A high blood pressure diet can greatly reduce the risk of heart disease and heart attack. Controlling high blood pressure through diet is relatively easy to do, but does require commitment and discipline in changing dietary habits in order to create better health.
Natural cures for hypertension are always the best high blood pressure treatment, as they do not require the synthetic chemicals often present in pharmaceutical drugs, nor do they offer the side effects that many of these drugs do. Understanding the ways to lower blood pressure naturally can truly make a difference in the quality of life that one enjoys.
High Blood Pressure Definition
Also known as hypertension, high blood pressure is defined by the amount of force present as blood circulates through the vessels. Blood pressure that is measured at a rate higher than 140/90 is considered to be high while optimal blood pressure is a little less than 120/80.
High Blood Pressure Causes
Poor diet, stress, medications and a careless lifestyle all contribute to high blood pressure. As poor lifestyle habits are often mimicked, it is not unusual to find that hypertension runs in families.
Other contributing factors of high blood pressure include:
- Smoking tobacco
- Diets high in sodium
- Adrenal dysfunction
- Thyroid dysfunction
- Kidney disease
- Lack of exercise
- Potassium deficiencies
High Blood Pressure Symptoms
The symptoms of high blood pressure can go undetected for long periods of time. While undetected and untreated, high blood pressure weakens the heart muscle and causes serious strain and injury to the arterial walls. Some of these symptoms include:
- Chest pains
- Ringing in ears (Tinnitus)
- Feeling a pulsation or pounding in ears, neck or chest
- Erratic heartbeat
- Difficulties breathing
- Bloody urine
- Vision problems
By the time symptoms do become apparent, damage has already begun to occur. While a high blood pressure diet can alleviate symptoms, it is also necessary to adhere to such a diet long before a diagnosis in order to prevent symptoms and in order to avoid severe damage to the heart and internal organs.
High Blood Pressure Diet
Controlling high blood pressure through diet means eliminating certain foods, which are known to cause hypertension and, at the same time, introducing new foods to the diet, which are notorious for reducing blood pressure. In the beginning, the diet may seem difficult, particularly as the body will crave certain foods that it has become accustomed to. However, some of the foods that should regularly be avoided are:
- Foods high in sodium (salt)
- Foods high in fat
- Foods high in sugar
- Red meat
- Fried foods
Processed foods and foods made with processed sugars should be avoided at all times. Such foods may keep hunger at bay, but they offer no nutritional value and reduce the body’s ability to properly function and ward off disease. The most common cause of nutritional deficiencies is diets that rely heavily on processed foods for daily sustenance. Alcohol consumption should also be reduced to levels as low as possible.
Foods that should be increased and regularly consumed in a high blood pressure diet include:
- Fresh fruits
- Fresh vegetables (especially celery, carrots and tomatoes)
- No fat or low fat dairy products
Increasing potassium intake with foods like bananas, tofu, beans and potatoes, and increasing one’s calcium intake is also crucial to a high blood pressure diet.
Consuming foods like acai berry, blueberries and strawberries, which are anti-oxidant rich, are also vital components in a high blood pressure diet. Key anti-oxidants help in cleansing the blood of dangerous fats and deposits, which can cause obstructions, restrict the pathways inside of vessels and, generally, slow blood flow and increase pressure needed for it to then circulate. These foods also serve as healthy snacks for between meals and can help in satisfying the craving for processed sugary snacks.
Also, by decreasing meal portions and eating four to five meals per day, the risk of feeling hungry and reaching for unhealthy snacks is greatly reduced. Dehydration also mimics hunger, so it is very important to drink plenty of water as part of a high blood pressure diet.
In addition to a high blood pressure diet, proper amounts of exercise and rest are important. Exercise helps blood and oxygen circulate throughout the body to nourish vital organs. It is also an ideal weapon to combat stress and reduce body weight, which both contribute to the symptoms of high blood pressure. Brisk daily walking, yoga exercises and athletic activities are all effective activities that should be enjoyable as well as heart saving.
Because proper rest is restorative and can help the body to heal, it is also an important part of a high blood pressure diet. By going to bed at a regular time each evening, including weekends, managing at least eight hours of sleep each night and arising at the same time each day, the body is better equipped to deal with daily stressors and is given adequate time to heal at night while at rest. The human body is a fascinating instrument and, given the right support and the right environment, the body can work on correcting high blood pressure and other life-altering conditions.
Without risky medications, high blood pressure treatment and prevention using natural cures and home remedies is entirely possible for anyone who is willing to commit to the process of a lifestyle overhaul. Remembering that a high blood pressure diet is one that eliminates threats while increasing foods that nourish the body is important in tailoring an individual diet plan. Working to maintain a balanced blood pressure may be a challenge at first as bad habits and poor diets are not always the easiest to relinquish. However, for anyone who is interested in good health and longevity, switching to a high blood pressure diet is a must.