Nutrition Friday – High Blood Pressure

Blood pressure refers to the speed at which blood circulates through our bodies. When taking a person’s blood pressure, the systolic and diastolic pressures need to be considered, which refers to the pressure that occurs when your heart beats vs the pressure in the rest time between heartbeats. This is why blood pressure will generally read as a fraction, i.e. 120/78, which is an example of a good blood pressure rate.

Below is a chart on blood pressure rates with information from the American Heart Association. It is important to note that if either your systolic or the diastolic pressures are not within the normal ranges, you should contact your physician. If you are in stage three of high blood pressure, consult your physician immediately.

 Systolic Blood PressureDiastolic Blood Pressure
NormalLess than 120Less than 80
Stage 1 High Blood Pressure130-13980-89
Stage 2 – Hypertension140+90+
Stage 3 – Hypertensive Crisis180+120+

 

High blood pressure occurs when your blood is being circulated too quickly, which causes your blood vessels and heart to be overworked, and can ultimately damage these areas.  High blood pressure typically develops over time as a result of lifestyle choices including low activity levels and poor diet, though it can also result from smoking tobacco, kidney disease, thyroid issues, drug and alcohol abuse, or congenial heart defects.

Additionally, high blood pressure can result in strokes, heart attacks or failure, reduced memory ability, and in severe cases, can even cause dementia. While high blood pressure is a serious matter, there are many ways to help reduce your blood pressure through diet changes and exercise. Below is a list of healthy food options, but be sure to contact your physician before making any huge lifestyle changes or if you are concerned about your blood pressure.

Foods that will help high blood pressure:

  • Oranges, grapefruits, lemons, or any citrus
  • Salmon and other healthy, fatty fishes
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Beans and lentils
  • Berries
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Tomatoes
  • Greek yogurt
  • Beets
  • Spinach

When it comes to changing your diet to reduce your blood pressure, make sure you are consistent with these changes. Adding more fruits, veggies, and other healthy foods will ultimately help you lead a healthier lifestyle, and may reduce your blood pressure. In addition, you will want to reduce the amount of added salt and sugar to your diet, since creating better habits around sugar and sodium intake can have positive effects on your health.

Reducing blood pressure can also be achieved by creating a consistent exercise routine. When creating a workout routine, be sure to set achievable goals that fit with your schedule. The most important thing is to move your body consistently, so look for activities that you genuinely enjoy and try to do them a couple of times a week. As always, be sure contact your physician for any changes in your exercise regimen.

Reducing blood pressure is no easy task, but can be achieved through a healthy diet and exercise regimen. If you are concerned about your blood pressure, but don’t know where to start, you can schedule a physical with Healthpointe today! If you are considering starting a new diet or workout plan to create healthy living habits, it is always advised to consult a physician first. You can schedule an appointment with us by visiting the Healthpointe website or calling (888) 824-5580.

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