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High Blood Pressure. The Risks and the Solutions

Aug 17, 2007
World Health Organization research has shown that 11 percent of all significant disease in a developed country is caused by high blood pressure. It is one of the top ten conditions most commonly reported to doctors, accounting for 61 percent of all complaints. Deaths from coronary heart disease and stroke are strongly linked to high blood pressure. So what can you do to control it?

High blood pressure is the number 1 cause of strokes and normalizing blood pressure cuts the risk of stroke in half, according to studies at the Stroke Prevention and Atherosclerosis Research Institute in London, Ontario. No other preventative measure is as effective.

WHAT IS NORMAL BLOOD PRESSURE?

The Heart Foundation defines "normal" as less than 120/80. High blood pressure is defined by the US National Institute of Health as a reading of 140/90 or higher. These "normal" and "high" figures increase with age, so you should discuss this with your doctor.

A number of factors can cause high blood pressure. These include a diet high in saturated fats and salt, stress and being overweight. They can narrow arteries and the resultant pressurized blood flow can damage artery walls, making the formation of fatty plaque more likely.

HOW TO CONTROL YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE.

Stop Smoking.

Smoking increases your risk of heart disease, reduces the amount of oxygen in your blood and increases blood pressure by constricting your artery walls. It is the single most important thing you can do to reduce your risk of heart disease according to The National Heart Foundation.

Exercise More.

Being active is an important factor in controlling blood pressure and weight. It can be fun, improve your level of fitness and help boost your immune system. One of the best activities is brisk walking. It doesn't place great strains on you body and the cardiovascular benefits are considerable. Try to include at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity walking or other physical activity on most {if not all} days of the week. This can be divided into 3 x 10 minute activities.

Watch Your Diet.

Saturated fats are the main villains. They are found in fatty meats, cakes, full cream dairy products, most fried takeaway foods and commercially baked products. A high salt diet can also elevate blood pressure. Your diet should consist of at least 3 pieces of fruit daily, whole grains, leafy green and yellow vegetables, lentils, steamed fish and lean meats. I love blueberries. They are high in fiber and antioxidants and as a bonus, taste delicious.

Watch Your Weight.

Aim to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight. The keys are healthy eating and regular physical activity. Try to combine both aerobic and weight bearing exercises in your weight loss program. Weight bearing or resistance exercises are excellent for burning fat and increasing lean muscle mass.

Check Your Cholesterol Levels.

High total and/or high LDL {bad} cholesterol levels contribute to the narrowing of arteries and resultant high blood pressure. A blood test will determine your cholesterol levels.

Nutritional Supplements.

A number of nutritional supplements may help reduce high blood pressure.
These include:

Magnesium. An excellent mineral for general body health and when combined with calcium, can improve bone density and reduce osteoporosis.

Omega 3 fatty acids. As fish oil or flaxseed meal.

Garlic. Crushed cloves are preferable to tablets to maintain the potency of the main component, allicin.

Ginko Biloba. Excellent for increasing blood circulation to the body extremities, particularly the brain.

Ginseng.

Coenzyme Q10.

Folate {folic acid}

Hawthorn.

Potassium.{Salt causes the body to retain fluids, elevating blood pressure. Potassium aids in salt excretion, lowering pressure.}

Apple Cider Vinegar.

Never start a new treatment before consulting your doctor, especially if you are currently taking medication. The information published in this article is not intended as a substitute for personal medical advice from your physician or other qualified health-care practitioner. It is for information purposes only.
About the Author
Want to read more on strategies to control your blood pressure? Check out Graeme Lanham's latest book, "Your Life Fitness" at: http://www.yourlifefitness.com As an extra bonus, receive FREE health reports and a FREE subscription to his subscribers only newsletter.
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