High Blood Pressure And A Healthy Diet For It

high blood pressure diet

What Is High Blood Pressure?

Blood pressure is the pressure that your heart uses to pump blood around your body. Blood pressure is the force of blood on the blood vessels. The heart throws the blood into blood vessels(arteries) with pressure so it flows throughout the body. A high blood pressure diet can help in getting rid of an abnormal range of blood pressure.

High blood pressure is also called hypertension which means that the pressure in blood vessels is more than normal. Hypertension occurs when the blood pressure is raised to an unhealthy range. Although the causes of high blood pressure are often unknown, what you eat may affect your blood pressure.

High Blood Pressure


What Causes High Blood Pressure? 

As mentioned earlier, the exact causes of hypertension are unknown but several factors can increase the risk of high blood pressure, such as:

  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Excessive salt in the diet
  • Excessive alcohol consumption (more than 1 to 2 drinks per day)
  • Stress
  • Older age
  • Genetics
  • Family history of high blood pressure
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Adrenal and thyroid disorders
  • Sleep apnea

You can prevent high blood pressure by taking care of these causes and by following a high blood pressure diet.


Symptoms of Hypertension 

Hypertension is generally a condition that does not show symptoms for years. It is a silent condition. It may even take years to become severe enough that symptoms start appearing. Even after that some of these symptoms may signal other diseases. The symptoms of hypertension include:

symptoms of high blood pressure

  • Headaches
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nosebleeds
  • Flushing
  • Dizziness
  • Chest pain
  • Visual changes
  • Blood in the urine


If you experience any of these symptoms then seek medical attention immediately. High blood pressure can be diagnosed in regular blood readings. So, it is recommended to get the treatment even if the symptoms are not there.

Most doctors take a blood pressure reading whenever you visit the clinic. It can also be diagnosed on yearly based visits to the doctor. However, if you have a family history of heart disease, it’s recommended to get your blood pressure checked at least twice a year. Early diagnosis of hypertension or any disease can help in preventing it from getting any worse. This also helps your doctor in detecting any possible issues and other attributed diseases as well.


Diagnosis of High Blood Pressure 


diagnosis of high blood pressure

Diagnosing high blood pressure is easy, taking a blood pressure reading is enough to detect blood pressure. If your blood pressure comes more than normal, then the doctor will perform other tests and further readings over few weeks. Several factors affect your blood pressure in daily life. Therefore, the blood pressure reading is done several times to call it hypertension. The blood pressure fluctuates minorly throughout the day. For example, if you’re stressed your blood pressure may vary for a being.

If your blood pressure remains high, then the doctor will perform other tests to figure the possible causes or underlying conditions. These tests could be:

  • Urine test
  • Cholesterol test
  • Other blood tests
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG) Test- of your heart’s electrical activity
  • Ultrasound of your heart
  • Ultrasound of kidneys

These tests will help in diagnosing any secondary diseases that might be causing high blood pressure. If your blood pressure is already quite high, the doctor will check the effects on your internal organs. After this, the doctor will begin your treatment. The doctor will tell you to make some lifestyle changes.


How To Understand High Blood Pressure Readings? 

The blood pressure reading is denoted in two numbers:

  • Systolic pressure– This is the top number that depicts the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats and pumps out blood.
  • Diastolic pressure- This is the bottom number in the reading that tells pressure in the arteries between beats of the heart.

For example- the normal blood pressure of a person is 120/80. Here 120 is the systolic pressure and 80 is the diastolic pressure.


Categories of Blood Pressure

Blood pressure can be subdivided into 5 categories based on how much pressure is increased.

  1. Normal/healthy: The normal range of blood pressure is 120/80 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg).
  2. Elevated: The elevated blood pressure may range between 120-129 mm Hg/less than 80. This range of blood pressure can be brought back to normal by just some lifestyle changes. The doctor will suggest you take a healthy diet and exercise to lower these numbers.
  3. Stage 1 hypertension: 130-139/80-89 mm Hg is stage 1 hypertension.
  4. Stage 2 hypertension: 140 or above/90 or above is the stage 2 hypertension.
  5. Hypertensive crisis: the blood pressure above 180 or above/120 or above in the case of hypertensive crisis and needs urgent medical attention.


Lifestyle Changes To Control High Blood Pressure 

Your daily habits and the environment that you live in affect your blood pressure. If your blood pressure is high then you may think medicine only can bring the number down. But that’s not true. Along with medicine and high blood pressure diet, lifestyle plays a part in treating high blood sugar. A healthy lifestyle like taking high blood pressure diet will help you in lowering your blood pressure. Here are some changes you can make in your daily life to improve your blood pressure level:


Lose Extra Weight

lose extra weightIf you are obese or overweight, losing some pounds will work for you. As blood pressure increases with increasing weight. Being overweight also causes various diseases that can cause high blood pressure.

Sleep apnea is one of the diseases that is caused by being overweight. Reaching a healthy weight can treat the problem of high blood pressure and improve your overall health.

Losing weight is one of the most healthy and effective ways to lower your blood pressure. If you are obese, even losing a little weight will be beneficial for you. Your blood pressure can drop by 1 millimeter of mercury (mm Hg) with each kilogram of weight. You can opt for the high blood pressure diet.

While managing your body weight, remember to keep your waistline thin. Fat on the belly is more dangerous than having fat on any other part of the body. Carrying weight around your waist is dangerous and can cause high blood pressure. You have to take care of your diet for lowering high blood pressure.

If we measure it based on gender, men with waist measurements more than 102 cm. are at risk. Similarly, women with waist measurements more than 89 cm. are at risk of high blood pressure.


Exercise Regularly

exercise for high blood pressureBeing physically active may reduce the risk of high blood pressure. And if you have high blood pressure, then regular exercise can help you lower it.

Exercising regularly can help you lower your blood pressure by 5 to 8 mm Hg. Remember consistency is the key, exercise for at least 150 minutes in a week. However, you have to be regular, because if you stop exercising, the blood pressure may rise again.

You can do simple exercises like aerobics, cycling, swimming or dancing. Even walking or jogging can help you avoid hypertension.


Limit The Alcohol 

Drinking alcohol is not good for health. But if you take a moderate amount, it can be beneficial for reducing pressure. One drink a day is the amount that is allowed for men and women. But if you drink more than a moderate amount, it can raise your blood pressure. It can also interfere with the medicines of blood pressure. Therefore, it’s important to limit it.


Quit Smoking

Smoking is a dangerous habit but it can be highly destructive for people with high blood pressure. Each cigarette can increase your blood pressure for a while after you finish. Quitting smoking will reduce the risk of complications of high blood pressure. The risk of heart disease is lowered if you stop smoking.


Reduce Stress 

Stress can raise your blood pressure, especially if you react to it by eating unhealthy food. Some people even drink alcohol or smoke due to stress.  You have to make sure to eliminate these habits and find ways to reduce stress. You can spend time with your family or pet, or hang out with your friends to calm your mind.


Monitor Your Blood Pressure Regularly

Home monitoring of blood pressure can help you know better what affects your blood pressure. You can keep a tab on what lifestyle changes are working for you and what is not. Also, listen to your doctor, they know better.


 High Blood Pressure Diet

High Blood Pressure: Foods to Eat

A high blood pressure diet means, eating right which can be an easy and effective way of treating hypertension. Some healthy changes in your diet can help you prevent the complications of high blood pressure. By counting calories and watching portion sizes, you may be able to lessen the number of medications you take for controlling blood pressure.

Here are some changes that people with hypertension can make in their diet for the best result.


Eat Less Meat, More Plant

meat in high blood pressure

Meat is unhealthy for people with high blood pressure. It includes unhealthy fats and has higher calories. Whereas plant-based foods are filled with nutrients and fibers. Plant-based foods like vegetables and fruits can benefit in several ways. They help in losing weight, lowering cholesterol levels, and managing blood pressure. Therefore, in a high blood pressure diet, meat is excluded and plant-based foods are adopted.

One should also track how much they eat. Whole fruits, green vegetables, and whole grains reduce the sodium intake and saturated, trans fat intake as well.


Reduce Sodium (salt) Intake

A high sodium diet can increase blood pressure even more. People who take less sodium have better control of their blood pressure. People who have hypertension or are at risk of any heart disease need to keep their sodium intake between the range of 1500 to 2300 milligrams per day.

To track the sodium in your diet, you can consider the following things-

  • Avoid eating restaurant food or prepackaged, these usually contain a very high amount of sodium.
  • Take salt-free seasonings.
  • Write down what you eat in a day to track your sodium intake.
  • Read the daily value of every food package.


Avoid Sugary Foods

Sugary foods and beverages are full of flavored sugars with no nutritional value. If you are craving something sweet then try eating fresh fruits or dark chocolate in moderate amounts. Always read the sugar a certain food provides before buying it. A healthy blood sugar level helps in keeping the blood pressure in control.


Healthy Foods To Reduce High Blood Pressure

A healthy diet is necessary for keeping the blood pressure optimal. Researches have shown that including certain foods can help you lower blood pressure. Foods with specific nutrients like potassium, magnesium, and fibers can be considered high blood pressure diet foods.

Here is a list of some healthy food items you should include in high blood pressure diet:

  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Bananas
  • Beet greens
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Collards
  • Green beans
  • Dates
  • Grapes
  • Green peas
  • Kale
  • Lima beans
  • Mangoes
  • Melons
  • Oranges
  • Peaches
  • Pineapples
  • Potatoes
  • Raisins
  • Spinach
  • Squash
  • Strawberries
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Tangerines
  • Tomatoes
  • Tuna
  • Yogurt (fat-free)


Foods To Eat Less 

There are some foods that you should avoid or consume less. These are-

  • Butter and margarine.
  • Regular salad dressings.
  • Fatty meats.
  • Whole milk dairy products.
  • Fried foods.
  • Salted snacks.
  • Canned soups.
  • Fast foods.
  • Deli meats.



Dash Diet

dash diet

Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) is a high blood pressure diet plan that is mainly based on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, poultry, nuts, legumes, and low-fat dairy products. These food items have essential nutrients like potassium, magnesium, calcium, fiber, and protein, which all are helpful in managing high blood pressure.

DASH diet excludes foods like desserts, sweet beverages, fats, and red meats. Studies have found that people who follow the DASH diet for some years have less risk of coronary artery disease and stroke.

Before following the DASH diet, it’s best to consult your dietician. They can tell you how should proceed and fulfill your daily nutrient requirements. High blood pressure diets can help you improve your overall health.

A Word From Mantra Care

If you are looking for an affordable hypertension treatment MantraCare can help- Book a trial hypertension care session

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