It’s often hard to know exactly what causes high blood pressure. But this is possible due to various factors around us like what we do every day, how old we are, how stressed we are, how we live, and our health. But what is good is that there are known ways to treat high blood pressure. If you’re told you have it, there are proven ways to lower it.
But how can you manage high blood pressure? You can often stop or lower high blood pressure by eating right, staying at a healthy weight, exercising regularly, not drinking too much alcohol, and not smoking.
In this guide, I’ll cover one of the common health conditions i.e., High Blood Pressure which occurs due to being diagnosed with hypertension. Further moving ahead, I’ll count on some foods that may be responsible for hypertension which we should avoid!
What is High Blood Pressure?
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a condition where the force of the blood against your artery walls is too high. It’s measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). If you have high blood pressure, your heart has to work harder to pump blood.
Source: Mayoclinic.org, heart.org
What are the Symptoms of high blood pressure or hypertension?
High blood pressure is also known as a ‘silent killer’ because it usually doesn’t have any symptoms. If you’re not paying attention to your blood pressure because you think you’ll notice a problem, you’re inviting risks to your life.
There are some common high blood pressure symptoms:
- Hard to sleep
- Facial flushing
- Blood spots in the eyes
But most of the time these symptoms might not be because of high blood pressure, since it is a common symptom in other health conditions too, therefore, it would be good to consult the doctor rather than ignoring such common symptoms.
When should go to the doctor?
High blood pressure often doesn’t have any signs. But if you suddenly get a bad headache or nosebleed, you should take it seriously and check your blood pressure. If it’s over 180/120 mm Hg, rest for about 5 minutes and recheck it. If it’s still over 180/120 mm Hg, you should see a doctor.
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What food is good for lowering high blood pressure instantly?
Studies show that eating vegetables high in nitrates is useful to lower your blood pressure for up to a day. But if you get nitrates from animals, your body turns it into something called nitrosamine, which can cause cancer and is bad for you.
Nitrates from things like vegetables, fruits, and grains turn into something called nitric oxide in your body. Nitric oxide helps your blood vessels relax and makes your blood flow better.
Studies show that not drinking enough water can hurt how your blood vessels work. So, drinking lots of water every day to stay hydrated can help lower your blood pressure.
Let’s count on foods to reduce high blood pressure:
1. Deli Meat: Deli meat might be an easy choice for lunch, but it has a lot of salt. Just two slices of regular ham have 730 mg of sodium, which is not good for your blood pressure. Did you know that eating too much sodium can make your blood pressure go up? The World Health Organization says that too much sodium can raise your blood pressure and make you more likely to get heart disease and have a stroke.
2. Pasta sauces: You might not know this, but store-bought pasta sauces have a lot of salt. Half the brands that Consumer Reports tested had 400 mg of sodium or more in just half a cup. If you have high blood pressure, you should pick sauces with less sodium or make your own without any salt.
3. Sugar Beverages: Drinks with extra sugar can make you gain weight and raise your blood pressure. One study showed that people who drink a lot of sugary drinks are more likely to get high blood pressure. No matter if you have high blood pressure or not, water is the best way to stay hydrated.
4. Wine: Drinking a little bit of red wine has been connected to a lower chance of getting heart disease. But if you have high blood pressure, you should only have one or two glasses of wine a day. Drinking a lot of alcohol, like four or more glasses a day, can make your blood pressure go up.
5. Energy drinks: Energy drinks are popular with teenagers and young people. But the news has been showing that they can have bad side effects. Besides causing headaches, nervousness, diarrhea, and dizziness, energy drinks can also make your blood pressure go up. These health problems can happen because energy drinks have a lot of caffeine. Some drinks even have more caffeine than you should have in a day.
6. Mashed potatoes: Mashed potatoes aren’t much better than fried ones. A study found that eating a lot of mashed potatoes or French fries can increase the risk of high blood pressure. This is especially true for people who eat four or more servings per week.
7. Coffee: Unless their doctor says it’s okay, people with high blood pressure should be careful about how much coffee they drink. A study found that coffee can increase the risk of heart attacks in young adults (18 to 45 years old) with slightly high blood pressure. The study showed that people who drink a lot of coffee are up to four times more likely to have a heart problem compared to others.
8. Grilled meats: You might want to change how you cook! A study showed that people who often eat grilled beef, chicken, or fish are more likely to get high blood pressure. The study found that the chemicals made when cooking meat at high temperatures can increase the risk of high blood pressure.
Doctors and health experts also know that high blood pressure is a silent killer because it can lead to heart disease. People with high blood pressure might not feel any different and might not know their blood pressure is high.
During a high blood pressure emergency, when the blood pressure goes above 180/120 mm Hg, people might feel chest pain, have trouble breathing, see blurry, have a headache, or get a nosebleed. If someone is having a high blood pressure emergency, they need to get medical help right away. The best way to know if you have high blood pressure is to check it regularly.
Dr. Roman Off is a multi-talented professional with expertise in psychology, nutrition, and content writing. She has a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology and is a psychologist with several years of experience helping individuals overcome mental health issues. In addition, Dr. Roman Off is a dietitian and nutritionist, specializing in helping clients achieve optimal health through proper nutrition and lifestyle changes.