Contributed by: Abshar Faheem
Normal blood pressure is necessary for your well-being. Blood flowing through the circulatory system delivers essential oxygen and nutrients (amino acids, glucose, etc.) for the nourishment of tissues and organs. Blood supplies white blood cells or antibodies for immunity, and hormones such as insulin to ensure the proper functioning of the body. When fresh blood is delivered, it picks up the toxic waste products of metabolism, and toxic substances released from the kidneys and liver and separates them from the cells.
Your heart is a vital organ that pumps blood throughout the body. Heartbeats produce pressure that accelerates blood through a web of tube-shaped blood vessels which include arteries, veins, and capillaries. When the blood flows in your arteries, it faces resistance if the arteries are narrow, which can lead to high blood pressure or hypertension.
There are two types of blood pressure, high and low. High blood pressure is also referred to as HBP or hypertension. Hypertension occurs when the pressure of your blood becomes unusually high, which might damage your blood vessels and organs especially the kidneys, brain, eyes, and heart. Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg).
Hypertension develops with age and it is very common among people above 60. There are two types of hypertension: primary hypertension and secondary hypertension. Primary hypertension occurs with age without any specific cause. Researchers are still trying to find out the exact cause of primary hypertension but some factors contribute to it such as genes, physical changes, and environment.
Secondary hypertension occurs quickly and can be more severe than primary hypertension. It occurs due to several causes such as obstructive sleep apnea, heavy alcohol consumption, obesity, kidney disease, smoking tobacco, consuming a high-fat diet, side effects of medications, and taking illegal drugs. B. The following are three severity categories of blood pressure measurement:
- Normal blood pressure ranges between 90/60mmHg and 120/80 mmHg.
- High blood pressure ranges between 140/90 mmHg or higher
- Low blood pressure is known to be 90/60mmHg or lower
Many people do not get immediate symptoms of hypertension as it develops with age. Those symptoms may show up with time and become obvious. Several symptoms of hypertension include:
- Pain in the chest
- Bleeding from the nose
- Short breathing
- Visual changes
- Heart palpitations
- Bloody urine
If you experience any/a combination/or all of these symptoms for a prolonged period of time, consult your doctor immediately.
The best way to identify if you have hypertension is to get a frequent blood pressure reading. Remember, your diet has a significant impact on your blood pressure. Consumption of salty and sugary food items, red meat, and saturated fats, can lead to hypertension and they also tend to keep your blood pressure levels elevated. Regularly avoiding such food items may help you to maintain healthy blood pressure. It is advisable for people suffering from hypertension, to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, grains, and proteins. In this article, we will discuss the five best foods you must remove from your diet.
Broccoli is widely known for its multiple health benefits including boosting the health of your circulatory system. It is considered to be the best food to lower your blood pressure, reduce the risks of cardiovascular diseases and stroke as it contains a package of blood pressure-regulating minerals such as potassium, magnesium, fiber, vitamin C, and calcium. The sprouts of broccoli reduce the damage to arteries that affects your blood pressure. Broccoli contains flavonoid antioxidants that decrease the blood pressure level by enhancing the nitric oxide level in your body. The compounds like potassium and magnesium of broccoli relax the functions of blood vessels resulting in better blood flow.
Spinach contains a complement of potassium, calcium, magnesium, and antioxidants that helps people with high blood pressure. It is also known to be rich in nitrates. Drinking spinach soup (500ml every day for 7 days) reduces your secondary blood pressure including artery stiffness and improves heart health.
Herbs and spices
Spices and herbs contain important compounds that reduce the level of your blood pressure and improve your heart health. You can add certain spices and herbs, such as basil, parsley, celery seeds, garlic, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, black cumin, and saffron
to your diet to help manage your hypertension.
Carrots contain fiber and potassium to help people with high blood pressure. Potassium in carrots relaxes blood vessels lowering the risk of hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases. Carrots are a sweet and crunchy veggie that also reduces inflammation resulting in lower blood pressure. You can eat a carrot daily, raw or cooked, which will help you in reducing your blood pressure.
Citrus fruits such as lemons, oranges, and grapefruit may help you in reducing your blood pressure as they contain vitamin C, powerful plant compounds, and minerals. This fruit category also acts as a support supplement for your metabolism and heart health. Having 2 or 3 glasses of orange juice keeps your heart going and maintains your blood pressure as it contains all the required nutrients needed for your body especially vitamin C.
The Bottom line
You can also add other food items such as salmon fish, pumpkin seeds, beans and lentils, berries, celery, tomatoes, greek yogurt, and beet juice. All such food items contain different nutrients that help you to manage hypertension. Apart from this, regular exercise, stress management, and adopting a cleaner lifestyle will help you cope with the condition. Also, strictly avoid alcohol and smoking that enhance the risk of hypertension. Be in touch with your doctor regularly and take care of your health.
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