Why Maintaining A Healthy Blood Pressure Matters
Maintaining a normal blood pressure is important as it allows nutrients and oxygen to be delivered to all parts of the body, including important organs like your heart, brain, and kidneys. According to the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 70 percent of adults 65 and older have high blood pressure . If you have hypertension, you are put at risk for a stroke and heart disease, which are leading causes of death in the country. By eating a low sodium diet rich in calcium, magnesium, and potassium called the DASH diet, you can take the necessary steps to lower your blood pressure. Read on to learn about foods you can incorporate into your diet to stay healthy.
Is Menopause A Key Risk Factor
Research shows that before middle age, males are more likely to experience high blood pressure than females. Then, around the time of menopause, the reverse becomes true. However, health experts disagree on whether this is due to menopause.
Some argue that, until menopause, hormonal factors and specifically the presence of estrogen helps protect people from high blood pressure. When menopause occurs, individuals lose this protection, effectively making menopause the main risk factor for cardiovascular disease among females.
However, some suggest that other factors may increase the risk around this time, such as increased body mass index, aging, and dietary changes, whether hormonal changes also play a role or not.
How Can I Lower My Blood Pressure
High blood pressure can be treated through lifestyle changes and medicines. Everyone with high blood pressure, regardless of whether theyre on medication, should follow the lifestyle recommendations . Some people will find lifestyle improvements mean they dont need blood pressure medicines or they can take a lower dosage.
These are the Australian recommendations for lifestyle changes to lower blood pressure. If you are an older Australian or have a chronic condition , your doctor will tell you which lifestyle changes are suitable for you.
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How To Lower Blood Pressure In Minutes
Disclaimer: Results are not guaranteed*** and may vary from person to person***.
High blood pressure can hit at any time, and the results can be devastating. When an acute jump occurs, knowing how to lower blood pressure in minutes can be the difference between life and death.
This is especially true if youre one of the 75 million American adults suffering from hypertension , or one of the other 75 million with prehypertension. When a boost hits, its good to know how to make blood pressure go down quickly.
Your blood pressure rises and falls throughout the day, and this is completely normal. Stress, anxiety, exercise, and activity can all lead to increases, while relaxation, getting ready for bed, and sleep can all bring it back down.
But not all high blood pressure is safe, and the longer it stays at a high rate, the more health risks you assume. Risks include acute responses like sweating, fainting or shortness of breath, and more severe issues like heart disease and heart attack can arise. So when stress hits, knowing how to lower blood pressure quickly can be a great health benefit.
Pick Dark Chocolate Berries Or A Banana Instead
In addition to reading nutrition labels, consider switching up your daily treats by choosing one of these tasty alternatives:
- Dark chocolate. Dark chocolate has many flavonoids, a natural antioxidant that can cause your blood vessels to open more widely to support better cardiovascular health.
- Berries. Berries are a rich source of polyphenols, another kind of antioxidant that helps reduce inflammation and lower blood pressure.
- Bananas. Bananas have a lot of potassium, which helps counteract the effects of sodium and reduces tension in your blood vessels.
As with all things, moderation is key. Chocolate, berries and bananas still contain sugar and you dont want to go on a snack attack. But making smart changes to your snacking habits are easy ways to work in foods that can help reduce your blood pressure and satisfy your hunger.
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Most Used High Blood Pressure Meds
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Put Some Dash In Your Lunch And Dinner
Dont worry were not back in gym class again. While dashing is indeed a good way to get some vigorous exercise, its also about what youre eating, too.
DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. Its a high blood pressure diet specifically designed to focus on foods that reduce blood pressure that is, foods rich in calcium, potassium and magnesium as well as low in sodium and fat.
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Consider Taking Vitamins And Supplements
Research shows that a few vitamins and minerals may be helpful in lowering blood pressure. But talk to your doctor before taking any. Make sure they know everything you take.
- Vitamin C: This has antioxidants that protect the linings of your blood vessels. Orange juice is a good source, as are fruits like kiwi and strawberries, and vegetables like broccoli, kale, tomatoes, and sweet red peppers. Adults should get 400 mg per day.
Potassium: This helps your body get rid of sodium through your pee. Men should aim for 3,400 mg a day, and women around 2,600. Itâs found in fruits like bananas and prunes and vegetables like potatoes, tomatoes, and artichoke.
Vitamin D: This helps make the enzyme renin, which is linked to blood pressure health. You can get vitamin D from fatty fish, like salmon or mackerel, or milk. You also can absorb vitamin D from sunlight or take it in a supplement.
Increase Potassium Intake With Healthy Foods
- Fruits like bananas, dried apricots, and pomegranates
- Vegetables like Brussels sprouts, beets, and acorn squash
- Dairy products, including fat-free or low-fat milk
- Coconut water
If youre looking for meal ideas with more potassium, the AHA offers the following recipes that have at least two potassium-rich ingredients:
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What Are The Symptoms Of High Blood Pressure
Perhaps youre not sure if you have high blood pressure. If it has been a while since youve had your blood pressure taken, consider scheduling a wellness visit with your medical provider. In the meantime, here are some of the key signs of high blood pressure to watch out for:
- Bloody urine
Other Foods That May Help Lower Your Blood Pressure
Garlic may also help lower your blood pressure. Garlic has been shown to help reduce inflammation. Using garlic to add flavor to your food also helps you reduce salt, which can also help lower blood pressure.
Moderate amounts of alcohol have also been shown to help lower blood pressure. Women shouldnt exceed one drink per day, while men shouldnt have more than two drinks per day. Keep in mind, consuming greater quantities of alcohol can cause blood pressure to rise.
Some people should drink less than this amount, or not at all, though. Drinking even moderate amounts of alcohol can interfere with certain medications and can increase your risk of other chronic conditions, including certain cancers and osteoporosis. Ask your health care provider if drinking alcohol is safe for you.
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Fighting Back Against The Silent Killer
High blood pressure is a symptomless silent killer that quietly damages blood vessels and leads to serious health problems.
While there is no cure, using medications as prescribed and making lifestyle changes can enhance your quality of life and reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and more.
What Is Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is the force applied by the blood to the inner walls of the arteries. It shows minor fluctuations throughout the daydeclining while relaxing and momentarily increasing while being excited or under stress. An increase in resting blood pressure can scar, stiffen, or harden the arteries.
Table: Blood pressure levels include a normal and high chart
|Blood pressure levels|
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Small Changes Can Make A Big Difference In Your Blood Pressure Numbers
If you suddenly find yourself with high blood pressure under the new guidelines from the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology, you might be wondering what to do. The guidelines lowered the definition for high blood pressure to 130/80 from 140/90 millimeters of mercury , meaning more people now meet the criteria for stage 1 hypertension.
While you shouldn’t shrug off the change, there’s also no need to panic. “Obviously, nothing happened overnight inside a woman’s body or to her health with the release of the guidelines,” says Dr. Naomi Fisher, director of hypertension service and hypertension innovation at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Hypertension, and associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.
The change, however, should spur you to take your blood pressure seriously. “These guidelines have been long anticipated and are very welcome by most hypertension experts. They may seem drastic, but in putting the knowledge we’ve gained from large trials into clinical practice, they will help thousands of people,” says Dr. Fisher.
Get Physically Active And Move More With Or Without A Gym
I always recommend that people find something that they enjoy doing to stay in shape. For example, line dancing, walking outside, and riding a bike are all good ways to get active, says Scott Parker, a health and fitness trainer and a national spokesperson for #GoRedGetFit an online fitness challenge for women hosted by the AHA and Macys. Its also important to find other people you like doing the activity with, because that helps you stick with it.
Other exercise options that dont require a gym membership include body weight exercises, like pushups, squats, and jumping jacks. These exercises can be done at home or outside. For people who like going to the gym or running, these can be good ways to build community, notes Parker. Apps like Fitbit and MapMyRun can be helpful if you like keeping track of your steps, calories burned, weight, or number of miles run.
If youre interested in working with a personal trainer but are concerned about the cost, Parker notes that trainers dont have to be expensive. Some trainers offer group sessions that are cheaper than individual training sessions. College students getting degrees in kinesiology, the study of human movement or physical activity, also train people at reduced cost.
Final Thoughts On The Best Blood Pressure
There you have it! We just detailed 20 delicious vegetables that lower blood pressure. However, that list is only a sample of foods included in a healthy blood pressure diet.
Additional foods include other potassium- and magnesium-rich foods like bananas, sunflower seeds, and melon. You can also benefit greatly from other nutritional powerhouses like garlic, coriander, olive oil, dark chocolate, tomatoes, beans, legumes, and pomegranate juice.
As a cautionary note, there are certain foods that are best to avoid if you have high blood pressure. Be sure to stay clear of too much alcohol, caffeine, sugar, and omega-6 fats and trans fats.
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Get The Facts On Alcohol And Blood Pressure
Many of us like to have a drink when we go out with friends or family. The right concoction can make a delicious dish even better or help set the mood for a fun evening. But alcohol and blood pressure dont always mix well.
Drinking a lot can raise your blood pressure, which puts you at greater risk for a wide variety of further cardiovascular issues. So when you decide to drink, its important not to have too much.
How much is too much? If youre a woman, try not to have more than one drink per day. For men, no more than two drinks per day. A standard drink is a 12 oz. beer, a 5 oz. glass of wine or 1.5 oz. of spirits.
However, if youve already been diagnosed with high blood pressure, your doctor may advise you on a different daily limit, or suggest you cut out alcohol completely.
And just to clear something up: Red wine isnt necessarily good for your heart the research is still unclear and we still suggest moderation.
The Best Diet To Lower Blood Pressure Says Dietitian
Although it can stem from genetics, high blood pressure is a condition that can affect your body, potentially causing heart attacks and strokes. If you’re dealing with high blood pressure, chances are your doctor has tried to supply you with ways of lowering it, such as developing exercise routines and fixing what you eat and drink. It is possible to get your blood pressure down. However, it’s important you follow specific diets in order to lower your risk.
One diet, in particular, was actually meant to help lower blood pressure. According to Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD, author of The Sports Nutrition Playbook,the best diet to help lower blood pressure is the DASH Diet.
“The DASH Diet, or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, was designed to help individuals with high blood pressure lower it,” says Goodson. “High blood pressure is a risk for cardiovascular disease, the number one killer of men and women in the US. So, improving blood pressure is necessary for your heart.”
According to Goodson, the diet includes foods that are rich in calcium, potassium, and magnesium. These nutrients can help lower blood pressure and are also low in sodium, saturated fat, and added sugars. It also includes limiting sodium intake to between 1,500 and 2,300 milligrams a day.
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Try These Medicinal Herbs
Herbal medicines have long been used in many cultures to treat a variety of ailments.
Some herbs have even been shown to possibly lower blood pressure. However, more research is needed to identify the doses and components in the herbs that are most useful.
Always check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking herbal supplements. They may interfere with your prescription medications.
Heres a partial list of plants and herbs that are used by cultures throughout the world to lower blood pressure:
- black bean
- river lily
- Avoid daytime naps.
- Make your bedroom comfortable.
The 2010 national Sleep Heart Health Study found that regularly sleeping fewer than 7 hours a night and more than 9 hours a night was associated with an increased rate of high blood pressure.
Regularly sleeping fewer than 5 hours a night was linked to a significant risk of high blood pressure long term .