How To Improve High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is more common in people who carry excess weight. And while it is typically associated with ageing, nowadays high blood pressure has become a problem for young men and women who may only be in their 30s or early 40s. For many people, a fast paced life with considerable stress can lead to unhealthy eating and lifestyle habits, which can have serious consequences like high blood pressure. Most people consider themselves to be too busy for a weight loss diet. This condition is often referred to as a “silent killer” as it usually doesn’t carry symptoms and most people are unaware they have it. High blood pressure occurs when the pressure of blood against your artery walls is too great, causing excessive strain on your blood vessels. If left untreated, high blood pressure increases the risk of heart disease and stroke.
There are a number of factors that increase blood pressure. Family history, obesity, heavy alcohol use, high sodium intake and ageing are known contributors. A sedentary lifestyle, excess stress, low potassium intake, low calcium intake and resistance to insulin may also cause blood pressure to rise.
In order to tackle high blood pressure, immediate change to your lifestyle is required. It is widely known that losing weight through a weight loss diet has its advantages in minimizing high blood pressure. Losing weight may also support the reduction of medicine intake needed to regulate and control high blood pressure.
Here’s our simple guide on how to lessen high blood pressure:
1. Eat a healthy diet. Ensure that you eat more wholegrains, fruit and vegetables daily. Eating low fat dairy products may also result in lower blood pressure. A weight loss diet should be undertaken if obese.
2. Reduce your salt intake by avoiding sodium rich foods. The central source of sodium that can harm the diet is the salt found in packed, processed foods and in foods from restaurants. Studies have shown that a high-sodium diet increases blood pressure in some people. In fact, some studies show that the less sodium you eat, the better blood pressure control you might have even if you’re taking blood pressure medications.
3. While alcohol should only ever be consumed in moderation, it is particularly important to minimise your intake if you have high blood pressure. Even if you don’t currently suffer from high blood pressure, drinking alcohol will increase your blood pressure over time. Alcohol also contains a huge amount of calories which are responsible for gaining weight, which will forfeit your weight loss diet efforts.
4. It is important to exercise at least 3 times a week and a combination of cardiac and resistance training is ideal. Exercise can help lower your blood pressure while helping you to lose and maintain your weight.
5. Maintain a well-balanced diet. Potassium, as well as calcium, are important when it comes to regulating high blood pressure. Bananas, beans and tofu are rich sources of potassium. Avoid boiling as potassium filters out into the water during cooking. Vegetables are best steamed.
By: Sarah Maher