6 ways to lower blood pressure

6 ways to lower blood pressure

In brief

  1. Blood pressure can be reduced with a DASH diet or a sodium-free diet, which avoids processed and salt-saturated foods.
  2. Exercise is very important for maintaining blood pressure. It is recommended to exercise 40 minutes 4-3 times a week. It is important to consult a doctor before.
  3. A study published in 2015 found that 7 hours of quality sleep a night lowers the risk of high blood pressure.

High blood pressure is also called the silent killer because it is not usually felt to be high, but quietly it produces damage to our body that can cause serious illness and in extreme cases even death. High blood pressure is a risk factor for atherosclerosis , a vascular disease that impairs the blood supply to organs in the body. The result can be, among other things, a heart attack or a stroke.

It is estimated that about 20% of people suffer from high blood pressure, but most are unaware of it. According to the World Health Organization, high blood pressure is a condition that causes about half of all deaths from stroke and heart disease. Complications due to hypertension are responsible for 9.4 million deaths worldwide each year.

So how do you balance blood pressure? There are several ways:

1. DASH diet

DASH is actually an abbreviation of: Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. The goal of the diet is first and foremost to cause a significant reduction in sodium intake. The diet also includes moderate exercise and a reduction in alcohol consumption. It is important to note of course that if you suffer from high blood pressure it is important to first consult a doctor and not start dieting instead of taking medication – it can be very dangerous.

What do you eat in the diet?

A diet rich in fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products, whole grains , legumes , poultry, and a variety of other low-fat products. During the diet, the consumption of sugar and red meat should be reduced and the consumption of processed foods should be reduced, because they are very rich in sodium and raise blood pressure. The diet also supports the intake of vitamins and minerals like calcium, potassium and magnesium.

The latest update to the diet talks about consuming up to 1,500 milligrams of sodium a day, which is very little and quite difficult to perform.

What menu is recommended for those who do the diet?

8-6 servings a day of cereals (recommended whole): for example half a cup of: cooked rice, cooked pasta, quinoa, burgul, buckwheat or wholemeal bread, rye bread, and more.

5-4 servings of vegetables a day: Even half a cup of vegetable juice is fine.

5-4 servings of fruit per day: This refers to a medium-sized fruit the size of a fist or a glass of cut fruit, a popsicle made from natural fruits and more.

3-2 Low-fat dairy products: for example a cup of low-fat milk or a cup of yogurt. Do not torment yourself – there is no need to choose products of 0% fat, up to 5% fat is considered low fat for everything.

6-5 servings of lean meat, chicken or fish (with preference for chicken and fish) To remove the salt from the chicken you can soak it in water before cooking and of course do not add more salt, because as part of its training add salt.

5-4 weekly servings of almonds and nuts: One serving can be a third cup of nuts or two teaspoons of natural peanut butter with no added sugar, salt or mined fats.

5-4 servings of sweets a week: Of course it is better to choose healthy sweets such as dark chocolate, homemade baking of a cake or healthy cookies, a slice of whole meal bread with jam / sesame and more.

3-2 servings per day of oils and fats: like a quarter of avocado / a tablespoon of ready-made tahini / a teaspoon of raw tahini / 2 teaspoons of olive oil

In short, it can be said that it is best to cook at home. This way you can control the amount of salt much more than if you eat processed food or food cooked by someone else who does not know how much salt they put in it.

3. Reducing salt

A low-salt diet is also intended to lower blood pressure, but this diet is a little more supportive than the DASH in salt intake and allows consumption of 3,400 milligrams of sodium per day.

How can you reduce salt in your diet?

There are two ways to do this:
1. Reduce the use of salt in cooking and seasoning.

2. Pay attention to the amount of sodium in the nutrition label: Low-salt food is one that has less than 100 milligrams of sodium per 100 grams of product. High-salt foods will be all those products that have over 500 milligrams of sodium per 100 grams of product. “I instruct my patients to prefer products with less than 300 milligrams so that they can succeed in the task more easily,” says our nutritionist, Sakshi Sharma.

Please note – it is important not to rely on taste alone when choosing food, sometimes the food contains a large amount of sodium even though it has no salty taste at all, so it is important to look at the nutritional label.

In addition, you should pay attention to the following foods that may contain large amounts of salt:

  • Bread
  • Roasted and salted nuts
  • Canned meat
  • Pizza
  • Chicken
  • Ready-made soups
  • Purchased sandwiches
  • Cheeses
  • Pasta and dishes Meats
  • Ready-made sauces
  • Ready-made salads
  • Crackers

2. Exercise

Exercise is the cure for almost everything. The recommended exercise in case of high blood pressure is 40 minutes of aerobic exercise 4-3 times a week, exercise also lowers blood pressure indirectly by helping with weight loss . But wait a second before you start playing sports. In case of high blood pressure, consult a doctor first, and start treatment even before starting physical activity. During activity blood pressure rises even more and it can be dangerous.

In addition, regular exercise has been shown in many studies to have the following beneficial effects:

  • Prevention of diabetes
  • Prevention of heart disease
  • Prevention of various cancers
  • Slowing down the rate of aging of the body
  • Maintaining mental health
  • Prevention of falls and accidents
  • Improvement Daily functioning
  • Improving cognitive function and preventing memory loss and other degenerative diseases of the brain.

4. Quit smoking and decrease alcohol consumption

Smoking is a risk factor for many diseases, beyond hypertension, it also increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, and various types of cancer. Excessive alcohol consumption also raises blood pressure, as does caffeine . It is worth noting that various beverages like tea or energy drinks contain caffeine and not just coffee.

5. Good sleep

Several studies have demonstrated that fatigue is associated with high blood pressure. In a study published in 2015 in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, researchers concluded that quality 7 hours of sleep reduces the risk of high blood pressure.

The study also found that those who slept only 5 hours a night or less were at increased risk for high blood pressure, and that women were at higher risk than men.

Why does lack of sleep or fatigue cause high blood pressure?

One theoretical explanation is that lack of sleep causes a state of stress, which raises the stress hormones, and they cause, among other things, an increase in blood pressure. Another explanation links the number of hours of sleep to the central biological clock that also affects blood pressure values.

If you wake up at night feeling suffocated or short of breath, you should check that there is no sleep apnea syndrome, for this purpose it is recommended to consult a family doctor. Treatment in case of sleep apnea syndrome includes sleeping with an air pressure mask (CPAP mask), and can balance and improve blood pressure.

6. Medication

There are several medications for balancing blood pressure given by your family doctor. The main groups used to treat hypertension include:
1. Drugs that work on the kidneys (inverting enzyme inhibitors, blocking the angiotensin receptor).
2. Drugs that work on the heart (beta-adrenergic receptor blockers).
3. Vasodilators (calcium channel blockers).
Drugs that work on the mechanism of regulating blood pressure in the brain (prazocin).

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