Hypertension: how to protect yourself from this silent killer that nobody talks about
There are thousands of diseases in the world, but none is more deadly to humans than heart disease. It is the leading cause of death in the world, responsible for over 17 million deaths per year and accounts for 1 in 7 deaths in the United States. It is ruthless and without warning, so make sure you do all you can to prevent it!
Causes of High Blood Pressure
Also known as hypertension, it is the amount of force which presses the walls of your arteries when the heart pumps blood. The more force being applied means the harder your heart has to work to pump.
Normal blood pressure is in between 100 and 140 mmHg (high) and 60 to 90 mmHg (low). Hypertension increases your risk of stroke, heart attack, aneurysm, and chronic kidney disease, so be sure to visit your doctor regularly for checkups. Some causes of high blood pressure can be:
- Age-related (blood vessels become stiffer with age)
- Excessive salt intake
- Stress and anxiety
- Too much alcohol
- A history of hypertension in the family
7 Natural Ways to Reduce Hypertension
A known reducer of blood pressure, magnesium can be found in almonds, walnuts, peanut, and fruits. Go for raw or dry roasted nuts instead of salted or fried for the best benefits.
This mineral maintains the balance of electrolytes and fluids in the body. Medicines for high blood pressure aim to retain potassium in the body, so a natural alternative is quite simple. Eat foods like almonds, chard, avocado, spinach, beans, fish (avoid the canned kind- they usually have much higher sodium than fresh fish) and banana.
Lowers and regulates blood pressure by releasing nitric oxide, a signaling compound. Garlic is particularly effective against hardening of the arteries as well.
Causes a slight reduction in blood pressure and can also work to prevent it. Typically, Western diets are low on the fiber intake scale, so eat lots of fruits and veggies which are rich in it.
Contains omega-3 fatty acids which are good for the heart and vascular system overall. They lower triglycerides and protect the blood vessels from atherosclerosis, plaques of fat on the walls of the arteries. Try to consume this at least twice a week.
Less intake of salt over a 4-week period has been shown to drastically lower your blood pressure. This one is more important than fiber or fish oil because it has a bigger effect on your health overall. And it’s really simple to do as well.
It’s no surprise exercise is the best thing you can do for your body. Physical activity stimulates the production of nitric oxide which dilates blood vessels and lowers blood pressure. Stick to aerobics and cardio, as heavy weightlifting can potentially aggravate high blood pressure. Speak to your doctor before attempting any heavy lifting.
High blood pressure can lead to a lot of unpleasant outcomes, and the ‘silent’ nature of it makes it even more dangerous. As long as you stay knowledgeable and aware you can control and even prevent it. Don’t let this preventable disease take over, fight back!