A healthy diet is not only good for your everyday health, eating the right foods can also help lower high blood pressure reducing stroke, heart and kidney disease risk.
High blood pressure also called hypertension is known as the silent killer. It produces no symptoms and can go unnoticed and untreated for years.
Over time high blood pressure can cause clogged arteries, damage to vital organs in the body and increased risk to stroke, heart and kidney disease.
Be proactive in reducing high blood pressure by getting your blood pressure checked regularly and maintaining an active healthy lifestyle.
Understanding Blood Pressure Numbers
Blood pressure is recorded as two numbers written as a ratio: 119/75 mm Hg and read as 119 over 75 millimeters of mercury.
Top number called systolic – is the higher of the two numbers. It measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats when the heart muscle contracts.
Bottom number called diastolic – is the lower of the two numbers. It measures the pressure in the arteries between heartbeats when the heart muscle is resting between beats and refilling with blood.
Blood pressure categories:
Below 120 / below 80 = normal
120-139 / 80-89 = prehypertension
140-159 / 90-99 = hypertension, stage 1
160 or higher / 100 or higher = hypertension, stage 2
When your blood pressure number is outside the normal range, discuss with your healthcare provider about adopting a healthier lifestyle.
FACT: One in three, 33.5% adults in the United States has high blood pressure.
Foods to Lower High Blood Pressure
The easiest way to lower high blood pressure is to both consume foods high in potassium and reduce salt and sodium intake. Potassium is a mineral that protects blood vessels from oxidative damage and keeps vessel walls from thickening. Consume the recommended daily amount of 4,700 mg potassium from food sources rather than supplement
Try these delicious potassium rich foods:
- Leafy greens sources high in potassium are kale, spinach, romaine and arugula.
- Tomato paste contains a higher amount of potassium at 664 mg for 1/4 cup than fresh tomatoes.Time for spaghetti sauce!
- Beets can be used for juicing, roasted, add to stir-fry’s, salads and soups.
- Sweet potatoes are high in both potassium and magnesium minerals. One sweet potato contains 694 mg of potassium!
- Berries contain rich natural flavonoids which aid in lowering blood pressure. Try adding blueberries, raspberries and strawberries to your salads, oatmeal and protein smoothies.
TIP: Slash your stroke risk by 21% and lower your risk for heart disease by both boosting your potassium intake and reducing your salt and sodium.
Here’s “Your Free Guide to Lowering Blood Pressure” from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
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