Blood Pressure, Lifestyle, Foods
Writing this topic is kind of exploring the universe. Because no one can discuss on this topic at one go. There are thousands of things under this topic, though, I tried to cover the whole, keeping it informative and yet simple for you to understand.
First of all, before jumping into the body of this blog, I would like to say you what actually Blood pressure is and how it is important to you.
The heart is an organ which has ability to contract and relax of its own. When its contract, the blood inside the heart, get pumped out while the blood coming towards heart enters it, leading to circulation of the blood. Now the blood vessels also have ability to contract and dilate (to relax). When the vessels contract, pressure inside that part increases and dilatation causes decrease in pressure. Now think if the diameter of a pipe A is smaller than pipe B, then, the speed of flow of water inside the pipe A will be more than the speed of flow of water inside the pipe B. Same occurs in case of blood vessels. So, blood pressure is indispensable to move the blood to different organs and supply them with oxygen and nutrition and hence the organ can work. But if blood pressure is high, the vessels may experience tears and may damage. High blood pressure may cause extreme hard work for heart to pump blood and it may also damage the heart muscle.
So, you should now understand, not only high blood pressure is the problem, but the low blood pressure is also problem. The question should now be How to Maintain Optimum Blood Pressure?
Blood Pressure Components….
What Does the Systolic Blood Pressure Number Mean?
When your heart beats, it squeezes and pushes blood through your arteries to the rest of your body. This force creates pressure on those blood vessels, and that’s your systolic blood pressure.
What Does the Diastolic Blood Pressure Number Mean?
The diastolic reading (the bottom number) is the pressure in the arteries when the heart rests between beats. This is the time when the heart fills with blood and gets oxygen.
You can understand the composition of Blood Pressure.
Blood Pressure Measurement….
Blood Pressure measurement has some guidelines to follow. First of all, it is highly advisable to check Blood Pressure in the morning, just after waking up from sleep. You should not check blood pressure after running, walking or any other activity because when you do activity, your body needs energy in form of oxygen and nutrition. So, your blood vessels contract, increasing the speed of blood flow. Either Morning time or during resting, you should take Blood Pressure measurement in a quiet surrounding.
Blood Pressure, Lifestyle and Foods…
Now this heading is the main for which we started discussing this topic.
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is dangerous because it can lead to strokes, heart attacks, heart failure, or kidney disease. Hence we should try our best to prevent it and if it starts then to keep high pressure under control. For both, general advise is to keep lifestyle under control and necessary diet to be taken or foods that are not to be taken.
Firstly, it is long been known that smoking increases the blood pressure. Specially, nicotine is the component which contributes to it. Smoking also renders some anti hypertensive medications in effective. Remember one thing, whatever you age is, quitting smoking habits will benefit you. Smoking increases a type of fat which deposit inside blood vessels and your vessels become hard. It cannot contract or dilate as needed. Thus, blood pressure increases permanently. In fact, second hand smoking is similarly injurious to children, women, etc.
Then comes physical activities. Work out or exercise or physical work can be beneficial because they increase the heart’s ability to pump blood more and more and hence keeping the heart healthier. For example, if your hand is dirty, what you do? you flow water or run water on the hand. With the flow of water, the dirt goes off. The same thing happen in blood vessel. If the blood flows slowly all the time, there will be deposition of fat rendering the vessel hard and inflexible, leading to hypertension. So, work or activities makes the heart work faster and flow of blood increases keeping the heart, vessel, all well.
Next is Salt. May be you have heard about it. Salt is harmful for vessel health. Because Sodium which is main component of table salt, has property to contract the vessels. It is quite normal to have a little salt in your curry but do not add extra salt or do not take salt while eating. The salt that is present in cooked food may be eaten but not extra salt should be taken.
The role caffeine (Coffee) plays in blood pressure is still debated. Caffeine can raise blood pressure up to 10 mm Hg in people who rarely consume it. But people who drink coffee regularly may experience little or no effect on their blood pressure.
Although the long-term effects of caffeine on blood pressure aren’t clear, it’s possible blood pressure may slightly increase.
Chronic stress may contribute to high blood pressure. More research is needed to determine the effects of chronic stress on blood pressure. Occasional stress also can contribute to high blood pressure if you react to stress by eating unhealthy food, drinking alcohol or smoking.
Take some time to think about what causes you to feel stressed, such as work, family, finances or illness. Once you know what’s causing your stress, consider how you can eliminate or reduce stress.
Excess Sugar intake increases blood pressure, and reducing added sugars lowers blood pressure.
High potassium intake is associated with lower blood pressure.So, from where you will get potassium? Starchy vegetables and tubers are terrific sources.
Cold-water fish. Increasing serum measurements of DHA/EPA, markers of fish intake, are related to lower blood pressure. However, steer clear of most fish oil supplements and instead have patients obtain beneficial nutrients from whole foods whenever possible. Beyond DHA and EPA, fish also have selenium, zinc, iron, and a highly absorb-able protein that also may reduce blood pressure. Aim for cold-water fatty fish three times a week.
High magnesium intake is associated with lower blood pressure and may have a synergistic effect with potassium. The researchers found that taking 368 mg of magnesium supplements daily for three months reduced people’s systolic blood pressure by an average of 2 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg), and reduced their diastolic blood pressure by an average of 1.8 mm Hg. Increasing both nutrients while moderately reducing sodium can lower blood pressure to the same extent as a single medication. Magnesium stimulates vasodilators and can inhibit free radical formation in blood vessels. Nuts, seeds, spinach, beet greens, and chocolate are good whole food sources.
Adequate vitamin K2 helps keep calcium from residing in blood vessels, thereby preventing hypertension and calcification. Vitamins K1 and K2 have different forms and functions. Vitamin K1 is abundant in leafy greens and many other foods, while vitamin K2 sources are more uncommon: natto (fermented soy), some cheeses, butter from grass-fed cows, goose liver, and egg yolks.
Vitamin D deficiency is associated with increased risk of developing hypertension, and large doses of vitamin D (50,000 IU per week) have been shown to lower blood pressure over eight weeks. One mechanism by which vitamin D may lower blood pressure is through suppressing renin, which regulates mean arterial blood pressure. Sun exposure is an easy and cheap way to get vitamin D.
Garlic. Allicin, found in garlic, is a vasodilating agent and can reduce blood pressure. Because heat during processing can lower the allicin content of supplements, not all products are equal. My preference is Garlicin.