Blood Pressure Foods To Avoid
- High sodium foods: Sodium raises blood pressure avoid high sodium processed foods, pickles, olives or canned foods.
- Trans fats and Omega-6 fats: These fats increase inflammation and blood pressure and are found in packaged foods and conventional meats.
- Sugar: High sugar consumption is connected to high blood pressure.
- Caffeine: Too much caffeine can cause an increase in blood pressure.
- Alcohol: Narrows arteries and can increase blood pressure.
The Silent Killer That Could Kill You Truly Silently
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is the constant blood pumping through blood vessels with highly excessive force. This means the heart must work extra hard to push blood through the body. Even though our arteries are made of a layer of smooth muscle and semi-flexible tissue, the high blood pressure causes the wall overstretching and leads to tiny blood vessel tears called vascular scarring. Over time, the walls become weak and this increases the risk of blood clots.
Medical experts associate hypertension with cardiovascular health. They believe the lower blood pressure, the healthier heart, though too low blood pressure could cause premature death too. The healthy blood pressure level is hard to achieve when you lead an unhealthy lifestyle like most people do these days.
Some of the major causes of hypertension include the fluid and salt imbalances in the kidney function, stress, fatigue, a lack of sleep, changes in the function and structure of large and small arteries, weak immunity, obesity, unhealthy eating habits, a lack of physical activity, overtraining, prescription medicines , and in rare cases genetic causes.
High Blood Pressure Treatment
The best way to lower blood pressure begins with changes you can make to your lifestyle to help lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart disease. Additionally, your doctor may prescribe medicine to lower your blood pressure. These are called antihypertensive medicines.
The goal of treatment is to reduce your blood pressure to normal levels. Your doctor may prescribe medicine thats easy to take and has few, if any, side effects. This treatment is highly successful. If your blood pressure can only be controlled with medicine, youll need to take the medicine for the rest of your life. It is common to need more than one medicine to help control your blood pressure. Dont stop taking the medicine without talking with your doctor. Otherwise, you may increase your risk of having a stroke or heart attack.
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Dehydration And Blood Pressure
It’s important to stay hydrated for your overall health. There is a link between dehydration and blood pressure. When the body is properly hydrated, the heart is able to pump effectively so blood can move easily throughout the body, although more studies need to be conducted on this matter.
When the body is dehydrated, the heart must use more force and pump harder to distribute blood throughout the body. It takes more effort for the blood to get to the tissues and organs. Dehydration results in a lower blood volume which causes the heart rate and blood pressure to increase.
Put Down The Saltshaker
Keeping your sodium intake to a minimum can be vital for lowering blood pressure.
In some people, when you eat too much sodium, your body starts to retain fluid. This results in a sharp rise in blood pressure.
The AHA recommends limiting your sodium intake to between 1,500 milligrams and 2,300 mg per day. Thats a little over half a teaspoon of table salt.
To decrease sodium in your diet, dont add salt to your food. One teaspoon of table salt has 2,300 mg of sodium!
Use herbs and spices to add flavor instead. Processed foods also tend to be loaded with sodium. Always read food labels and choose low-sodium alternatives when possible.
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Avoid Heavy Alcohol Drinking
Drinking too much alcohol has been associated with high blood pressure. Heavy drinking also contributes to stroke. The CDC recommends that men drink two or fewer drinks per day. Women are recommended to drink one or fewer alcoholic beverages per day.
Alcoholism is a disease that is difficult to treat on your own. If you find it difficult to control your drinking, many people have successfully limited or quit drinking through counseling and drug treatment. You can reach the national substance abuse hotline anytime at: 1-800-662-HELP .
What Are The Symptoms Of High Blood Pressure
Most people who have high blood pressure do not have symptoms. This is why its sometimes called the silent killer. It is very important to have your blood pressure checked regularly.
Some people experience headaches, nosebleeds, or shortness of breath with high blood pressure. However, those symptoms can mimic many other things . Usually, these symptoms occur once blood pressure has reached a dangerously high level over a period of time.
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Natural Ways With Potential
If you do an Internet search, youll find dozens of other natural ways to lower blood pressure. They may be effective, but the evidence is limited or questionable.
Take stress reduction, for example. In 2017, the American Heart Association issued a scientific statement on the role of meditation in cardiovascular riskreduction. The AHA determined the concept was plausible, but the studies included too few subjects and used different endpoints, which made drawing conclusions impossible.
Some studies showed significant benefit, and others showed none. There simply wasnt enough data to say that meditation consistently lowers blood pressure, says Dr. Laffin. More likely, anything that relaxes you decreases blood pressure temporarily, but isnt a solution for people with sustained hypertension.
The same issue applies to various foods, spices, herbs and vitamins. You will probably find a study or two on each that says it lowers blood pressure, but these have never been robustly studied, he says.
If you are serious about using natural ways to lower blood pressure, choose one or more methods that have stood the test of time.
This article originally appeared in Cleveland Clinic Heart Advisor.
Living With High Blood Pressure
Controlling your high blood pressure is a lifelong commitment. You will always need to monitor your weight, make healthy food choices, exercise, learn to cope with stress, avoid smoking, and limit your alcohol intake. If you need medicine to control your high blood pressure, you will likely need it all your life.
Additionally, you will need to get used to regular blood pressure checks. Your doctor may want you to come to the office regularly. Or you may be asked to check your blood pressure at home and keep track of your numbers for your doctor. Some pharmacies and retail clinics have blood pressure machines on site. You can buy your own, automated arm blood pressure cuff for use at home. Your doctor may want you to check your blood pressure several times a day. Another option is to use an ambulatory blood pressure monitor.
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Way To Lower High Blood Pressure Immediately
Top Doctor: Do This To Lower High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure or hypertension is the silent killer that affects 80 million Americans. As many as 16 million Americans are unaware of the condition. Untreated hypertension can increase the risk of heart diseases or strokes. High blood pressure occurs due to the tightening of very small blood vessels called arterioles. As a result, the heart has to pump harder to overcome the resistance in the narrowed blood vessel bed. This leads to elevated pressure inside the vessels.
- High blood pressure or hypertension is when readings consistently range from 140 or higher for systolic or 90 or higher for diastolic.
- Blood pressure readings above 180/120 mmHg are dangerously high and require immediate medical attention.
High blood pressure is more likely to cause
- heart attack
How To Manage Your High Blood Pressure During The Covid
The COVID-19 pandemic is stressful for many people. However, those with high blood pressure may feel an increased burden on both their physical and mental health due to the potential risk of more serious illness.
You may be wondering what you can do to help manage your blood pressure as well as your mental and physical health during this time. Try out some of the tips below:
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First Why Is Your Blood Pressure High
Its natural to experience short-term spikes in blood pressure, like during exercise or after a cup of coffee. But over time, if your heart consistently pumps out more blood than usual or your blood vessels become stiffer, your blood pressure can stay high, which may lead to hypertension. Many things can cause this to happen, including eating too much salt, being overweight, or even taking certain medications that can cause high blood pressure as a side effect.
You might know that a blood pressure reading has two numbers . The American Heart Association describes normal blood pressure as a first number of 120 or less and a second number of 80 or less.
What Is High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure develops when your heart has to pump blood through narrowed or blocked arteries with more force. As blood is pumped with more force, the pressure on the walls of your arteries increases, which can lead to serious damage throughout your body.
Systolic blood pressurethe top number in a blood pressure measurementis the amount of pressure blood exerts on your artery walls with each heartbeat. Diastolic blood pressurethe bottom numberis the amount of pressure blood puts on your arteries between beats when the heart is at rest.
While many muscles work better when they have been working harder, the heart isn’t really one of those. Overworking your heart can result in hypertrophy, an overgrowth of muscle, and can lead to heart failure.
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Know Your Goals And Treatment Plan
If you do have high blood pressure, you and your doctor can talk about what your goal should be for your numbers, said Dr. Sachdev, emphasizing that your treatment is dependent on what your numbers are and what other medical conditions you have.
And of course, you and your doctor should also talk about what treatment is best for you and make a plan together, she said.
Eat Garlic Or Take Garlic Extract Supplements
Fresh garlic or garlic extract are both widely used to lower blood pressure.
A meta-analysis found that for people with high blood pressure, garlic supplements reduced their systolic blood pressure by up to about 5 mm Hg and reduced their diastolic blood pressure as much as 2.5 mm Hg .
According to a 2009 clinical study, a time-release garlic extract preparation may have a greater effect on blood pressure than regular garlic powder tablets .
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Easy Things You Can Do To Lower Your Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is dangerous. It can lead to many health problems, including heart attack, stroke, heart failure, angina, coronary artery disease, peripheral artery disease, kidney disease, vision loss, sexual dysfunction and more.
Fortunately, high blood pressure can often be prevented or controlled.
Here are some easy things you can do to lower your blood pressure or help prevent high blood pressure in the first place.
Set small, easily attainable goals, and when you reach them, set bigger ones. Step by step, you will take control of your health and your blood pressure.
Cut Back On Sugar And Refined Carbohydrates
Sugar, especially fructose, may increase your blood pressure more than salt, according to one 2014 review. In trials lasting at least 8 weeks, sugar increased blood pressure by 5.6 mm Hg diastolic and 6.9 mm Hg systolic .
A 2020 study that compared various popular diets found that for people who with more weight or obesity, low carb and low fat diets lowered their diastolic blood pressure by an average of about 5 mm Hg and their systolic blood pressure 3 mm Hg after 6 months .
Another benefit of a low carb, low sugar diet is that you feel fuller longer, because youre consuming more protein and fat.
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Home Remedies For Managing High Blood Pressure
What is high blood pressure?
Blood pressure is the force at which blood pumps from the heart into the arteries. A normal blood pressure reading is less than 120/80 mm Hg.
When blood pressure is high, the blood moves through the arteries more forcefully. This puts increased pressure on the delicate tissues in the arteries and damages the blood vessels.
High blood pressure, or hypertension, affects about half of American adults, estimates the American College of Cardiology.
Known as a silent killer, it usually doesnt cause symptoms until theres significant damage done to the heart. Without visible symptoms, most people are unaware that they have high blood pressure.
Why Does Hypertension Matter
If you are in this 130/80 range, reducing your blood pressure can help protect you from heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, eye disease, and even cognitive decline. The goal of the new guidelines is to encourage you to treat your high blood pressure seriously and to take action to bring it down, primarily using lifestyle interventions. “It is well documented that lifestyle changes can lower blood pressure as much as pills can, and sometimes even more,” says Dr. Fisher.
Making those changes can be challenging. More than one woman has woken up in the morning committed to healthy eating only to be derailed by a plate of cookies on a table in the office or a dinner out with friends.
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Essential Oils For Blood Pressure
Another of the many natural ways to lower blood pressure is to incorporate some key essential oils into your daily lifestyle. Essential oils can lower blood pressure by dilating arteries, acting as antioxidants to reduce oxidative stress and by decreasing emotional stress. The most effective essential oils for lowering blood pressure are lavender, ylang ylang, clary sage and frankincense.
Talk with your natural doctor about how to lower blood pressure naturally and safely. Check with your doctor before making major diet and exercise changes. If youre taking any medications, youll also want to make sure there are no drug interactions with any natural supplements you plan to take.
- Blood pressure is a combination of systolic and diastolic pressure.
- High blood pressure happens when the pressure on the arteries and blood vessels becomes too high and the arterial wall becomes distorted causing extra stress on the heart.
- You can monitor your own blood pressure by measuring your pulse rate.
- Try natural ways to lower blood pressure like dietary changes, stress relievers and exercise.
- Check with your doctor before making any major diet or exercise changes or trying new supplements.
Eat More Potassium And Less Sodium
Increasing your potassium intake and cutting back on salt can also lower your blood pressure .
Potassium is a double winner: It lessens the effects of salt in your system and eases tension in your blood vessels. However, diets rich in potassium may be harmful to people with kidney disease, so talk with your doctor before increasing your potassium intake.
Its easy to eat more potassium. So many foods are naturally high in potassium. Here are a few:
- other processed snacks
Foods labeled low fat are usually high in salt and sugar to compensate for the loss of fat. Fat is what gives food taste and makes you feel full.
Cutting down on or even better, cutting out processed food will help you eat less salt, less sugar, and fewer refined carbohydrates. All of this can result in lower blood pressure.
Make it a practice to check nutrition labels. According to the Food and Drug Administration , a sodium listing of 5 percent or less on a food label is considered low, while 20 percent or more is considered high (
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Ways To Lower High Blood Pressure Without Medicines
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High blood pressure is often referred to as the silent killer because it may show no unusual day-to-day symptoms. If left uncontrolled, it boosts the chances of heart attack and stroke. But the good news is that you can lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart disease naturally, without using medicines. Lifestyle changes are effective in preventing and treating your high blood pressure.
Here are 10 effective ways to lower your high blood pressure without medicines:
How To Lower Your Blood Pressure
You already know that you should exercise, quit smoking and cut back on alcohol. Besides those healthy moves, here are five other strategies proven to lower your blood pressurea lot.
1. Improve your diet / lose weight. If youre carrying around extra pounds, dropping them will lower your blood pressure. But even people who are at a healthy weight can stand to improve their diet. The DASH eating plan was developed just for people with high blood pressure: DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. The flexible diet recommends more vegetables and whole grains and fewer fatty and sweetened foods. Consider probiotics as well some studies suggest that gut bacteria influence blood pressure.
Online health coaching can help you lower your blood pressure, lose weight and more. Some Aetna members, for instance, have free access to the Simpler Steps to a Healthier Life program, which offers online sessions that make attaining health goals easy and fun.
2. Relax / manage stress. Blood pressure rises in response to stress. Stress management techniques help fight high blood pressure. That can mean yoga, meditation, listening to music, spending time in nature whatever is most effective for you. One recent study found that people who enjoy saunas 4 to 7 times a week had 50% lower blood pressure than non-sauna users.
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