Hypertension or high blood pressure is a condition which sustained elevation in blood pressure is measured. Blood pressure of any person is determined by the amount of blood your heart pumps and also by the amount of resistance to blood flow by your arteries. More blood is pumped by your heart and the narrower your arteries become, the higher your blood pressure rises.
Most of the times high blood pressure remains asymptomatic in people, but some of the common symptoms like headaches, shortness of breath or nosebleeds occur in rare conditions.
There are various Risk factors for hypertension-
- Age- The risk of high blood pressure increases as you age.
- Sex – Men are more prone to high blood pressure as compared to women.
- Family history- High blood pressure tends to be heredity if any of your parents or grandparents had it.
- Being overweight or obese- The more is your weight the more blood you need to supply oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and As the volume of blood circulated through your blood vessels increases, the pressure exerted on your artery walls also increases.
- Stress- Body tend to produce stress hormones during a stressful situation. Then these hormones tend to increase blood pressure by causing heart to beat faster and blood vessels to narrow.
- Insomnia- It is a known fact that sleep helps your blood to regulate stress hormones and helps your nervous system to remain healthy and lack of sleep could hamper body’s ability to regulate stress hormones thereby leading to high blood pressure.
- Too much salt (sodium) in your diet. Too much sodium in your diet can cause your body to retain fluid, which increases blood pressure.
- Too little potassium in your diet. Potassium helps balance the amount of sodium in your cells.
- Drinking too much alcohol and chewing tobacco also increases blood pressure.
- Certain chronic conditions. Certain chronic conditions like kidney disease, diabetes and sleep apnea can also increase your risk of high blood pressure.
By following high blood pressure diet and incorporating changes in lifestyle habits play a role to alleviate the symptoms of high blood pressure and reduce the severity or intensity of its occurrence. Thus Following are the high blood pressure nutrition guidelines that can be incorporated to your lifestyle:
- Follow high blood pressure diet. DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet, which emphasizes on intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, poultry, fish and low-fat dairy foods, potassium rich foods and less of saturated fat and Trans fat.
- Decrease the amount salt in your diet. Aim to limit salt intake less than 2g per day. You can also avoid adding extra salt to your food and also can avoid processed foods as they are high in sodium levels.
- Increase the intake of potassium rich foods. Food items like banana, green leafy vegetables like spinach, methi, coconut, raw tomato and citrus fruits like lemon, orange and mausambi.
- Indulge in physical activity. Regular physical activity can help lower your blood pressure, manage stress, reduce your risk of several health problems and keep your weight under control.
- Manage stress. Reduce stress as much as possible. Try to practice healthy coping techniques, such as muscle relaxation, deep breathing or meditation. You can also follow stress diet which include food items like whole wheat flour, a banana, nuts and oil seeds, citrus fruits.
- Get proper sleep and keep insomnia at bay. Get minimum of 6-8 hours of sleep in a day. If suffering from insomnia then opt for insomnia diet which include food items that induce sleep. Some of them are cherries, pineapple, banana, oats and walnuts.
- Start with relaxation and deep breathing. Practicing deep, slow breaths to help relax and keep raise in blood pressure at bay.
Over to you:
By inculcating these small changes to your lifestyle and eating patterns you can alleviate the symptoms of hypertension. It can easily be controlled with the proper care and management.