to as the “Cave Man Diet”. The Cave Man Diet turns our modern diet on its head by mimicking the diet of our hunter-gatherer ancestors. It’s based on the premise that our digestive systems have evolved little in the last 10,000 years since farming began. An important part of a natural blood pressure remedy is the food we eat.

Our ancestors ate a lot of lean meat and fish, along with other natural foods like berries and nuts. Many scientists believe that diet is the key to avoiding the illnesses and premature death associated with our excessive consumption of refined fat and carbohydrates. Paleolithic people were hunter-gatherers. All their food came from what they could hunt and find around them. During this period, most of the cultures tended to be nomadic, following food sources.

Writers espousing Paleolithic diets point to evidence regarding both prehistoric people and more recent hunter-gather populations that, agriculture has increased chronic diseased such as High Blood Pressure in these populations. 

A basic principle of this style of eating is that if it can’t be eaten raw, don’t eat it(though this doesn’t mean that it must be eaten raw, only that it should be able to be eaten raw), although there are exceptions. 

Take a close look at the Paleo Diet and see if you can add it to your lifestyle. If you are currently under a doctor’s care for high blood pressure, please make sure to check that the Paleo Diet would be right for you.