WHAT IS BLOOD PRESSURE?
There is energy and oxygen pumped through your blood around your body as your heart beats. As your blood flows through the body it pushes against the sides of the blood vessels. Blood pressure is the strength in which it is pushing against the blood vessels. In other words, blood pressure is the measurement of the force of blood exerting on the walls of the blood vessels through your body.
WHAT IS HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE? (Hypertension)
High blood pressure is becoming quite common and can become dangerous. This can increase the chances of heart disease and even stroke “the 2 leading causes of death in U.S” (www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/) When one has high blood pressure, this means that the blood pressure in your body’s blood vessels is at a higher rate than where it should be at normally. If blood pressure gets too high it can put too much extra stress on your arteries as well as the heart. When this happens at a higher rate for a substantial amount of time, then this is when you can become more prone to those two health conditions. Just because you have a high blood pressure, does not mean you cannot do anything to lower the risk of heart disease and stroke that have the chance of occurring. In this article I will show you some ways to help lower the numbers!
HOW COMMON IS IT?
A study has shown that about one of three US adults are diagnosed with high blood pressure aka hypertension. In math terms that is about 75 million people with high blood pressure which is a very large amount. Just in 2013, it had contributed to “more than 360,000 U.S. deaths according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Globally, the World Health Organization estimates it causes 7.5 million deaths.” (More Aggressive Treatment of High Blood Pressure Saves Lives in Study. By the American Heart Association News.)
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
If you’re trying to look for some symptoms that you may have a high blood pressure, you will probably not have very much luck in being able to find out. This is because high blood pressure has a scary nickname called the “silent killer”. It has received this powerful nickname because it is said that there is no warning signs or symptoms to even know if you are at risk of having high blood pressure. Although I have talked to some with high blood pressure and have been told that they may notice redness of the ears, as well as headaches when blood pressure is rising. Not all the time will this be the signs and therefore it is still very crucial that you get regular check ups on your blood pressure readings.
HOW TO FIND OUT IF YOU HAVE HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE-
The first thing I would recommend is to just simply get a check up when you go to the doctors on blood pressure. But if you have a blood pressure cuff at your house, you can also do a reading there. When you put on the blood pressure cuff put it right above your elbow onto your bottom bicep muscle. Put your arm in a relaxed position sitting about even with your chest like on a table next to you. There are usually directions on the cuff machine that will walk you through this, but there will be a reading after it’s done. One will be a systolic (the cardiac muscles and ventricle contracting during a heart beat) and the other will be a diastolic (cardiac muscle relaxation). It Will read systolic over diastolic. A good blood pressure would be 120/80. A bad or high blood pressure would be 140/90.
Only ONE of the numbers on the reading has to be high to be considered hypertensive. So if your number is 142/85, you may want to get it checked.
A SOLUTION TO TRY AND LOWER BLOOD PRESSURE-
There are quite a few different ways out there to help lower hypertension, but I will be covering mainly the diet part you could fix. I will also give you some food list that may help lower your blood pressure as well as the bottom of this article.
Diet choices can have a big effect on if you have a high blood pressure or a normal blood pressure. There has been studies shown that hypertension can be prevented and lowered by taking the right steps with your diet. Some of these steps include:
•less alcohol, if heavily consumed
•less fast food
Something’s you CAN add that will help LOWER high blood pressure would be:
•more omega 3 fatty acids
#1- (BEETROOT) Beetroot can be one of the best things to include into your diet if you suffer from hypertension. Beetroot contains high levels of dietary nitrate (NO3), which the body converts into biologically active nitrite (NO2) and nitric oxide (NO). In the human body, NO relaxes and dilates blood vessels. (“Does Beetroot Juice Lower Blood Pressure?” Written by Catharine Paddok.) A lot of studies have been done about a beetroot juice supplementation. “A 2013 review looked at the results of 16 clinical trials on the topic, and found that beetroot juice intake reduces blood pressure by 4-10 mmHg in just a few hours.”( Siervo, M., Lara, J., Ogbonmwan, I., & Mathers, J. C. (2013). Inorganic nitrate and beetroot juice supplementation reduces blood pressure in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis. The Journal of Nutrition, 143(6), 818-826.) “A reduction of at least 5 mmHg in blood pressure reduces your risk of a fatal stroke by 14 percent and cardiovascular disease by 9 percent.” (Chobanian, A. V., Bakris, G. L., Black, H. R., Cushman, W. C., Green, L. A., Izzo, J. L., … & Roccella, E. J. (2003). Seventh report of the joint national committee on prevention, detection, evaluation, and treatment of high blood pressure. Hypertension, 42(6), 1206-1252.) This information above was used in an article written by Joe Leech.
#2- (BANANA) bananas are rich in potassium which is one of the nutrients that can help lower high blood pressure. “One study in particular said just 2 bananas a day can reduceyour blood pressure by 10 percent!” (“7 Foods Science Proves Will Help Lower Your Blood Pressure” by Yahana Shah, Huff/Post 50. While bananas have many health benefits, this could be one that will be more efficient and quicker to grab through a busy day.
#3- (FLAX SEED) Flax seed is rich in omega 3 fatty acids, fiber, protein and lignans.
A study done with a group given flax seed daily for a year had some impressive results. The results show that “after 6 months systolic blood pressure was ~10 mm Hg lower and diastolic ~7 mm Hg lower in the flax seed group (P=0.04 for SBP and P=0.004 for DBP). Flax group participants who started with elevated blood pressure (>140 mm Hg) had more pronounced decreases in blood pressure—15 mm Hg in systolic and 7 mm Hg in diastolic.” (“Flax seed Reduces High Blood Pressure” by Jacob Schor) The main author had said that “This reduction of SBP and DBP after administration of dietary flax seed is the largest decrease in BP ever shown by any dietary intervention.” By reading this article, I learned that flax seed is one of the best things to use to lower blood pressure numbers.
Other healthy options that will help you are veggies, cashews, green tea, olive oil. These fall under the nutritional categories I have explained in this article.
Above you will see my blood pressure. Mine was 119/69mmHg which is normal. I stopped at my local Kroger and got my mine done for free. I challenge you to stop at the doctors, local store that has free blood pressure readings or stop out and buy a blood pressure cuff to do it all at home.
I really hope this helps a lot of people with high blood pressure, I have the resources in the article so you can read more on this topic. If you have any questions, feel free to ask and I will answer to the best of my abilities. I am not a doctor so I will not know everything on this, like they would.