A pulse indicates life. The pulse, the breath and the pumping of the heart is the centre of one’s existence And so it goes without saying that monitoring the pressure with which the blood comes through your veins is of utmost importance. Hypertension is a condition that sees a higher pressure in the blood that circulates through the body as the heart pumps and also in the pressure when the heart rests between two beats.
Over a period of time, a higher than usual pressure can damage arterial walls making it prone to fat deposits. This causes thickening of the vessels that carry blood which if unattended to could manifest as heart and brain damage.
Not just this, hypertension could be the cause of erectile dysfunction, poor memory, dementia, kidney damage, and osteoporosis and this long list can be alarming. I don’t mean to build up your pressure but you must also know that 1/3 Indians embody this horrific disease. Hence it is an urgent need to build awareness of how to control blood pressure, better still adapt life style steps to reduce its potential risk. To know is one and to apply is another. Just like a brilliant idea holds little credibility without application. So while I take the first step, I will hope with positivity that you’ll take the next next most important steps.
Learn to recognize the possible symptoms:
- Severe head aches
- Chest pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Irregular heartbeat
- Pounding in the neck, chest or ears
Awareness. Essential to recognize that something may be a miss with your body . Develop body awareness and you may be able to percent 70% of the compromising body conditions that you face potential risk of.
Life style changes to rule over hypertension
- Salt doesn’t help, Sodium intake needs to come down to not more than ½ tsp. per day which is equivalent of 1500 mg sodium/day which is great control for the hypertensive ones.
- Minimize /Avoid intake of processed food which inevitably contains copious amount of sodium.
- Lose your belly circumference .Men that have waists above 40 and women above 15 are at risk of increased blood pressure.
- Reduce alcohol to not more than 3-4 servings /week. Alcohol could reduce even the effectiveness of medicine.
- “Don’t increase my blood pressure or I’ll burst” is a common statement in heated arguments. There couldn’t be more truth in this idiom. Chronic stress can raise your blood pressure frequently and keep it elevated producing a surge of hormones that raise your blood pressure. Recurring episodes will keep the BP elevated, finally inducing classic hypertension.
- Get help and support from your environment. Love and care help like nothing else, like no medicine can.
Pomegranate juice, berries, red beet, dairy, salmon, oatmeal and dark chocolate are precious foods that can help regulate blood pressure. Use these in your salad or as snacks regularly and alternatively to gain better control over your BP.
Judiciously use potassium rich foods like bananas, avocado, cantaloupe, mushrooms, tomatoes, tuna and beans to help puncture your raising blood pressure.
Vitamin C rich foods like oranges, kiwi, guava, lemon can significantly reduce blood pressure with constant use.
Garlic, dark green leafy veggies, beets, nuts and seeds can boost the production of nitric oxide which dilates and relaxes the blood vessels which turns magic on in the regulation of blood pressure!!
Certain supplements like hawthorn berry and celery extracts can clearly help regulate blood pressure but like with all supplements, speak to your medical practitioner before using any of these.
Fermented foods help replenish the wealth of beneficial bacteria in your gut which improves digestion and thus helps control your blood pressure. But be aware that certain fermented veggies may have far too much salt that could be counterproductive. So stick to ferments that are lower in salt, better still make your own ferment, it requires little skill but some patience.
Invest in your health and your heart. Controlling your blood pressure is the primary step in keeping your heart beating strong and your brain protected. Simple lifestyle rules that are reinforced time and again are worth your while, use these to keep you happy, healthy and wise!