04 Feb Hypertension – High Blood Pressure – The Silent Killer
This edition will focus on what foods you CAN eat when it comes to controlling blood pressure. I am sure you have heard that foods rich in potassium lowers blood pressure. Common foods name are bananas, potatoes, and orange juice. Current evidence is showing that dietary potassium alone may not reduce blood pressure, but does play a synergistic role when combine with other elements of a healthy eating pattern.
Blood pressure is influenced by the health of the blood vessels. Stepping on a garden hose restricts water flow and builds pressure. The more relaxed and open the arteries and veins (called dilation) the easier blood can pass through. Conversely, the narrower and tighter the blood vessels (called constriction), the harder it is for blood to flow (placing more work on the heart).
Know Your Numbers
Check your blood pressure at home regularly. Invest in a digital blood pressure monitor. The machines at local grocery stores may not provide the same accuracy. Many people do not feel bad when blood pressure is high, hence the term “the silent killer”. Some people do report not feeling well when pressure is elevated.
Less than 120/80 mmHg is normal blood pressure (read as 120 over 80)
120-139/80-89 mmHg is prehypertension (this is your warning to take ACTION)
140/90 mmHg or higher is hypertension
Focusing on Food: Blood Pressure Protectors
Dark green leafy vegetables, such as arugula, spinach, and Swiss chard
Beets, celery, fennel, leeks, kohlrabi and the herbs cress, chervil and parsley
Winter squash, white and sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and tomato products (low-sodium juice and sauce)
Bananas, citrus fruit, fresh or dried apricots, and raisins
Legumes and nuts
Dark chocolate (not milk chocolate!)
Green and black tea
Milk and dairy products (Almond and rice milk are not dairy products!)
Adapting a healthy eating a rich in various types of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, low fat dairy, lean meat, and healthy fats within your specific calorie needs is the key for overall wellness and high energy!