It may surprise you to learn that blood pressure and bone health are related, since chances are your doctor never mentioned the connection to you. In fact, scientific data has shown that high blood pressure increases bone loss.
Unfortunately, the Medical Establishment tends to compartmentalize and isolate health conditions, treating them with drugs, but the Save Our Bones approach is the complete opposite. The Saver philosophy recognizes the interconnected nature of all body systems and the power of nutrition to tie it all together.
The good news is that researchers continue to discover multi-tasking easy-to-find foods and herbs that help and heal various conditions at the same time.
So today we’re going to look at three such foods that are scientifically proven to lower blood pressure and help build your bones. Let’s get started!
Blood Pressure: Why It Matters For Your Bone And Overall Health
We tend to think of the circulatory system and the skeletal system as being completely separate. Even in school, children learn about these systems independently of one another. But this doesn’t make sense when you think about it, since the health of your circulatory system influences every other system in your body. That’s because every organ and system depends on a healthy, reliable blood supply.
Your bones are no exception. Blood delivers crucial nutrients to bone tissue, and takes away toxins and worn-out bone cells in the remodeling process. If blood pressure is high, this process fails to progress normally, and other body systems sustain damage, which ends up affecting your bones.
For example, your kidneys are susceptible to damage when blood pressure is high. The process involves filtering blood through tiny vessels in the kidneys, but if normal pressure is increased, it ends up hurting these crucial organs. Damaged kidneys, in turn, cannot filter toxins from the blood effectively, and their ability to maintain the crucial pH balance in the body is compromised.
A build-up of acidifying toxins compromises your ability to prevent or reverse bone density loss. In addition, high blood pressure, or hypertension, has been shown to accelerate bone loss, especially in the femoral neck, caused by a sustained increase of urinary calcium excretion.1 And high blood pressure also affects the heart, arteries, brain, and eyes, causing damage and malfunction. So it’s truly a whole-body issue that includes your bones.
The good news is that there are several natural, nutritious ways to lower your blood pressure that also nourish your bones. Let’s begin with…
The beautiful red flowers of the hibiscus plant make a ruby-red tea that is very relaxing, and has been used in various cultures over the years as a treatment for liver ailments, digestive problems, and hypertension (to name a few). Scientists became interested in this folk treatment, inspiring a team of Mexican researchers to investigate the medicinal effects of hibiscus.
The researchers focused on hibiscus tea’s effects on blood pressure, discovering the most significant effects on study participants whose blood pressure was high at the start of the study.
The participants were aged 30 to 70, and all had been diagnosed with some degree of hypertension. When compared to those who drank a placebo, participants who drank hibiscus tea made from an extract of dried hibiscus flowers every day for six weeks experienced a reduction in blood pressure – diastolic, systolic, and mean arterial pressures.2
The secret apparently lies in hibiscus’ anthocyanin content. Anthocyanins are powerful antioxidants with many roles in the body. Specifically, scientists in this study used a hibiscus extract that contained anthocyanins called delphinidin- and cyanidin-3-O-sambubiosides, and they found that these substances inhibit an enzyme called angiotenin convertin enzyme, or ACE.
ACE-inhibiting drugs such as Lexxel, Vasotec, and Capoten attempt to inhibit this enzyme by artificial means, depleting the body of zinc and causing side effects in many. But hibiscus naturally inhibits ACE and prevents it from becoming imbalanced, thus regulating and lowering blood pressure.
ACE controls blood pressure as a moiety in the renin-angiotensin system, which is your body’s system for regulating fluid volume in the body. ACE converts a hormone called angiotensin I to a vasoconstrictor called angiotensin II, thus directly increasing blood pressure by tightening and constricting blood vessels.
Hibiscus keeps ACE from overdoing it, allowing the blood vessels to relax and blood to flow more freely.
While the study does not say how many cups of tea the participants drank, or how much extract was used in preparing the tea, it stands to reason that several cups of hibiscus tea a day made from dried flowers would be very helpful in keeping blood pressure low and stabilizing blood sugar, which is another added benefit. High blood sugar is also detrimental to bones, depleting the body of nutrients it needs to build bone, such as calcium and magnesium.
If you’re interested in lowering blood sugar as well, why not brew your hibiscus tea with cinnamon? This delicious spice has been shown to lower blood sugar, even in amounts as low as one gram per day (approximately ¼ teaspoon).
Hibiscus tea is tasty hot or iced, so with spring and summer approaching here in the Northern Hemisphere, it will be easy to drink plenty of this flowery red tea.
A summertime favorite, blueberries are another example of a nutritious acidifying food that has a place in the Osteoporosis Reversal Program (in fact, blueberries are a Foundation Food). Now there is yet another reason to include blueberries in the 20% of acidifying foods when on the Program.
Scientists conducted an eight-week long study on the blood pressure and arterial stiffness of 48 postmenopausal women with hypertension. Half of the participants were given a daily dose of freeze-dried blueberry powder in an amount equal to one cup of fresh blueberries. The other half were given a placebo powder.
At the end of the eight-week period, the women were evaluated, and those who’d had the blueberry powder experienced a five percent decrease in systolic blood pressure and a six percent decrease in diastolic blood pressure. In addition, there was a whopping 69 percent increase in serum nitric oxide among the blueberry group. Nitric oxide in the blood aids blood flow and widens blood vessels.3
No changes at all were observed in the control group, and the study concludes that:
“Daily blueberry consumption may reduce blood pressure and arterial stiffness, which may be due, in part, to increased nitric oxide production.”3
Like hibiscus, blueberries’ power lies in their antioxidant content, particularly anthocyanins, which are likely responsible for the increase in nitric oxide and reduction of inflammation.
Blueberries are fairly easy to include in your bone-healthy diet. They can be swirled into smoothies, used as a topping for yogurt, or eaten out-of-hand. Look for fresh or frozen organic blueberries wherever possible.
Next is a delicious fruit that is one of my personal favorites.
The red, sweet flesh of watermelon is more than just a juicy indulgence. Scientists at The Florida State University found it to be a powerful and effective means of staving off hypertension.
In this study, researchers used watermelon extract containing L-citrulline, an amino acid that is converted to L-arginine in the body. The nine participants ranged in age from 51 to 57, and included four men and five postmenopausal women. They were all prehypertensive, meaning their blood pressure was higher than normal but not yet full-blown hypertension.
For the study, the participants consumed six grams of the watermelon extract every day for six weeks. The researchers found improved arterial function and lower aortic blood pressure in every single participant.4
Watermelon is, in the words of lead researcher Arturo Figueroa:
“…the richest edible source of L-citrulline, which is closely related to L-arginine, the amino acid required for the formation of nitric oxide essential to the regulation of vascular tone and healthy blood pressure.”4
Watermelon is also an effective cleansing food included in the Osteoporosis Fresh Start Cleanse, The 7 Day Bone Building Accelerator.
Here’s more information on the benefits of watermelon, quoted from the Osteoporosis Fresh Start Cleanse (page 11):
“This fruit is made up of 92 percent alkaline water, so it promotes proper pH and is…a good source of vitamins A and C, potassium, beta-carotene, and has high levels of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that has been shown to build bone. Watermelon can help you stay hydrated while it cleanses the kidneys and bladder and fights off inflammation and free radicals.”
In fact, the Osteoporosis Fresh Start Cleanse includes many multi-tasking foods that, like watermelon, have specific cleansing properties that earn them a place in this week-long detoxification. All of the foods in the Osteoporosis Fresh Start Cleanse are not only cleansing, but they are chock-full of bone-building nutrients that promote bone health and invigorate and rejuvenate your liver and kidneys.
Accelerated Bone Remodeling In Just 7 Days!
Discover how the Osteoporosis Fresh Start Cleanse can flush osteoporosis drugs and other bone-damaging toxins from your system – in just seven days.
In the Save Our Bones spirit, all body systems benefit from a nutrition-based cleanse like the Osteoporosis Fresh Start Cleanse. After the cleanse, you can look forward to better energy, improved sleep, and stronger bones!
Till next time,
1 Dr. Cappuccio, F., et al. “High blood pressure and bone-mineral loss in elderly white women: a prospective study.” The Lancet. Volume 354, No 9183, p971-975, 18 September 1999. Doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(99)01437-3
2 Ojeda, D., et al. “Inhibition of angiotensin convertin enzyme (ACE) activity by the anthocyanins delphinidin- and cyanidin-3-O-sambusiosides from Hibiscus sabdariffa.” J Ethnopharmacol. January 8, 2010. 127(1): 7-10. DOI: 10.1016/j.jep.2009.09.059. Web. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19808084
3 Johnson, Sarah A., et al. “Daily Blueberry Consumption Improves Blood Pressure and Arterial Stiffness in Postmenopausal Women with Pre- and Stage 1-Hypertension: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial.” Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. March 2015. Volume 115, Issue 3, pages 369-377. DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jand.2014.11.001. Web. https://www.andjrnl.org/article/S2212-2672%2814%2901633-5/abstract
4 Figueroa, Arturo, et al. “Effects of Watermelon Supplementation on Aortic Blood Pressure and Wave Reflection in Individuals With Prehypertension: A Pilot Study.” American Journal of Hypertension, 2010. DOI: 10.1038/ajh.2010.142