High blood pressure refers to the condition in which blood moves with a greater pressure in the arteries. Blood pressure is measured in a two numbers format such as 120/80. If the number is 140/95 or more, it is said to be high blood pressure. BP in between 120/80 and 140/95 is called pre-hypertension. There are no visible symptoms of high blood pressure but it can cause life threatening conditions. It is advised to go for a regular blood pressure check up after the age of 18 years to reduce the risk.
There are two types of high blood pressure conditions: high BP and pre-hypertension which can raise the risk of stroke, heart problems, kidney failure and heart attack. One should take a balanced diet and make some changes in the lifestyle to reduce the risk.
Some of the changes which can be made in lifestyle and diet for reducing the risk are given below. These are effective and safe methods.
Reduce intake sodium in diet: According to some research it has been found that increased intake of sodium in diet can increase the BP level in some people, although it is not true for all. Depending on the way the body reacts one can reduce intake sodium in diet. Sodium is found in high quantity in most of the packaged and preserved food products. It is advised to take sodium amount less than 1500 mg in a day for people who belong to African American group and people who belong to other ethnics group but are old. Healthy people should take less than 2300 mg sodium in a day. High sodium is found in chips, canned vegetables, cheese, bread, soups and there are certain drugs which contain a good amount of sodium and one should be careful before taking such drugs.
Fresh vegetables and food products are generally low in salt and sodium is naturally found in certain food products such as meat, fruits, vegetables, grains and dairy products. One should reduce salt in food preparation and use more herbs. Smoked and cured dishes are mostly high in sodium and it should be avoided.
Avoid Tobacco and alcohol: Tobacco products can be very damaging to people who suffer from high blood pressure. As it raises heart beat and it can temporarily increase the blood pressure. It is advised to reduce intake of certain tobacco products to reduce the risk of heart attack. Alcohol can raise BP and one should not take it.
Adverse effect of obesity: One should try to maintain a good weight and do not get obese as it raises the risk.
Saturated and trans fats: Reduce intake of food products which are low in saturated fats and trans fat. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables should be taken.
Increase food products high in minerals: The diet should be low in cholesterol but high in certain minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium. The diet should be good in fibers. Intake of protein should be moderately high.