Updated: Aug 13
Office Deadlines, the stress of meeting targets, lack of exercise and abundance of processed unhealthy food. All these are typical issues that any city dweller faces in 2019.
And it takes your health for a ride, leading to n number of lifestyle health issues and one of them is High Blood Pressure. Blood pressure is nothing but the amount of force that blood flow puts on the wall of arteries, there is a certain threshold that the arteries can deal with and when we cross that threshold of force its called high blood pressure.
But, what causes High Blood Pressure? Here are the main reasons :
Lack of Physical Activity
Too much salt in the diet
Too much alcohol consumption
Genetics & family history of high blood pressure
Chronic Kidney Disease
There are 2 types of hypertension:
Essential Hypertension, this is the condition of the majority of High BP patients. The underlying cause id mostly related to diet and has a high co-relation with salt consumption.
When a direct cause for high blood pressure can be identified, the condition is described as secondary hypertension. Among the known causes of secondary hypertension, kidney disease ranks highest.
Treating high blood pressure will take time and it has to be dealt with a combination of, diet, lifestyle change, and medication.
Dietary and lifestyle changes that would control high BP :
1. Cut back smoking gradually – It will not just control the blood pressure but also improve overall health.
2. Exercise Regularly – Even a 1-mile walk daily is a good start, and then moving to other forms of exercise will help a lot in normalising BP
3. Reduce the intake of sodium – Less Salt & Fewer processed foods
5. Reduce your stress – Try to plan things in advance to avoid uncertainties – this will help you lower down your stress levels.
6. Dietary changes: Research has shown that certain foods can lower blood pressure, both right away and in the long term. Try to include these food items in your regular diet.
Berries: Blueberries and strawberries contain antioxidant compounds called anthocyanin, a type of flavonoid. A study found that consumption of berries can lower the pressure by 8%. https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/93/2/338/4597656
Bananas: According to the American Heart Association, potassium reduces the effects of sodium and alleviates tension in the walls of the blood vessels. Bananas contain plenty of potassium.
Note: Please reach out to your doctor if u are a kidney patient before adding more potassium to your diet. Other fruits like watermelon, kiwis, pomegranates, also help. In addition to this increase, the intake of green leafy vegetable in your regular diet will further enhance the benefits.
Dark chocolate: Research has shown that chocolate reduces hypertension. It should be consumed in moderate quantities only. https://bmcmedicine.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1741-7015-8-39
Some crops that we make also helps in controlling blood pressure
Red Rice: Red yeast rice (sometimes called RYR) typically contains compounds that are similar to the active ingredients in prescription drugs called statins, which are used to treat high cholesterol.
It also helps in regulating blood pressure, try to add it as a part of your regular diet, by replacing the processed white rice that is commonly consumed.
Sea Buck Thorn: It is full of antioxidants, which help protect your body against ageing and illnesses like cancer and heart disease.
The seeds and leaves are also particularly rich in quercetin, a flavonoid linked to lower blood pressure and a reduced risk of heart disease.
BuckWheat: Buckwheat has been traditionally prized as a “blood-building” food. buckwheat’s high levels of antioxidant polyphenols—especially rutin (a bioflavonoid), which supports the circulatory system and helps to prevent recurrent bleeding caused by weakened blood vessels, as in haemorrhoids and varicose veins. Finally, rutin acts as an ACE inhibitor and contributes to buckwheat’s ability to reduce high blood pressure.
This post should just be taken as a starting guide for health improvement, we strongly recommend you to visit a doctor and take proper guidance if you are suffering from high blood pressure.