The best way to prevent hypertension (high blood pressure) is to maintain a healthy weight, don’t smoke and do eat sensibly. Eat plenty of vegetables and fruit and in spite of what the dairy industry may tell you, dairy is not an essential food group and should be avoided because of the fat content. Foods low in sodium chloride, (processed salt) are best. The body does require some salt but it should be sea salt or similar that is balanced with other minerals. Alcohol is is slightly contentious. Many doctors recommend a small amount, say a couple of standard drinks a day because at that level it can act as a relaxant. Any more that it can actually cause a rise in blood pressure so some doctors would say don’t touch it.
Here are some steps you can take to help prevent hypertension
- Get into a healthy eating pattern. Research has shown that getting into to a healthy eating pattern reduces the risk of getting high blood pressure and can help in lowering a preexisting high blood pressure.
- Although the body does require some salt to function, the western diet has far too much in it. Be aware of how much salt you take in especially in processed foods. Eat unprocessed foods and use salt in the form of sea salt or similar that is not just sodium chloride and contains other natural minerals and salts. Not consuming excess salt will help control high blood pressure.
- Obesity will result in high blood pressure (hypertension). As soon as body weight increases, so does blood pressure. Just losing 10 pounds (4.5 kilos) will decrease the blood pressure of an overweight hypertensive person.
- Become physically active. A sedentary lifestyle will tend to result in increased blood pressure. Just walking 4 or 5 kilometers (2.5 miles) a day would be a big help.
- Alcohol intake, as I said before, can be a contentious issue. Just one or two glasses of wine, or equivalent, per day can help relaxation some medical practitioners say. On the other hand any thing more than that on a regular basis will cause stress to the kidneys and liver as well as damage to the brain. Also remember that alcoholic drinks contain calories and so will tend to increase your weight. Step 5 then is to drink in moderation, two drinks a day for men and one for women.
- Smoking is disastrous to health. It damages the walls of the blood vessels and promotes hardening of the arteries. Hardened inflexible arteries increases blood pressure. Apart from high blood pressure, smoking causes a whole variety of cancers in the lungs, mouth, throat, pancreas, this list goes on and on. Step 6 is simple DON’T SMOKE!
Hypertension (high blood pressure) is one of the major killers today. There are no symptoms. Unless you monitor you blood pressure you won’t know you have it. It will kill you silently with no warning.
To sum up, don’t smoke, eat properly, excercise and drink in moderation. If you do this you are well on your way to prevent hypertension.
Oh .. and get a blood pressure monitor. They’re inexpensive and very easy to use.