Hypertension or high blood pressure is an ailment that has witnessed an uncanny escalation among Americans in the recent decade. Often considered a "silent killer," hypertension is marked by an increased pressure that is exerted on the walls of the arteries as the blood gets pumped through the cardio vascular system.
Certain mild and non-specific hypertension symptoms include nosebleeds, dizziness in the mornings, headaches, and increased palpitations.
Since hypertension symptoms remain dormant until major complications arise, hypertensive people often remain undiagnosed. Uncontrolled hypertension can cause extensive damage to vital organs such as kidneys, eyes, heart and blood vessels, and eventually result in heart failure, stroke, or premature death.
The causes of hypertension are determined mainly from a hypertensive person’s lifestyle. The risk of hypertension accelerates with age, smoking, alcoholism, high levels of blood cholesterol, stress, and obesity. The treatment for hypertension involves anti-hypertensive drugs and diet interventions that help in strengthening the arteries, reducing resistance to the arterial blood flow, and combating electrolyte imbalance. Adopting a correct diet regime as a treatment tool is necessary when it comes to reducing symptomatic discomforts and maintaining heart health.
Diet for hypertension
As long as our body is well-nourished and gets sufficient supply of antioxidants through fruits and vegetables, we need not worry about our body’s ability to maintain proper blood pressure. However, if your diet includes plenty of processed and refined foods, whole milk and red meat, or if you have a bad HDL to total cholesterol ratio or high cholesterol, then it’s time to seriously reconsider what makes up your diet.
· Eat a diet that is well balanced and contains plenty of soluble fibre (found in oat bran, lentils, whole grains, and fruits).
· Restrict fat intake to not more than 20-25 per cent of daily calorie consumption. Monounsaturated fats, found in olive and canola oil, should be preferred over saturated fats, (present in animal meat and milk products) and trans-fatty acids (found in margarine, processed foods, bakery items).
· Include nuts (almonds and walnuts), flax seed, olive oil, and fatty fish such as pink salmon, trout, tuna, Atlantic herring, and mackerel in the hypertension diet. These foods are rich sources of essential fatty acids that are vital for the health of the heart.
· Add raw garlic, onions, celery sticks, and avocadoes to the diet.
· Alcohol is known to lower hypertension with its heart–protecting benefits, when had in moderation (3-4 drinks a week).
· Those who are overweight should adopt a healthy weight-reduction diet plan.
· Exercise regularly and get proper rest to control hypertension naturally.
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