High blood pressure is known as the silent killer. It has become a major health issue around the world. Lack of exercise, obesity, poor diet, stress, and genetics all play a part in the epidemic that it has become. Many times, it goes undetected until serious complications have been caused.
High blood pressure comes from the force of blood on the arterial walls. When a person’s blood pressure is normal, the pressure against the walls will go up and down throughout the day. But if high blood pressure has developed, the blood pressure will remain high. This causes stress on the arteries and can lead to kidney damage, eye damage, heart disease, and other complications.
Although high blood pressure can be passed down genetically, there are things you can do to help control it.
If you smoke, stop! The nicotine in cigarettes will cause your blood vessels to constrict, which in turn, will cause hypertension.
It has been found that being overweight can increase your chances of having high blood pressure anywhere from 50% to 300%. When you are obese, more blood is produced to fulfill the oxygen requirements for extra tissue. This causes more pressure to be put onto your arterial walls. Your body has to work harder to pump the blood that you have. Over time, this extra work can damage the heart and cause the walls to thicken. Because the walls are thickened, it is harder to pump blood.
Change Your Diet
Lower your sodium intake and increase your magnesium and potassium. A study in the Journal of Clinical Hypertension found that increasing the mineral rich fruits and vegetables in your diet can help control high blood pressure.
Your sodium intake should be no more than 2400 mg. daily. Besides not adding salt to your food, you have to watch labels as well. Many foods contain high levels of sodium, especially if they have been processed. The best foods for good health are foods which are still in their natural state.
Examples of magnesium-rich foods are green vegetables such as spinach and broccoli, pumpkin seeds, black beans, peas, nuts, seeds, and unrefined grains.
Potassium rich foods include apricots, bananas, tomatoes, raisins, prunes, figs, currants, nuts, potatoes, wheat bran, wheat germ, and lima beans.
Regular physical exercise, as long as it increases your heart and breathing rate, can help lower blood pressure. It does this in at least two ways. First, you lose weight, which helps by reducing the amount of blood your body needs to pump. It also makes your heart stronger, which causes it to pump more blood with less effort.
Some people who exercise regularly are able to completely eliminate their blood pressure medication. In order to achieve results such as this, it takes about three months of regular exercise. You need thirty minutes of exercise between 3 and 5 times per week. You must continue to exercise in order to maintain the benefits.
Studies have shown that eating 1 ½ ounces of dark chocolate per day can reduce your blood pressure.
The Southern Medical Journal did a trial where they got 83 people with isolated systolic hypertension to take either 60 mg. of CoQ10 or a placebo daily. This type of hypertension is the type that causes the systolic number to be high and the diastolic number to be normal or even low. Fifty-five percent of the the CoQ10 group responded, whereas 45% did not. In the ones who did respond, the drop in blood pressure was significant.
Other supplements can help lower your blood pressure. Hawthorne is often used to help treat hypertension. Garlic and fish oil have been found to be beneficial as well.
Avoid Non-Aspirin Pain Reliever
Non-aspirin pain reliever such as ibuprophen and acetaminophen have been shown to cause high blood pressure. If you need a pain reliever, and you have problems with your blood pressure, aspirin may be a better choice for you.
If you suspect your blood pressure may be high, take the steps listed above, and check with your doctor. Tell him every supplement you are taking, and cooperate with him in finding the right medication to help get it under control. Allowing your blood pressure to remain high can cause permanent damage to organs throughout your body.
How to Control Your Blood Pressure by Dakota Caudilla
High Blood Pressures, 12 Dietary and Lifestyle Changes You Can Make to Help Lower Yours by Kearney Adams