Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Start by limiting alcohol, stress

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High blood pressure can be dangerous and put you at risk for heart disease and can ultimately, be fatal.

Nearly half of American adults – about 116 million people – have a high blood pressure, or hypertension, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hypertension is defined as a systolic blood pressure greater than 130mmHg or a diastolic blood pressure greater than 80mmHg.

In 2019, about half a million died with high blood pressure as the primary or contributing cause of death in the United States. However, the CDC says one in four adults with hypertension have their blood pressure under control.

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How to lower blood pressure?

A normal blood pressure range is less than 120/80 mmHg, according to the American Heart Association. Blood pressure can be lowered through lifestyle changes or medication or a combination of the two. Unfortunately, there’s no cure for high blood pressure once a person is diagnosed with it. Here’s how AHA advises to obtain a lower blood pressure.

  • Table salt can be the most common culprit of increasing your blood pressure. Cutting back on processed foods that are packed with high sodium levels can help with lowering your blood pressure.
  • Limiting your alcohol consumption can lead to a controlled blood pressure. AHA suggests no more than one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men should be consumed if you have a high blood pressure.
  • Stress management is a skill that can bring a multitude of changes to your life including a lowered blood pressure. Stress releases hormones which make your heart beat faster and constrict your blood vessels which can cause your blood pressure to be raised temporarily.
  • A continuous monitoring of your blood pressure can make you aware of the catalysts that spike your blood pressure, which can later be avoided.

While these tips can aid in lowering blood pressure, the AHA advises you to check with your doctor for the best solution.

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What are some foods that can help in lowering blood pressure?

According to an article by Harvard Medical School, “a healthful diet is an effective first-line defense for preventing high blood pressure,” so here are some foods recommended to lower blood pressure in individuals.

Fish and shellfish, unsalted nuts, fruits and vegetables, whole-grained carbohydrates such as brown rice, quinoa and oats, vegetable oil instead of butter are good dietary choices.

Avoid canned fruits or vegetables, packaged sauces, and salted butters, spreads and dressings which are high in sodium.

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