Blood pressure is the force applied by the blood to the inner walls of the arteries. It shows minor fluctuations throughout the day, declining while relaxing and momentarily increasing while being excited or under stress. An increase in resting blood pressure can scar, stiffen, or harden the arteries.
Many researchers have found that certain lifestyle and diet can lower high blood pressure. We look at some of them and how to incorporate them into the daily activities.
- Weight: One needs to maintain a BODY MASS INDEX of 19.5-24.9 kg/m2 since weight is a major risk factor in high blood pressure. Fat around your waist line also puts you at a risk of hypertension and other heart related diseases.
- Physical active: Thirty(30) minutes physical activity for at least five(5) days of the week will greatly improve blood circulation.
- Smoking and Drinking: Quit smoking since it causes the build up of plaque in the blood vessels. Reduce alcohol if you cannot avoid it(The AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION recommends limiting alcohol consumption to not more than 2 drinks per day for males and 1 for females. The serving size of 1 alcoholic drink is 12 oz of beer, 5 oz of wine, or 1–1.5 oz of hard liquor.
- Sugar and Caffeine: Caffeine increases blood pressure and should be avoided or minimized. Avoid food and drinks that contains added sugar(example: soft drinks, pastries candies)
- Stress and Sleep: Lack of sleep increase the chances of health conditions that causes high blood pressure. Sleep for at least seven(7) hours daily.
- Diet: Include heart healthy foods in your diet such as spinach, broccoli, carrot, banana, nuts, beans, eggs, fatty fish(mackerel) among others.
- Fats: Stay away from saturated and trans fat foods like fast food, fried food and frozen foods.
- Sodium and Potassium: Reduce sodium(salt) intake and increase your potassium-rich foods, like banana and spinach consumption.