By Alao Abiodun
High blood pressure is a dangerous condition that can damage one’s heart. High blood pressure or hypertension is known as a ‘silent killer’. It often has no symptoms but is a major risk for heart disease and stroke.
If left uncontrolled, it raises one’s risk of heart disease and stroke.
X-raying the body anatomy, your blood pressure depends on how much blood your heart is pumping, and how much resistance there is to blood flow in your arteries so therefore it is often said that The narrower your arteries, the higher your blood pressure.
To know your blood pressure range, see the classification below:
Blood pressure lower than 120/80 mm Hg = Normal.
Blood pressure that’s 130/80 mm Hg or more = High.
If your numbers are above normal but under 130/80 mm Hg, you fall into the category of elevated blood pressure. This means that you’re at risk for developing high blood pressure.
So here are few tips to control one’s high blood pressure without necessarily using medications or continuous blood pressure supplements:
1. Regular Exercise: Exercise is one of the best things you can do to lower high blood pressure.
Regular exercise helps make your heart stronger and more efficient at pumping blood, which lowers the pressure in your arteries.
2. Reduction of ‘salt intake’: Salt intake is high around the world. In large part, this is due to processed and prepared foods.
For this reason, many public health efforts are aimed at lowering salt in the food industry. In many studies, salt has been linked to high blood pressure and heart events, like stroke.
3. Reduction of alcohol: Drinking alcohol can raise blood pressure.
In fact, alcohol is linked to 16% of high blood pressure cases around the world. While some research has suggested that low-to-moderate amounts of alcohol may protect the heart, those benefits may be offset by negative effects.
Drinking alcohol in any quantity may raise one’s blood pressure. There’s need to limit the drinking rate to not more than one drink a day.
4. Eat more potassium-rich foods: Potassium is an important mineral. It helps your body get rid of sodium and ease pressure on your blood vessels.
Modern diets have increased most people’s sodium intake while decreasing potassium intake.
Foods that are particularly high in potassium include:
Vegetables, especially leafy greens, tomatoes, potatoes and sweet potatoes
Fruit, including melons, bananas, avocados, oranges and apricots
Dairy, such as milk and yogurt
Tuna and salmon
Nuts and seeds
5. Learn to manage stress: Stress is a key driver of high blood pressure.
When you’re chronically stressed, your body is in a constant fight-or-flight mode. On a physical level, that means a faster heart rate and constricted blood vessels.
When you experience stress, you might also be more likely to engage in other behaviors, such as drinking alcohol or eating unhealthy food that can negatively affect blood pressure.
6. Quit smoking: Among the many reasons to quit smoking is that the habit is a strong risk factor for heart disease.
Every puff of cigarette smoke causes a slight, temporary increase in blood pressure. The chemicals in tobacco are also known to damage blood vessels.
7. Eat foods rich in magnesium: Magnesium is an important mineral that helps blood vessels relax.
Eating a magnesium-rich diet is a recommended way to ward off high blood pressure’
You can incorporate magnesium into your diet with vegetables, dairy products, legumes, chicken, meat and whole grains.
Magnesium is an important mineral that helps regulate blood pressure.
8. Reduction of caffeine intake: Caffeine raises your blood pressure, but the effect is temporary.
Some people may be more sensitive to caffeine than others. If you’re caffeine-sensitive, you may want to cut back on your coffee consumption, or try decaffeinated coffee.
In summary, Keeping tabs on the scale will help your blood pressure take care of itself. Check your readings regularly at home, and try to stay in your target range. (TheNation)