Diet Management of High Blood Pressure

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Chronic High Blood Pressure remains the most prevalent form of Cardiovascular Disease. Blood Pressure may be defined as the high pressure at which the blood pushes through the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps the blood. The medical term for elevated blood pressure is called ‘Hypertension’. Blood pressure is represented by two numbers systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure.

Systolic Blood Pressure: The first number or the top number is Systolic Blood Pressure. It is the blood pressure in the blood vessels when the heart pumps the blood or the pressure during the contraction of the heart’s ventricles.

Diastolic Blood Pressure: The second number or the bottom number is Diastolic Blood Pressure. It is the force of blood in blood vessels when the heart is relaxed between beats.

Different Stages of Blood Pressure are:

Normal BP< 120< 80
Pre-hypertensive BP120-129< 80
Hypertensive BP Stage 1

Stage 2







Hypertensive Crisis>180>110


Risks associated with High Blood Pressure:

High Blood Pressure puts you at the risk of various heart diseases like heart attack, heart failure as well as stroke, renal dysfunction. The higher the blood pressure above normal, the greater the risk of getting affected with heart disease or stroke. The relationship between high blood pressure and disease risk holds for men and women, young and old. Even mild hypertension can be dangerous but a lifestyle change makes one less likely to suffer illness.


Risk Factors for High Blood Pressure:

  • Obesity: Increased weight puts you at risk for high blood pressure. Obesity raises blood pressure in by affecting kidney function and by way of promoting blood vessel damage through insulin
  • Sedentary Lifestyle: Lack of exercise also raises the blood pressure. Being more active can lower blood
  • High Salt Intake: As the intake of salt increases, so does blood pressure. Many people with high blood pressure can benefit by reducing their dietary salt
  • Poor Dietary Habits: A diet in saturated fats, calories and salt is like choosing to become obese and contracting other health ailments including high blood pressure. A diet low in fruits & vegetables, whole grains, nuts & seeds can cause deficiencies of nutrients like potassium, calcium, magnesium which raise the blood
  • Genetics: Genetics play a role in the body’s handling of dietary sodium and may the reason the variations observed in salt sensitivity in different groups. Genes may affect the blood pressure by altering the kidneys’ handling of
  • Alcohol: Continued over consumption of alcohol is strongly associated with high blood pressure. Hypertension is common among people with high alcohol
  • Smoking: Smoking causes constriction of blood vessels which raise blood Also, smoking is bad for lung health and over all blood circulation of the body.
  • Diabetes: Diabetes damages the arteries causing thickening of arteries leading to arthrosclerosis. Hardened arteries cannot expand so the blood pressure

Management of High Blood Pressure:

  • Maintain Weight: It is important to maintain ideal body weight and BMI within normal range. A weight loss of as little as 5kgs can significantly lower blood pressure. By losing weight and maintaining a proper diet those who are taking antihypertensive they may need to cut down on medicines under doctor’s
  • Exercise: Moderate physical activity of the right kind can lower blood pressure. The right kind of activity can be walking, cycling, jogging etc. The physical activity does not have to be strenuous, even walking can lower the blood pressure. Physical activity also lowers the secretion of stress hormones which lowers blood
  • Cutting down Alcohol & Smoking: It is important to cut down on smoking & alcohol intake if consuming more than two drinks for men and one drink for women
  • DASH Diet: The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) Diet often achieves a lower blood pressure through increased intake of fruits and vegetables, with adequate intake of nuts, whole grains, and low fat dairy products. Salt and sodium are greatly reduced. High fat foods, processed foods, and red meat are strictly restricted.
  • Deep Breathing: Deep breathing helps in lowering blood pressure by promoting relaxation

People with healthy blood pressure generally enjoy a long healthy life and suffer less from Heart Disease.

Vitamins & Minerals that help to lower Blood Pressure are:

Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, and Vitamin C: Your diet should have adequate levels of calcium, magnesium, potassium, and vitamin C to lower your blood pressure.

  • Potassium: Diet high in potassium and low in sodium helps to reduce high blood pressure. Include potassium-rich foods like Bananas, sweet potatoes, dried fruits, etc. But with kidney disease use potassium-rich food with caution and consult your Doctor and
  • Magnesium: Deficiency of Magnesium causes constriction of arteries raising blood pressure. Include Magnesium-rich foods like Pumpkin Seeds, Whole Grains, Nuts
  • Vitamin C: A diet with adequate Vitamin C helps to normalize blood pressure. Include Vitamin C-rich foods like Oranges, Guava, Indian gooseberry, Bell Peppers, Broccoli etc.
  • Calcium: A diet with adequate levels of Calcium helps to lower blood pressure. Include calcium-rich foods like low-fat dairy, Foxtail Millet, Green Leafy Vegetables, Broccoli, Sesame Seeds

Include whole grains, fruits & vegetables, healthy fats from nuts & seeds.

Avoid processed food, high intake of salt. Make exercise a part of daily routine. 

One of the most important things you can do to fight age related problems is to watch for the symptoms of disease. Catching conditions early is the key to make a good and faster recovery. The most effective single step you can take to protect yourself from hypertension and its various ill effects is to find out whether you have it.

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