Blood Pressure Explained

High blood pressure or hypertension refers to the force of blood pushing against your artery walls as it runs through your body. Too much of this type of pressure on the arteries can eventually lead to heart disease and stroke. Normal blood pressure is defined as LESS then 120 over 80. Sometimes called, “the silent killer”, the only symptoms that might occur are ones in people with extreme readings. These may include severe headaches, severe anxiety, shortness of breath and nosebleeds.Blood-Pressure-Chart

Factors that can contribute to Hypertension:

  1.  Smoking
  2.  Over 55 years of age
  3. Stress
  4. Obesity/overweight
  5. Family history of hypertension, heart disease and/or diabetes
  6. High sodium intake
  7.  Excessive consumption of alcohol

Key foods to help fight against hypertension:

  • Spinach Spinach is rich in fiber and heart-healthy nutrients such as magnesium, folate and potassium as well as calcium.
  • Tomatoes This vegetable contains lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that has been found to lower the risk of heart disease.
  • Dark chocolate Eating one tiny square of dark chocolate per day can lower your blood pressure . The best type of dark chocolate is that consisting of 70 percent cocoa powder or more.
  • Sweet potatoes These tasty potatoes are packed with heart healthy antioxidants, vitamin A and fiber.
  • Fat-free milk Milk will greatly help reduce the amount of saturated fat you consume and increase your intake of heart healthy vitamin D and calcium. These two nutrients can help reduce blood pressure by 3 to 10 percent.
  • Cantaloupe Cantaloupes are rich in beta-carotene and potassium, both of which are heart healthy.
  • Beans Beans are full of potassium, magnesium and soluble fiber, all of which can help to improve your overall heart health and of course lower blood pressure.
  • Sunflower seeds These little seeds are a great source of magnesium and vitamin E, both of which are essential for preventing heart disease and lowering blood pressure.
  • Collards, kale (leafy greens) According to experts, inorganic nitrates, which are found in leafy greens can relax the blood vessels and therefore allow blood to flow more freely.

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