High Blood Pressure also known as the “silent killer,” has been around for centuries. In 2013, high blood pressure or hypertension has killed over 360, 000 Americans with it being the primary or contributing factor. Those statistics are computed to be around 1, 000 deaths per day. It has no symptoms and it definitely has no indication. In addition to that, it’s a major contributor to stroke and heart diseases. Since it has no sign, it cannot be determined unless of course experienced.
How is it measured?
Our blood pressure (bp) is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg) and in that, two numbers are present. Ever heard of the xxxxx vaue over xxxxx value? That is blood pressure; and it is recorded with the systolic number first:
- The pressure in your blood vessels when your heart beats (the over/top value)
and of course the diastolic number:
- The pressure in your blood vessels in between beats (the bottom value)
For example, a normal blood pressure would be a value under 120/80 mmHg. The 120 being the systolic value and the 80 being the diastolic value.
In simpler terms, your blood pressure depends on how much blood your heart is pumping and how much resistance your arteries have to let the blood flow in them.
- 120/80 mmHg is a normal blood pressure
- Above normal and below 140/90 mmHg can be considered as prehypertension; and
- 140/90 mmHg or above that is already considered high blood pressure.
What causes high blood pressure?
Usually, genetic factors cause a drastic impact over an individual’s blood pressure. However, there are a lot of factors that can greatly affect one’s blood pressure.
- Being overweight or obese
- Sleep apnea
- Family history
- Too much salt
These are just few of the things that cause high blood pressure. There are a lot of things that you should be aware so, look at what you’re doing now.
So what natural things can be done to reduce the risk of high blood pressure to hypertension crisis?
More activities, more exercise!
As we all know, exercising does not necessarily relate to our physicality. It can also be one way of reducing the risk of high blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases. What does exercising do to us? It increases heart rate and breathing, right? Since this is the case, your heart gets stronger and pumping blood will take less effort. Thus, putting less stress on arteries and lowers blood pressure.
As per healthline, one effective way of reducing the risk of high blood pressure is by indulging yourself in Tai Chi. According to healthline, one study was found that indicated 12 weeks of Tai Chi training for 40 minutes three times a week resulted in a decrease of 8.8-15.6 mmHg in blood pressure.
Lessen salt/sodium consumption
Sodium is one culprit on high blood pressure. Consuming a lot of salty products increases the amount of sodium in the bloodstream, making it extra difficult for the kidney to remove the water. Moreover, it messes up the blood stream due to more fluid and strain onto the blood to flow through the vessels leading to the kidneys.
Instead of consuming tons of sodium, consume Potassium instead. Besides the fact that it eliminates the amount of salt in your system, it also soothes tension and stress on your vessels. The following food are generally high in Potassium:
- Sweet Potatoes
- Dairy Products
Although all of us respond to salt differently, the amount of potassium in our body doesn’t care. In basic terminologies, more potassium, healthier!
Want to know more food that contain an essential amount of potassium for a lower risk of heart problems? Click here.
Alternatively, click here to view some of the food that can help you decrease the risk of heart attacks.
If you smoke, better stop now
Every year, more than 480, 000 people in the United States die because of tobacco smoking. Moreover, smoking is a direct contributor to heart diseases since the nicotine damages not only the lungs but everything else around it as well.
Chemicals found in tobacco does not only damage organs, it also narrows arteries which make blood flow more difficult to and from the heart. Hardened and heightened arteries cause blood pressure. In addition to that, smokers have more tendencies to have clotted blood than those people who do not smoke causing a significant chance of failure to have a smooth blood flow.
Dark chocolate is one answer
One study in The Harvard School of Medicine showed that eating one square of dark chocolate per meal reduced the risk of high blood pressure. Here’s the catch: the dark chocolate should contain at least 60 to 70 percent cacao. Moreover, a 2010 study that had 14, 310 people reported to have a lower and better blood pressure from a rise in dark chocolate consumption.
Cacaos are like bean-like seeds from which cocoa, chocolate, and butter are made. This plan is absolutely dumbfounding because it does not only help quench our cravings, it also aids in lowering heart diseases as well.
Flavonoids present in this treat are said to widen arteries causing blood to flow easily and freely to and from blood vessels.
Always get complete rest
Did you know that your blood pressure skewers down low whenever you are asleep? According to some reports, people who have troubled rests are more prone to hypertension and heart problems than those who get a good night’s sleep.
According to a study done by the National Sleep Heart Health, sleeping below 7 hours a night and more than 8 hours a night was associated with an increased prevalence of hypertension. Sleeping less than six hours a night was linked to the highest risk of hypertension.
Garlic works like a miracle
A lot of people tend to look at garlic and be disgusted by it. In reality, garlic is one of the strongest and most competitive opponents of high blood pressure. As a matter of fact, it works better than maintenance capsules and garlic powder tablets.
We never said to eat garlic as it is, you can always have an extract, you can always mix it in your meals, or you can mix and combine juices with it. As long as your meals are garlic-ish, it’s good for the heart.
One 2012 review noted a study of 89 people with high blood pressure who consumed more garlic than the usual, found a reduction of 6-12 mmHg, compared with a control group.
Reducing your risk of high blood pressure and hypertension is no rocket science. It’s really just a matter of you controlling and watching over what you eat and of course your physique as well. As mentioned, being overweight and obese heightens up the risk of heart diseases because of the arteries not being healthy. In conclusion, being generally healthy can significantly reduce the risks of all cardiovascular concerns including high blood pressure and hypertension.
Now that you have a slight hint on what’s causing high blood pressure, you can now be extra careful on what activities you are to take and of course, to have a closer look at what you eat. Moreover, we were also able to discuss some of the ways on how you can reduce the risk or even completely deteriorate high blood pressure or hypertension off of your body. Maybe not really remove but keep you a healthy individual.
Know someone who might be at the risk of such diseases and conditions? Spread this word! Who knows? One share of fruitful information can save thousands even millions of lives.