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Diet for Hypertension

blue-light / 2011-07-23
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You may be reading this article because by now you are probably aware that hypertension or high blood pressure can cause major problems to your health. And you are right. But it is also true that high blood pressure can be controlled if you take the right steps, one of them being an adequate diet. That’s why people with hypertension need to be aware of what foods would be of benefit and which ones could be damaging to this condition. Let us look at the steps you can take.
If you have hypertension
If this is your case, don’t get discourage thinking that a healthy diet means eating “boring” menus; nothing of that sort. What it means is that you may need to make small changes in your menus and follow certain simple guidelines such as the ones listed below:
Lower salt in your meals a little more
Reducing the sodium (salt) in your diet causes high blood pressure to go down. Avoid salty and smoked foods, cold cuts and hard cheeses. To season meals, replace salt with aromatic herbs, lemon or vinegar. 
Foods rich in potassium
This mineral helps achieve an internal equilibrium with sodium. You find it in fruits and vegetables. Try to include a salad at lunch time. I, personally, like steamed vegetables such as spinach, green peas or green beans sauté with olive oil and a couple of garlic cloves; any of these vegetables would make a healthy and tasty side dish. At night, try to include either a vegetable soup or a vegetable pure as a first dish. 
Reduce saturated fat
Fats from animal origin (cold cuts, meats and eggs) raise blood pressure while Omega-3 fats (fish) and oleic acid (olive oil) lower it. Try to include about 2 or 3 times a week fatty fish for lunch or dinner. As for breakfast, you can have a toast of whole grain bread, low in sodium, with extra virgin olive oil. Olive oil would help you not only to maintain the right level of blood pressure but would also protect your arteries.
Avoid alcohol excess
If you drink alcohol, do it in moderation: a small glass of red wine a day with meals. Studies have shown that an excess in alcohol consumption accounts for 7% of the hypertension cases.
Limit coffee intake
Limit beverages that contain caffeine such as coffee, tea, cokes, etc. because they trigger high blood pressure. My favorite beverage is water; you cannot go wrong with it.
More calcium and magnesium
Research has shown that low doses of calcium and magnesium, especially during menopause, raise the level of blood pressure. How can you include these two minerals in your diet? Increase your intake of dark green vegetables such as spinach, lettuce, kale, etc. You can find a large variety of dark green vegetables at the market ready to be included in your salad with very little work on your part.
Vitamin D
According to the University of Harvard, women who ingest daily calcium and vitamin D have less risk to develop hypertension. My favorite way to increase vitamin D in my body has always being walking in the sun at least 20 minutes a day, most days of the week. If you work, you may take 15 or 20 minutes after lunch in sunny days and go out for a walk. It would do wonders for you: it would help you lower hypertension, prevent osteoporosis, and, I guarantee you, would get you in a good mood.
Control your stress
Situations that cause you anxiety and stress can raise your blood pressure. Stress triggers certain hormones that in turn, they cause the level of blood pressure to go up. You may want to try meditation; it works wonders to lower hypertension.
Do not smoke
A study of the Harvard Medical School has shown that women who smoke two packs of cigarettes a day have a 21% more risk of developing hypertension. Remember that hypertension is the major risk for strokes and heart attacks.
Avoid being overweight
Overweight triggers hypertension. If you have some extra pounds, don’t just go on a temporary diet. The best way to keep an adequate weight is to learn how to eat healthy and keep the good habits for the rest of your life.
Try to walk at least a minimum of 30 minutes a day, 4 or 5 days a week. It would help lower your hypertension. Walking several days a week helps also lower the level of LDL, the bad cholesterol, and increase HDL, the good one.
As you can see, making a few changes is not as bad as it sounds because.  A few changes in your diet will pay back handsomely by keeping your hypertension or high blood pressure under control which in turn can save you a lot of grief, mental and physical, in the future.
And also there are some traditional Chinese acupuncture device can treat hypertension slowly.  

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