Blood Pressure

November 12, 2012

Blood Pressure

Your blood pressure is measured by 2 metrics, one systolic and the other diastolic. The higher number which is the first one is systolic blood pressure and this calculates the number of heart beats per minute when you are taking part in exercise, running, jogging, lifting weights or any kind of activity which is physical and strenuous. The lower number which is your diastolic blood pressure is your heart beats per minute when you are resting, reading, sitting or when you are sleeping. A blood pressure rate of 120/80 is deemed to be normal for most people. A slight rise in your blood pressure can be expected as you get older because the body needs more nutrients and oxygen to counteract the aging effect.

Blood pressure around 120 over 80 is considered normal. If you have your routine blood pressure check and it shows as 140 over 90 you could have high blood pressure. On the other hand if your blood pressure shows 90 over 60 you are liable to have low blood pressure. In these two situations, it is more than likely your doctor will advise you to change your lifestyle first, but if that does not have enough effect then medication may be needed to take to bring your blood pressure to a more even reading. Visit your doctor regularly if this has happened to you.

Remember ‘normal’ blood pressure varies and no two people will be the same as there are many reasons to be taken into account, e.g., age, gender, how much physical activity you take part in, what drugs you take. This affects the blood pressure and it can be different from what is to be considered the norm of 120/80.

Machines can be purchased to check your blood pressure, but do visit your doctor if you have been given a diagnosis of low blood pressure or hypertension in any form.

If it is low blood pressure you suffer from then you are more than likely to be experiencing some type of cardiac arrest, stroke, heart attack or another immediate-condition which is making your heart weak or failing.

Should you suffer from high blood pressure you may be required to make some changes in your diet and lifestyle to bring your blood pressure to what is considered a normal level.

For most of us when we are conscious, high or low blood pressures are visible. A person who is suffering low blood pressure is experiencing something which is in need of immediate medical attention.

So you have found out your blood pressure is high or irregular, how can you help yourself?

Two methods which can help, and which do not include taking any medication or pharmaceutical drugs, are changing your physical activities and changes to your diet. Taking part in exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes a day is an easy and simple change you can make to your routine. An example of some of the exercises could be running, jogging, in fact any cardiovascular activity that will strengthen your heart is good. Should your bones not be up to running or jogging other easy cardiovascular activities include swimming, cycling or exercise biking. To assist in the growth of body muscle or to lose body fat try lifting weights. These are also great for losing pounds if you are obese or overweight, and because your body will have less fat and toxins it means your heart does not have to work so hard to pump the blood through your arteries, which is a cause of high blood pressure. Please note, doctors and physicians tend to give people with high blood pressure specific exercises.

When your heart is under regular strain and having to work very hard at pumping the blood through your body, it can break down if working too hard, like any machine. Fatigue and overworking the heart over a prolonged time can lead to heart attacks as the heart can no longer continue. To ensure your blood vessel system operates better and to make your muscles and heart stronger, losing weight and reducing your body fat is required and because the blood is flowing much easier, your heart is not over working and is more relaxed.

Complications can occur which may result in major fluctuations to your blood pressure. Looking at a blood pressure chart may be of help at times like this. Any changes seen may be due to your work conditions, lifestyle and the food you eat. And in extreme cases some people who have high blood pressure have to be admitted to hospital and it can cause loss of life. Therefore, consult your physician if you notice any changes in your blood pressure.

Changing your diet is also beneficial in lowering your blood pressure, as it could be you are eating foods which have high saturated fat content and too much sodium/processed salt. In general we only require a couple of grams of saturated fat and about 500-1000 milligrams of sodium per day. All the other nutrition should come from vitamins, protein and carbohydrates. Processed food should be avoided because it contains lots of salt.

Two healthy and wholesome food choices to try are brown rice and tofu. Tofu has little calorific value, is low in fat but high in protein. Cooking brown rice and tofu is fast and is simple to prepare, and you can add some garlic, oregano or basil for extra taste.

Foods to consider eating to help in reducing your blood pressure are:

Fish: Anchovies, herring, salmon, black cod or sablefish, trout or snapper, tuna fish – canned in water

Fruit and Vegetables: Apples, Grapefruit, Oranges, Apricots, Tomatoes, Onions Soybeans, Spinach,

Meat (Red and White): Reduced fat lean beef or turkey bacon or turkey breast

Nuts: Almonds, Brazil, Cashews, Flaxseed, Hazelnuts, Peanuts, Pecans, Pistachio and Walnuts

Herbs: Garlic, Parsley, Oregano, Basil

Bread: Whole grain bread but not whole wheat bread

Milk and Cheese: Any low fat milk, yogurt or cheese

Whole grain cereals, whole grain pasta, oat bran or oatmeal, brown or wild rice

Tofu with calcium

Carbohydrates which do not have monosodium glyceride

Foods to avoid if you can, or to be eaten in moderation:

Red meat – pork, mutton, beef

Buttermilk – high sodium content

Full Fat Cheese and cheese spreads

Salted snacks, such as chips and salted nuts

Ready to eat microwave meals

Vegetables which are canned but if you have no alternative rinse them thoroughly before use

Foods which are pickled

Canned soups and instant soups

Condiments or sauces which are used for food flavoring

These lists can be an aid in helping you to reduce blood pressure and avoiding foods that may increase your risk of getting high blood pressure. They are not definitive lists but do give an idea of foods to avoid and foods to eat. Before embarking on a diet plan always speak to your doctor or nutritionist to discuss things.

The important thing to remember regarding eating habits is everything in moderation, and this will help to maintain your blood pressure at normal level.

Another important factor in reducing your blood pressure is to quit smoking and avoid alcoholic drinks.

Although multivitamins are not completely successful in giving you the entire amount of nutrients your body needs, it may be worth thinking about as it’s quick and easy to take one or two tablets a day. You can always buy quick and fresh products online as many of these are USDA certified as organic, if you want to avoid supermarkets or grocery stores. Try and eat organically and keep away from processed foods if possible. Organic foods have no pesticides, growth hormones or man-made chemical/stimulants which can stay in your body and produce unhealthy side effects.

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