Research shows that 1 in every four American adults has high blood pressure, or hypertension. This disease is a major risk for heart and kidney diseases. But first, what is high blood pressure? Hypertension refers to the pressure of blood against your artery walls. Overtime, it can cause blood vessel damage, leading to strokes and other problems. It’s considered a silent killer, because often there are no symptoms whatsoever, so the disease can go untreated and unnoticed for years. We can’t control a lot of the risk factors, like age, family history, gender and race. But there are things such as exercise and diet that’s completely in your reach.
First of all, maintaining a healthy weight is paramount. Being overweight can make you two to six times more likely to develop high blood pressure. Also, people who are physically active have a lower risk of getting this disease (20% to 50% lower risk). So get active, lose some weight, and you’re on the right track!
But you came here for the food, right? Let’s see some nutrients that help preventing high blood pressure:
Magnesium: if you don’t get enough of it, your blood pressure rises. But doctors don’t recommend taking a supplement for it – the amount you get from a healthy diet is enough. You can find magnesium in whole grains, green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, and dry peas and beans.
Garlic: research shows that not only does garlic lower your blood pressure, but it also improves cholesterol and reduces some cancers.
Potassium: eating foods rich in potassium can prevent your blood pressure from rising. A supplement isn’t necessary: you can get enough of it from your diet. Many fruits, vegetables, dairy foods, and fish are good sources of potassium.
Reduce Sodium: even a small reduction in sodium in your diet can go a long way in lowering your blood pressure. In general, people shouldn’t eat more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day. However, people over the age of 51 shouldn’t eat more than 1500 milligrams a day.
Alcohol: alcohol can be good and bad for your blood pressure. If taken in small amounts, it can potentially lower your hypertension. However, if more than a drink per day for people over the age of 65, that protective effect is lost, and it can cause your blood pressure to rise.
So there you have it! Cut back on alcohol and salt, get some exercise done, and go for garlic, potassium and magnesium. Let’s see those blood pressure numbers drop!
Here at Excellence Assisted Living Facility we make sure everybody is keeping a balanced a healthy diet.