High blood pressure is more and more common – we lead busy lives leaving little room for healthy living or relaxation. It seems like there is always errands to be run, meetings to attend, and soccer practices to take your kids to. With everything you are trying to juggle your life with, there isn’t much time left to focus on healthy living. Because of stress, busyness and a poor diet, even teenagers are being diagnosed with high blood pressure, requiring treatment years before it should ever have become an issue.
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In this article, we cover how you can control high blood pressure by eating healthy.
What Happens When You Experience High Blood Pressure?
What is happening when someone experiences high blood pressure? In simple terms, your heart is having to work harder at its primary function: getting blood to the organs. The increased pressure strains your heart and blood vessels. Beyond the stress on your heart, high blood pressure can damage your arteries by sending blood with too much force, thus straining the walls. The strain and stress on the heart is never good, and can lead to bigger problems in the future.
The goal of treatment is to reduce blood pressure so that you have a lower risk of complications. Your doctor may tell you to follow a healthier diet, exercise and lose weight. If you have pre-hypertension, your doctor will recommend the same lifestyle changes to bring your blood pressure down to a normal range.
Reduce Your High Blood Pressure with a Healthy Diet
Your doctor will recommend a healthy diet when you are diagnosed with pre-hypertension or hypertension. The National Institute of Health and your doctor may tell you about the DASH diet. DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension and is a lifelong approach to healthy eating that’s designed to help treat or prevent high blood pressure, or hypertension. It encourages you to reduce the sodium in your diet and eat a variety of foods rich in nutrients that help lower blood pressure, such as potassium, calcium and magnesium.
By following the DASH diet, you may be able to reduce your blood pressure by a few points in just two weeks. Over time, your systolic blood pressure could drop by eight to 14 points, which can make a significant difference in your health risks. Read more about the DASH diet on the Mayo Clinic website.
Eating a heart-healthy diet is important for managing your blood pressure and reducing your risk of heart attack, stroke and other health issues. Eat a diet that’s rich in fruits such as berries, bananas and pomegranates. Vegetables such as leafy greens and red beets are an important part of your diet. Whole grains, low-fat dairy products, fish with omega-3s, nuts and legumes round out a heart healthy diet.
Through a heart healthy diet, you can reduce your risk for hypertension and promote good health overall. If you exercise, don’t drink or smoke, you will be helping yourself even more.
Keep an Eye on Your Blood Pressure
Even if you have not been diagnosed with high blood pressure, it is important to have your blood pressure checked during your yearly check-up, especially if someone in your family has or had high blood pressure.
The foundation of our care at Warner Family Practice is preventative care. When it comes to hypertension, our doctors and healthcare providers routinely prescribe lab testing and quarterly appointments which allow them to actively monitor a patient’s health. Collecting extensive data on your health over an extended time period gives you and your physician the opportunity to catch signs of hypertension and pre-hypertension in the earliest stages.
If you are in the Chandler, Tempe, Mesa, Phoenix or Gilbert area of Arizona, we encourage you to schedule a visit with one of our providers. You can call 480.831.8457 to speak with our scheduling department.
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