High blood pressure, a pathology also knowns as hypertension, may cause even more severe pathologies, if it is not cured properly. In this article I am going to be dealing with the symptoms, causes and normal values of blood pressure; what to do to lower blood pressure, what to eat, foods to avoid and the most effective natural remedies against high blood pressure.

In nutshell, pressure is the force our blood exerts on the arterial walls; if this pressure is too high, several issues occur.

As years go by, blood pressure gets higher physiologically, then it is advisable to follow a healthy life style, and pay attention to nutrition above all.

How do you take blood pressure? What are the normal values?

With a sphygmomanometer you get two readings: systolic pressure and diastolic pressure, that correspond to the cardiac output and to the pause between the heartbeats.

Systolic blood pressure value should be 120, whereas diastolic blood pressure value should be 80mmHg. In case of hypertension systolic blood pressure would be 159, for example, and diastolic blood pressure would be 99.

You have primary hypertension when diastolic pressure is higher than systolic pressure, whereas you have secondary hypertension when the values are inverted.

If your blood pressure reading is normal, then there isn’t anything be worried about; whereas, if it tends to get higher, then you should seek medical advice.

High blood pressure: causes

high blood pressure causes

In some case, when you have primary hypertension, it is not always possible to detect the cause, and this type of high pressure tends to get higher as years go by. Whereas if you have secondary hypertension, this is due to a pathology, which may be underlying or manifest (diabetes, for instance). This type of hypertension shows up out of the blue, though you can track down its causes.

At the base of secondary high blood pressure you have:

  • diabetes,
  • kidney pathologies,
  • cancers,
  • heart malformations,
  • medicines,
  • drugs,
  • autoimmune diseases,
  • hormonal disorders.

The overall situation gets affected by risk factors, such as :

age, life style, pathologies, overweight, smoke, sedentarity, assuming too much salt and coffee, potassium and vitamin D deficiency, drinking too much alcohol, stress and inheritance.

Thus, in order to prevent high blood pressure you mostly have to change your life style: no smoke, no alcohol, salt or coffee. Take more physical exercise, drink more water, eat more fruits and vegetables and keep an eye on your body weight and cholesterol.

What are the consequences of untreated blood pressure?

Among the main consequences of hypertension, we mention:

High blood pressure: symptoms

In some case, high blood pressure doesn’t have any symptoms, yet in some other case symptoms are perfectly detectable.

Hypertension detectable symptoms:

  • headache
  • dizziness
  • epistaxis
  • difficulty breathing
  • vision issues.

Who has to have their blood pressure checked more often and when is it necessary to seek medical advice?

Adults older than 40 should have regular check-ups, individuals who are over-weight, who have kidney issues, individuals suffering from diabetes, and all those people who have high blood pressure running in the family.

You have to seek medical advice at the first sign of this symtomatology, especially if you have a high blood pressure, even though you are younger than 40. It is advisable to have a blood pressure cuff at home for regular checks, or have your blood pressure checked at the doctor’s.

Hypertension: diet

high blood pressure diet

People who suffer from high blood pressure have to watch their diet first of all.

It is absolutely necessary to follow a well-balanced diet, to keep cholesterol under control.

Foods to avoid:

Individuals with a high blood pressure should avoid:

  • first of all sugar, because it increases the production of adrenaline, which increases arterial vasoconstriction and sodium retention,
  • salt has to be totally avoided, since it is the main responsible for hypertension,
  • fatty and fried foods,
  • red meat,
  • fatty meat,
  • butter,
  • seasoned cheese,
  • products containing palm oil.
  • no coffee at all.

It is a good habit to eat more fruits and vegetables, wholesome foods, kiwi, sea-weed, blue fish, extra virgin olive oil and walnuts.

What to eat if you have a high blood pressure

If you suffer from high blood pressure, it is extremely important to watch nutrition; actually, there are foods that help to make it normal, whereas you are to avoid other foods.

It is always recommended to eat garlic, which lowers blood pressure due to adenosine, which induces muscle relaxation as well. It should be eaten as raw, as once it gets cooked it loses many of its beneficial properties; if you can’t eat a stove of garlic as a whole, you may try to chop it or mix it, or get it as a food supplement at the herbalist’s shop.

A valuable role is played by potassium, which is present in fruits and vegetables. If your diet is rich in vegetables and fruits, it proves to be of extreme help to keep blood pressure under control.

Here follow some of the foods you are suggested to eat, if you have a high blood pressure:

bananas, water melon, broccoli, potatoes,tomatoes ,oranges, spinach , pears, beetroot and blueberries.

Potassium is contained also in soy and almonds.

Spinach has a valuable role, since it is rich in calcium, which is essential in order to neutralize the hypertensive effect of excess sodium (dried fruit, cheese, beans, chickpea and chicory contain calcium as well).

Among the vegetables we mentioned above, celery is one of the most helpful when it comes to battling issues like hypertension, obesity and high glycemia.

Oyster, anchovy, squid, octopus and prawn are precious, since they are packed with calcium; in general, all blue fish is a valuable option to control high blood pressure, due to its good fatty acids; salmon and mackerel are highly recommended as well.

Fiber should always be part of your diet, since it is helpful to battle cardiovascular issues; oat bran, apple pectine and guaranà gum are recommended. If you suffer from gastrointestinal issues, you’d better seek medical advice.

As far as spices as concerned, suffron represents a good option as it contains crocetin, which helps to lower blood pressure. An interesting idea would be to drink saffron infusion. You may also replace salt with chili.

All those people who have a sweet tooth have nothing to worry about: dark chocolate helps reduce hypertension, as long as you don’t eat more than 10 grams a day.

High blood pressure: natural remedies

high blood pressure remedies

Physical activity is a good remedy for high blood pressure, even though it is overrated. Taking 30-minute physical exercise a day, actually, helps battle hypertension. You may have a walk, do aerobics, ride a bike, or take yoga classes (which is highly recommended in order to soothe stress).

Among the other natural remedies against hypertension, we find probiotics: these good bacteria seem to help to lower blood pressure.

If you want to drink something, and clearly you can’t drink coffee, choose karkadè; it seems that drinking three cups of karkadè a day helps battle high blood pressure. Linden infusion is a good option as well, since it helps to thin the blood and has a vasodilatory effect. Hawthorn relaxes and dilates arteries.

Pay attention! Tea is not on the list of the excluded drinks, as sometimes someone might be led to believe; yet, it is advisable to drink not more than four cups a day. If it is green tea, it is even better!!!

A well-known natural remedy against high blood pressure is raw garlic, which helps to purify the blood and keep arteries unclogged.

People who enjoy aromatherapy may have recourse to ylang-ylang essential oil; just apply one drop on the wrist and inhale the aroma.

Do you know that coconut water is helpful in order to lower high blood pressure?

Pay attention! Hypertension is not an issue to overlook; these natural remedies can’t replace drug therapies, and it is always recommended to seek medical advice if you suffer from high blood pressure.

In order to sum up all the information presented in this article, here follow a few suggestions on what to do to lower high blood pressure as soon as possible:

  • stop smoking
  • stop drinking coffee
  • eat raw garlic
  • take physical exercise
  • follow a well-balanced diet
  • don’t drink alcohol
  • stop eating salt, be it soup cubes, snacks, or cooking salt
  • eat more foods rich in magnesium and potassium.

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