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High blood pressure is a chronic condition that is often associated with a few or no symptoms. You have high blood pressure if your blood pressure readings are consistently 140 over 90, or even higher, for a few weeks. Even if one of the numbers is higher than what it should be, you can have high blood pressure (BP). Stress is one of the major factors that cause high blood pressure.
Uncontrolled high blood pressure increases the risk of having serious health issues such as cardiac arrest and kidney disease. Interestingly, high blood pressure is also closely linked to some forms of dementia. This article talks about the signs or symptoms of high blood pressure, its treatment, the type of people prone to hypertension, foods that keep blood pressure under control and Health Total’s hypertension management plan.
This may come as a surprise to you, but the exact causes of high blood pressure are not known. However, you are at a risk of developing it if:
A blood pressure reading includes two numbers — one written on top of the other. The top number is called systolic blood pressure, which represents the force of blood through your blood vessels during your heartbeat. The bottom number is called diastolic blood pressure. This number represents the force of blood through your blood vessels in between heartbeats, while your heart is resting. If either of your blood pressure readings is consistently above normal, visit a doctor before damage to your organs occurs.
|Top number (systolic) in mm Hg||Bottom number (diastolic) in mm Hg||Your category||What to do|
|Below 120||And below 80||Normal BP||Maintain or adopt a healthy lifestyle|
|Between 120 and 139||Or between 80 and 89||Prehypertension||Maintain or adopt a healthy lifestyle|
|Between 140 and 159||Or between 90 and 99||Stage 1 hypertension||If your BP isn’t back to the normal in a month’s time, talk to your doctor regarding medication|
|160 or higher||Or 100 or higher||Stage 2 hypertension||Talk to your doctor about taking more than one medication.|
Note: If you are a patient of diabetes, chronic kidney disease or heart disease, you may need to treat your blood pressure more aggressively.
High blood pressure is often labeled “the silent killer”, as people who have it usually don’t know about it until they get their blood pressure checked. Sometimes people with elevated blood pressure may show symptoms of a headache, dizziness, blurred vision, vomiting and chest pain. Around 1% of those suffering from high blood pressure do not seek medical care until high blood pressure is severe, a condition known as malignant hypertension, which is rare. A person with malignant hypertension [Ref] has blood pressure above 180/120 and he/she should treat this as a medical emergency.
A person develops high blood pressure mainly due to undesirable lifestyle, unhealthy eating habits as well as mental and physical factors such as stress, excessive drinking and smoking, obesity and lack of sleep.
Others who are susceptible to high blood pressure include pregnant women, women who take birth control pills, African-Americans and people who indulge in fatty foods. This apart, your family’s history of high blood pressure can increase your risk of developing prehypertension too. Some people have high sensitivity to salt, which too can up blood pressure. Before 55 years, men are more likely than women to develop high BP. Whereas, after 55 years, women have more chances of developing high blood pressure compared.
Lower Blood Pressure
Lifestyle plays a major role in controlling high blood pressure. If you follow these simple ways, you don’t need any medication and you can also reduce the risk of heart ailments.
Watch your waistline: Blood pressure and weight go hand-in-hand, so weight loss is one of the most natural and effective lifestyle change for controlling blood pressure. In fact, losing merely 10 pounds (4.5 kg) can help reduce blood pressure. You also need to keep an eye on your waistline as carrying too much weight on your waist can put you at a greater risk of high BP. Men should not have a waist more than 40 inches, while women are at a risk if their waistline is more than 35 inches. However, it is advisable to check with your doctor about a healthy waist measurement for you.
Exercise regularly: Physical activity of about 30 to 60 minutes every day can lower blood pressure by 4 to 9 mm of mercury (mm Hg). But, if you stop exercising, your blood pressure might shoot up again. The best exercises to keep blood pressure at bay include walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, and dancing. Know more about other ways to keep blood pressure away.
Healthy diet: A diet rich in whole grains, fruits, veggies, low-fat dairy products and skimps on saturated fats can lower BP by up to 14 mm Hg. This eating plan is known as Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH). We know that it’s not easy to change your eating habits, but if you eat these healthy dishes you can keep your blood pressure under control.
Reduce sodium intake: Even a small reduction in sodium in your regular meal can lower blood pressure by 2 to 8 mm Hg. In general, you must limit intake of sodium [Ref] to less than 2,300 mg a day or less. And this can be done by:
Limit alcohol intake: Alcohol can be good as well as bad for your health. In a small proportion, alcohol can reduce blood pressure by 2 to 4 mm Hg. But that effect is lost if you drink more.
Quit smoking: Each cigarette you smoke in a day increases blood pressure for many minutes after you finish. People who quit smoking, regardless of their age, substantially increase their life expectancy.
Reduce your stress: Chronic stress is another major contributor to high blood pressure. Take some time to think about what causes you to feel stressed such as work, family, finances or any illness.
Certain minerals also help reduce high blood pressure. The two most important minerals are potassium and magnesium. One should lower intake of sodium-rich foods — packaged foods — and increase intake of potassium-rich foods like fruits and vegetables and other whole foods. Magnesium also helps lower BP; 500 mg of magnesium may, along with changes in diet, reduce blood pressure.
Leafy greens are known to be high in potassium, but apart from them, here [Ref] are some other foods that help lower blood pressure:
White Beans: One cup of white beans provides 13% of magnesium and 24% of potassium you need on a daily basis. Tip: You can use this food in soups, dishes, and salads.
Fat-free plain yogurt: One cup provides 49% of calcium, 12% of magnesium, and 18% of potassium. Tip: Yogurt is a star ingredient in mineral-rich breakfasts, in sauces and salad dressings.
Kiwi: One kiwi fruit provides 2% of calcium, 7% of magnesium and 9% of potassium you need every day. Tip: Kiwis contain more Vitamin C than a same-size serving of orange slices.
Bananas: One banana provides 1% of calcium, 8% of magnesium, and 12% of potassium you need daily. Tip: They also help lower stress hormones in the blood.
Red bell pepper: One cup of raw red bell pepper provides 1% of calcium, 4% of magnesium, and 9% of potassium you need daily. Tip: Store wrapped in a slightly damp paper towel so they don’t dry out.
Broccoli: One cup of cooked broccoli provides 6% of calcium, 8% of magnesium and 14% of potassium. Tip: This veggie is also a famous source of cancer-fighting phytonutrients called glucosinolates.
Avocado: One-half of an avocado provides 1% of calcium, 5% of magnesium, and 10% of potassium you need daily. Tip: In addition to heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, avocados contain health-promoting carotenoids. The dark green flesh just under an avocado’s brittle skin contains large amounts of disease-fighting compounds.
Health Total Plan
A healthy eating plan not only reduces the risk of developing high blood pressure but also lowers blood pressure that is already too high. So, many people consider DASH – Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. Healthy eating plan and supplements help reduce blood pressure. This includes foods low in salt, saturated fats, total fats and cholesterol, and high in fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products. However, Health Total suggests consuming more of husk, garlic and rock salt. Here is how it can benefit your health:
Psyllium husk: Thanks to its excellent water solubility, psyllium can absorb water and become a viscous compound that resists digestion. Psyllium also regulates high cholesterol and blood sugar levels. It can also aid weight management and relieve diarrhea and constipation.
Garlic: While we all know that garlic is effective at preventing cancer and lowering high cholesterol levels, not many know that it also normalizes high blood pressure. Those suffering from high blood pressure must ideally take a clove of it every morning.
Rock salt: There are six kinds of salt found, but only two — rock salt (sendha namak) and black salt — are useful for us. Of these two, rock salt cures blood pressure problems. So, we suggest using this salt in cooking instead of the iodized salt. Apart from curing blood pressure problem, rock salt is also good for those suffering from arthritis, paralysis, and impotency.
Juices: Start with celery and tomato juices and eventually you can also drink aloe vera, wheatgrass, mint, and coriander and dudhi juice to control your blood pressure. A cup of green tea also lowers blood pressure.
According to Ayurveda, hypertension involves all the doshas, the heart, and the blood vessels. The treatment focuses on correcting the balance of vata dosha and pitta vitiation. Nutrition, breathing exercise, yoga, along with various herbs are prescribed for treating high blood pressure. At Health Total, we recommend using the below herbs to treat hypertension.
Sarpagandha: Also known as Rauwolfia serpentina or black snakeroot, sarpagandha is one of the most important Ayurvedic herbs. This special herb is known for treating high blood pressure due to the presence of an alkaloid called reserpine in its roots. It also helps to calm down the nerves.
Abana (tablet): This is a herbal Ayurvedic formulation from Himalaya Herbals. It promotes healthy heart muscle and is also an excellent natural therapy for maintaining normal blood pressure and normal blood circulation.
Tagar: Tagar plant is one of the most important herb Ayurvedic medicine system for sleeping disorders. Also known as Valeriana Wallichii, this herb is useful in reducing blood pressure, high cholesterol, stress, and anxiety.
Note: Given herbs should be taken under the guidance of a qualified medical practitioner and regular monitoring is also required.
Exercising for at least 30 minutes every day will help you regularize the flow of free fatty acids for burning. Walking and jogging make a big difference when you’re on our digestion plan. You can not only lose weight but also manage your digestion effectively.
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