Life is precious and we only live once. I’m sure you agree with me that life for all of us is just like a roller coaster ride with ups and downs, twists and turns, deep fall, vertical fall and sudden drop and rise. We do enjoy the thrill, there is fear but suddenly the ride stops and it's over. Similarly, we get so engrossed and boggled in our material world that we pay less attention to the more important things in our life and that is healthy and when health is affected everything comes to almost a standstill. In today's world, the common diseases people are facing is heart disease, hypertension, cancer, mental disorders related to depression and stress and we can do little about it.
In this article, we would like to specially discuss Hypertension the silent killer. If you go by records and research, one of the studies says that High blood pressure affects one in four people in the UK. That is a huge number of people suffering from it. And what can be done about it? Let's find out.
What is Blood pressure and what is Hypertension?
Blood pressure is the pressure of your blood on the walls of your arteries as your heart pumps it around your body. It’s a vital part of how your heart and circulation work. Its a normal and natural for blood pressure to go up and down all the time, adjusting to your heart’s needs depending on what you are doing high-intensity workouts, light work, dancing, strenuous work, laborious work or just sedentary work.
Naturally, high blood pressure is when your blood pressure is persistently higher than normal and can be a concern if not attended.
Some points for all to know:
A blood pressure reading under 120/80mmHg is considered optimal. Readings over 120/80mmHg and up to 139/89mmHg are in the normal to high normal range.
Blood pressure that’s high over a long time is one of the main risk factors for heart disease. As you get older, the chances of having persistently high blood pressure increases.
It’s very important to get your blood pressure checked regularly, and if it’s persistently high it needs to be controlled. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to a heart attack or stroke. It may also affect your kidneys.
The medical name for high blood pressure over a long period of time is hypertension.
High blood pressure can be dangerous if untreated for long and can lead to serious and even life-threatening complications. Medication and pills can help control but they will never reverse the condition. In fact, eating healthy, regular exercise yoga, weight reduction and certain lifestyle changes can definitely bring in positive results. It is proved that a healthful diet is an effective defence for preventing high blood pressure. Follow some changes like:
Eat more fish, nuts, and legumes (beans).
Select breads, pasta, and other carbohydrate-rich foods that are made from whole grains instead of highly refined white flour.
Use unsaturated fats like olive, canola, soybean, peanut, corn, or safflower oils instead of butter, coconut oil, or palm kernel oil.
If sensitive to salt then avoid high intake of salt present in processed food as sodium may cause our body to retain water Choose low-sodium foods whenever possible; use herbs, spices, vinegar, and other low-sodium flavourings instead of salt.
Avoid alcohol intake and smoking cigarettes. They do nothing other than temporary pleasure, satisfaction and life long problems and ailments. They say we can still have small dose of red wine as a little red wine in moderation can help boost your HDL levels and unclog cholesterol.
Avoid all types of canned food which includes canned beans as well.
- Turn to fruits and yoghurt instead of sugary or salty snacks and desserts which are loaded with unsaturated fat and salt.
Some good source of nutrient for keeping a check on your BP is:
- Green gram (Mung bean):- Eating food popular in Asia could help keep your reading in check. Mung beans, a member of the legume family, a bean native cultivated in East and Southeast Asia, have been shown to reduce blood pressure. This magic green bean is a good source of potassium, rich in magnesium and fibre which are nutrients required that can significantly lower the risk of high blood pressure. It's a versatile legume and can be had in many forms like sprouts, boiled, in salads, soups, stir fry, etc.
- More Leafy Greens and fruits: Nothing can ever replace the nutritional benefits vegetables like spinach, tomatoes, onions, eggplant or fruits like berries, citrus fruits, apples, mangoes and strawberries give. So indulge and fill your basket with what nature provides rather than the artificial, superficial, processed products. Potassium can help your kidneys get rid of sodium – something that highly contributes to high blood pressure. This is found in leafy greens, such as lettuce or arugula.
- Berries: Berries, particularly blueberries, are full of natural antioxidants and compounds called flavonoids. This has been proven to reduce hypertension and can lower your blood pressure. It’s fairly easy to add a few berries to your day-to-day diet.
- Oatmeal: Oatmeal as a porridge or upma is high-fibre, low-fat, low-sodium, and delicious way to reduce your blood pressure. It’s a great fuel to keep you going throughout the day and can be had with a dash of berries!. Oatmeal with nuts can be made to granola bars for quick snacking.
- Omega 3 Fish are a great source of lean protein and omega-3s. Fish with good fats, such as salmon or mackerel contain high amounts of acids which reduce blood pressure. They also have vitamin D – which few foods contain.
- Eggs protein-rich: Eggs by itself is a source of protein, a good choice with a positive effect on your blood pressure and overall diet. If consumed in a healthy way can help lower your blood pressure and promote weight loss.
- Garlic: Garlic can reduce hypertension by raising the amount of nitric oxide in the body. This increases the widening of arteries and thus reduces blood pressure.
- Dark Chocolate: A few chocolates that are right, dark chocolate is good for you if had in small doses, of course. One of the studies reveals consuming dark chocolate helps lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. That's really good news.
- Nuts and seeds: Pistachio, Almonds are nuts that can help us reduce our blood pressure. They are full of nutrients that help us lower the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Chia seeds and flax seeds are healthy choices for controlling high blood pressure.
- Figs: Sadly we find our humble fig as the most underrated fruits. It is loaded with calcium and fibre helping in your heart health for a stronger heart. Eaten just as fruit or sun-dried it is beneficial for your heart.
The list can be even more. But from where do we source them and how to make that healthy change. We at JustHaat.com care for your heart as well and have a wide range of products for your wellness and good health. You can find most of the above-mentioned superfoods in our store. We have beans, fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, waiting to be picked. Wait no further.
Just as Dick Gregory quotes “People with high blood pressure, diabetes - those are conditions brought about by lifestyle. If you change the life style, those conditions will leave”. Keeping this in mind let's give a thought and try to make changes in our lifestyle for a better healthy life.