Here’s How to Lower Your Blood Pressure — Eat This Not That

High blood pressure It’s not something to ignore. It can cause a heart attack or stroke, which are the leading causes of death in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Nearly half of adults in the United States (47% or 116 million) have hypertension, defined as systolic blood pressure greater than 130 mmHg or diastolic blood pressure greater than 80 mmHg, or are taking medication for hypertension.” There are several ways to help lower blood pressure and Eat This, Not That! Health spoke with brooke nicole to Nutrition Consultant with a Master of Public Health who explained simple ways to control your blood pressure. With that said, always check with your doctor for medical advice. Read on and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure signs you’ve already had COVID.

A female doctor is taking the blood pressure of a very concerned African-American female patient.

Nicole says, “High blood pressure is a problem because it’s not a stand-alone problem. Unfortunately, there are a few other ‘silent killers’ that make up the silent epidemic, which is called Metabolic Syndrome, that are affected by the same three main causes; diet, exercise and lifestyle habits.

This metabolic syndrome consists of 5 main problems:

  1. a big waist
  2. A high level of triglycerides
  3. Low HDL cholesterol
  4. high blood pressure
  5. High fasting blood sugar

The reason this group of syndromes, especially high blood pressure, is called the silent killer is that, in most cases, the signs and symptoms are misunderstood or not even noticed. The only sign you may have high blood pressure is a heart attack.”

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blood pressure monitorblood pressure monitor

Nicole explains: “When your blood pressure is too high, you may feel tired, experience headaches, and have anxiety. These symptoms are related to many other issues, making them more difficult to identify with high blood pressure. Get your blood pressure checked regularly, especially for those over 40, will significantly reduce the risk of an unwanted heart attack.”

woman drinking waterwoman drinking water

“When you don’t drink enough water, your body compensates by retaining sodium,” says Nicole. “Without water, the blood also thickens, causing the heart muscles to work harder to squeeze blood through the blood vessels and causing high blood pressure. Ultimately, water helps detoxify the blood and remove excess sodium in the body.

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Nicole states, “Salt attracts water, which your kidneys process both of. Your kidneys do a good job of controlling your salt level, but when there is an abundance of salt, your kidney can’t process it properly and therefore causes harder for the kidneys to get rid of all the excess water and sodium that ultimately causes pressure on the walls of the arteries in the heart. The best way to reduce your salt intake is to eat less processed foods.”

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happy woman jogs on the trailhappy woman jogs on the trail

“Naturally, you feel better when you exercise because of the endorphins released, but more importantly, exercise is helpful in reversing high blood pressure because it strengthens your heart,” says Nicole. “When you have a strong heart, it’s able to pump more blood with less effort while also taking pressure off the walls of your arteries.”

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Nicole says, “Limit your intake of sugar, salt, and refined carbohydrate foods, while eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, soy products, as well as some good fats that contain omega 3 fatty acids. Mediterranean Dietary Patterns and Se has shown that diets composed primarily of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, and soy lead to weight loss and a healthy heart.”

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