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Author Topic: High Blood Pessure Is an Epidemic ...  (Read 510 times)

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High Blood Pessure Is an Epidemic ...
« on: May 19, 2013 »
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High blood pressure is an epidemic but there are natural ways to keep it down

DO you have high blood pressure? One in three UK adults does, many without realising it. And although the condition itself has no obvious symptoms, it is seriously bad for your health.

High-blood-pressure-is-a-widespread-problem-with-severe-implications High blood pressure is a widespread problem with severe implications

High blood pressure, which is also known as hypertension, is classified as any measurement above 140/90 (doctors consider a pressure of around 110/70 to be ideal). Blood pressure rises as the arteries in the heart grow narrower with age and deposits of cholesterol - which is why people with hypertension are three times more likely to develop heart disease and suffer a stroke.

Severe high blood pressure needs to be treated with drugs, but if yours is edging upwards there are all kinds of natural remedies that can reverse the trend, helping to keep you out of the doctor's surgery for years to come.

Severe high blood pressure needs to be treated with drugs, but if yours is edging upwards there are all kinds of natural remedies that can reverse the trend

Better latte...

Low-fat dairy and soya protein both have blood pressure-lowering effects if you also reduce the amount of refined carbohydrates in your diet, according to researchers at Tulane University in New Orleans. So it's OK to enjoy a skinny cappuccino or soya latte - but you'd better ditch the pastry. And it goes without saying that you should opt for a decaf: caffeine is a stimulant that raises your blood pressure in the short term, so doctors advise drinking no more than four cups of coffee a day.

Go with the grain

A study in The Journal of Family Practice showed that eating a whole-grain oat cereal instead of a refined version lowered blood pressure enough for some hypertension patients to reduce their medication or even come off it entirely. Go for wholemeal bread and porridge, whole-grain breakfast cereals, brown rice and wholewheat pasta.

Purple patch

Five a day is a great start, but if you have hypertension it should be your bare minimum. Fruit and vegetables help to counteract the effects of salt, which is pretty much public enemy number one when it comes to blood pressure. Purple fruit and veg - such as blackcurrants, cranberries, pomegranates, raspberries, aubergines, blueberries and beetroot - seem to be especially beneficial, probably because the colour pigments called anthocyanins increase the output of nitric oxide, which relaxes blood vessels and improves blood flow. Cranberry or pomegranate juice is an easy way to get some of these benefits into your diet.

...And relax

Stress is not thought to contribute significantly to high blood pressure, but relaxation can certainly lower it. Research presented to the American Heart Association found that people who listened to a 12-minute relaxation CD three times a week for four months showed an average blood pressure drop of 6.4 per cent.

Bottoms up

One alcoholic drink a day can help keep heart disease at bay, according to research published in the British Medical Journal. The review showed a 14 to 25 per cent reduction in heart disease in moderate drinkers compared with people who had never drunk alcohol. But the key is moderation: heavy drinking may affect the function of the muscles within the blood vessels, causing them to constrict. So keep to recommended limits of no more that two units a day (for example, a 175ml glass of wine) and try to have at least two alcohol-free days each week.

Supplementary benefits

Taking vitamin D could work as well as some blood-pressure drugs, claim researchers. A study presented at the European Society of Hypertension showed that vitamin D supplements lowered blood pressure in patients diagnosed with hypertension compared with those taking a placebo. So unless you're getting plenty of sun and eating oily fish on a weekly basis, consider taking a daily supplement of 10mg.

A pain in the neck

Neuroscientists at the University of Leeds found that muscles in the neck send signals to the brain, demanding extra blood flow when they need to move. That's a good thing - but this connection between neck muscles and blood flow works against us when the neck muscles are damaged by persistent bad posture. This might explain why some people who suffer whiplash injuries notice a rise in their blood pressure.

Go to work on an egg

The view that eggs - in moderation - are bad for your heart is now discredited. In fact, scientists have found a substance in egg whites that can actually reduce blood pressure. It's thought that this peptide - a short fragment of protein - could lower blood pressure as effectively as low doses of the commonly prescribed drug Captopril.

A new leaf

Drinking at least three cups of black-leaf tea, such as Earl Grey or English breakfast, a day "significantly" cuts blood pressure, researchers at the University of Western Australia found. It's thought the benefits are largely down to flavonoids - antioxidant ingredients that counteract cardiovascular disease. And if you find tea too sharp tasting in its natural state, don't worry, because all the benefits are still there if you add milk (especially if it's low-fat or soya).

Lifestyle changes - just what the doctor ordered

Watch your weight

Everybody knows that being overweight is a health risk - it forces your heart to work harder to pump blood around your body, which can raise your blood pressure. But it doesn't take dramatic changes to make a difference. Losing even four or five pounds (a couple of kilograms) may help to bring your blood pressure down. And if you are being treated for hypertension, losing weight may make the treatment work more effectively and even reduce how much of the medicine you need. But don't embark on a strict diet you can't sustain: eat a balanced, nutritious diet and combine it with a sensible exercise regime.

Be salt-savvy

One of the quickest ways to lower your blood pressure (especially if you have hypertension) is to eat less salt, says Blood Pressure UK. This is because salt draws in fluid, raising the volume and pressure of blood in your arteries. We should be eating no more than 6g of salt a day, but it's tough keeping track of consumption because around 80 per cent of the salt we eat is hiding in processed foods such as bread, biscuits, cereals and prepared ready meals or takeaways. Blood Pressure UK Chief Executive Katharine Jenner says: "Cut down by reading the labels, using less salt in cooking and eating less processed food."

Get on the move

Exercise strengthens the heart so it can pump more blood with less effort, thereby decreasing the force on our arteries. You should aim for 30 minutes a day of activity, like brisk walking or heavy gardening: anything that leaves you warm and slightly out of breath. And if you usually take the lift, try the stairs.

What is a healthy blood pressure?

Blood pressure readings have two numbers, for example 140/90 (140 over 90). The top number is your systolic blood pressure (the highest pressure when your heart beats and pushes the blood round your body) and the bottom one is your diastolic blood pressure (the lowest pressure when your heart relaxes between beats).

Blood pressure chart for adults

To work out what your blood-pressure readings mean, just find your top number (systolic) on the left side of the blood pressure chart and read across, and your bottom number (diastolic) on the bottom of the blood-pressure chart. Where the two meet is your blood pressure.

As you can see from the blood-pressure chart, only one of the numbers has to be higher or lower than it should be to count as either high blood pressure or low blood pressure:

90 over 60 (90/60) or less: you may have low blood pressure.

More than 90 over 60 (90/60) and less than 120 over 80 (120/80): your blood pressure reading is ideal and healthy. Follow a healthy lifestyle to keep it at this level.

More than 120 over 80 and less than 140 over 90 (120/80-140/90): you have a normal blood pressure reading but it is a little higher than it should be, and you should try to lower it. Make healthy changes to your lifestyle.

140 over 90 (140/90) or higher (over a number of weeks): You may have high blood pressure (hypertension). Change your lifestyle and take any medication you have been prescribed.


Knowledge Is Power – Seek For It

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Re: High Blood Pessure Is an Epidemic ...
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2013 »
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An expository article! Very informative.  :D

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Re: High Blood Pessure Is an Epidemic ...
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2013 »
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An expository article! Very informative.  :D

@ Zalmanar -  Thanks for your compliment....
Knowledge Is Power – Seek For It

 

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