It seems that everyone eventually suffers from high blood pressure. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute stated that adults age 55 and older who don’t have hypertension will eventually have a 90% chance of developing it at one time or the other in their lives.
Know that untreated hypertension greatly increases the risk of atherosclerosis (the hardening and thickening of the arteries), kidney disease, heart failure and even dementia. People with severe hypertension with a reading of 160/100 or higher may need treatment with medications. Normal blood pressure is below 120/80.
If you are borderline or moderate hypertensive you can lower your numbers by 10 to 20 points with dietary changes and or use of supplements. This methodology when applied is often adequate to make medication unnecessary. People who are already taking blood pressure drugs may be able to reduce the doses or get off the drugs entirely.
However, you should always talk to your doctor before taking supplements, reducing or eliminating your medications.
How do you keep your blood pressure at healthy levels? The answer lies in limiting or eliminating red meat and processed foods, and replacing with increased consumption of fruits, vegetables and whole grains? You should stop smoking if you smoke exercise for at least 30 minutes three to five days per week.
Another important habit is to drink water. About 20% of Americans drink no water and 42 % drink only two glasses or less of water daily. Inadequate water intake causes a decrease in total blood volume, causing constriction of blood vessels and an increase in blood pressure.
The average adult needs almost 100 ounces of water daily. This translates to half your body weight in ounces. If you weigh 150 pounds you’ll need the minimum of 75 ounces of water.
About one third of this comes from the water contained within food. This means that most people need at least eight eight-ounce cups of water daily.
Spring water that is naturally rich in minerals or that has mineral added, particularly magnesium. Magnesium is an alkaline mineral that relaxes blood vessels and helps to lower blood pressure. If you don’t like water, try whole juices or herbal teas without added sugar.
Many people know that a high salt (high sodium) diet can increase blood pressure, but the ratio of sodium to potassium in the diet may be more important. Fifteen to twenty-five percent of Americans are salt sensitive. This is a condition that the intake of salt is directly correlated to sharp rises in blood pressure. Lowering salt intake can help, but increasing potassium helps more.
Potassium enters cells more readily than sodium and helps to balance the sodium in your cells. If you don’t consume or retain enough potassium, you may accumulate too much sodium in your blood that can lead to high blood pressure.
When you Eat a plant-based diet and relatively few processed foods you will rarely get hypertension. The reason being, these foods tend to be low in sodium and high in potassium.
Sodium recommendation is 2,000 milligrams (mg) translated at intake of 1 teaspoon daily. Many Americans consume more than 12,000 mg and about 3,500 mg of potassium. An optimal potassium-to-sodium ratio is 2:1 (two to one).
What are the good sources of potassium? Virtually all fruits and vegetables are high in potassium and low in sodium. Particularly good sources include bananas, dried fruits and squash.
If your diet is low in potassium you may need potassium supplement. The recommendation given by doctors to their patients, for them to take two 99-mg tablets 3 times per day.
*Bookmark: https://hopenutriservices.com/ to read the next blog about the Role of Magnesium in the Body and how to further lower Hypertension!
Hope H. Anderson
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, culinary, healthy lifestyle coach supporting busy men and women professionals age 50 and over in making healthy lifestyle choices.
Phone number: 954-636-1246