Doctors sometimes discover patients are suffering from high blood pressure during a routine medical exam, but more frequently find out in the Emergency Room. Symptoms may take years to present themselves or could be triggered by secondary conditions. Worldwide, more than 7 million people will die of conditions related to high blood pressure, such as heart attack or stroke, while many more millions will suffer disability. The financial and emotional costs of failing to regulate blood pressure are enormous.
What Contributes to High Blood Pressure?
Numerous individuals in society of all sizes and every age group are at risk but are unaware. They have not yet presented any symptoms. Many such individuals are slender, possibly athletic, and their diets are considered healthy as determined by public health guidelines.
Most individuals who suffer from high blood pressure have chosen unhealthy lifestyles. They drink alcohol excessively, smoke, consume too much coffee, are sedentary, and they report high levels of stress. Their diets are rich in fat and table salt but low in fiber, good fats, vitamins, and minerals.
Sometimes, blood pressure changes can be traced to pre-existing conditions. Healthcare workers report that risks increase as a result of organ-related or thyroid diseases, for example. Certain gastric conditions which interfere with the body’s ability to absorb nutrients also contribute to heart problems.
Effects of High Blood Pressure
When consumers are genetically predisposed to heart disease, the first sign is elevated blood pressure. In their thirties and forties, possibly earlier, symptoms will become apparent such as headaches, fatigue, breathlessness, or chest tightness. Signs such as these should not be ignored. Consumers should see a doctor right away if they suffer from chest pain in particular. These are warning signs; precursors to emergency situations.
How to Reduce Blood Pressure
There are several ways to reduce blood pressure. Individuals leading a healthy lifestyle but suffering from a genetic condition will be prescribed medication if necessary. Since poor diet and lack of exercise are usually behind blood pressure anomalies, consumers are most likely to be given an ultimatum: lose weight, get fit, or symptoms will worsen. The urgency of a situation will often inspire a patient to start walking or swimming, reduce fat in his diet, and cut down on alcohol consumption. Moves to change lifestyle will have a positive effect on Type 2 Diabetes, a frequent contributor to high blood pressure and other conditions.
Stress-related health problems should be addressed by a counselor or psychologist as well as one’s doctor. A physician will treat the medical symptoms, but a counselor addresses the root of one’s stress and how to cope with stressors in healthy ways.
How to Reduce Blood Pressure with Food
Consumers with high blood pressure often eat too much salty, fatty food and lack essential nutrients, especially electrolytes. These are minerals which regulate blood pressure; potassium, magnesium, and calcium are the best-known and most important electrolytes. A healthy diet should contain adequate amounts of all three and cutting down on table salt or sodium. Although one can obtain essential minerals from multi-vitamins, foods are better sources because they also contain other nutrients such as fiber.
Black beans, Garbanzo beans (a.k.a. chickpeas), and Edameme beans are among the most nutritious legumes. Always choose dry or frozen sources which have not been preserved in salt or sugar. There is very little calcium in Black Beans but 20% of your daily requirement of magnesium and 18% of your recommended dose of potassium. These numbers for Edameme beans are 17% and 20%, respectively. Chickpeas provide about 10% of each.
Green Leafy Vegetables
Greens are excellent for many reasons, one of which is that they are rich in all three essential minerals which lower blood pressure. Kale and spinach are two of the best but among the least loved by some diners. Romaine lettuce and broccoli are more popular sources, but not as nutrient-rich. Kale contains 14% of the potassium required by an adult male or female, about 15% of the calcium, and 11% of one’s daily magnesium allowance.
Cheese is high in fat but also high in calcium. Cheddar contains 72% of the calcium most people need each day. Plain yogurt with about 4% fat features roughly half your daily calcium needs per serving. Vegans seeking non-dairy protein and minerals should look to nuts, especially almonds which contain more than 60% of the magnesium an average adult requires for good health.Read more