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Manage Hypertension: Watch What You Consume

High Blood Pressure (High Blood Pressure) is on the rise and shows no sign of slowing down in the near future. For people suffering from this disease, it is an ongoing battle to manage and prevent more serious side effects if left untreated. There are several drugs available and a lot of research is being conducted to control and if possible eliminate the outbreak. This document aims to provide some additional tips to help in this struggle. Most of the information provided focuses on lifestyle changes that play an important role in maintaining your blood pressure levels within acceptable range (120/80 normal, 140/90 danger zone). A healthy lifestyle can reduce the risk of hypertension or if you already have problems can reduce your need for prescribed medications.

Sodium / Salt

A number of studies have been conducted that show that low sodium (salt) and potassium, magnesium and vegetable proteins can significantly affect your blood pressure levels. Sodium causes water retention which in turn increases your blood volume and increases your blood pressure. You need to lower your sodium intake with the goal of eliminating it completely from your diet if you have hypertension or pre-hypertension. Be aware that sodium is most abundant in canned foods, snacks, fast foods and processed foods. You need to be careful about using your salt; Limitations are one of the most natural ways to lower your blood pressure.


Potassium is an essential dietary mineral for electrolyte families that transmit electrical current so that cells, tissues and organs need to function. Its main effect is to cause relaxation of the blood vessels, which leads to reduced pressure. It also plays an important role in regulating fluid balance in a person's body, helping to maintain the balance of sodium levels as the cells pump sodium for replacement of potassium. Through this balance the nerves are allowed to send impulses, muscles to contract and your heart to beat. Sources of potassium include: tomatoes, spinach, swiss chard, soybeans, sweet potatoes, dried herbs, avocado, bananas, oranges, cantaloupe, nuts, cereals, peppers and red chili powder, cocoa powder and chocolate, dried apricots, raisins, raisins, milk low fat and cold water fish.


Magnesium promotes normal blood pressure, maintains a steady heart rhythm, helps regulate blood sugar levels, maintains normal muscle and nerve function, supports a healthy immune system and keeps bones strong. It is also credited with offering the following health benefits related to the cardiovascular system: circulating blood vessels, preventing cramps in the heart muscle and blood vessel walls, dissolving blood vessels and preventing calcium action (which increases spasms).

Rich in potassium, magnesium is also widely available in many types of everyday foods. Foods rich in magnesium include:

• Fruits - bananas, artichokes, dried fruit, avocado

• Grains - brown rice, oats, barley, wheat flour, wheat flour

• Vegetables - beans, broccoli, spinach, pumpkin, potatoes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, okra,

• Fish - tuna, halibut, yellowfin, haddock

• Beans - peanuts, peanuts, brazil nuts, almonds, pine nuts

Weight and Exercise

Blood pressure usually increases with weight. Excessive weight means your heart must work harder, this puts stress on the cardiovascular system and increases your blood pressure. Losing weight can significantly reduce or in some cases, eliminate the need for medication. An active lifestyle plays a dual role in managing your blood pressure. Although contributing to weight control, it is believed that exercise stimulates endothelial cells (cells that cover the internal surface of the blood vessels) to release nitric oxide molecules that promote blood vessel relaxation, endothelium regeneration (which is the inner layer of arteries) and inhibition of platelet concentration which makes blood thinner.


Alcohol in average quantities (maximum of one drink for a woman and two for a man daily) can actually contribute to stress. This is not to suggest that you start drinking if you haven't already. More than the recommended amount can cause an increase in blood pressure.

Coffee and tea

Coffee and tea contain caffeine, a natural stimulant. Stimulants tend to increase the activity of the central nervous system which in turn leads to tightening of the blood vessels and increased blood pressure. Caffeine is however a limited stimulant and is released from the body in a relatively short time. There is no conclusive evidence that coffee and tea play an important role in high blood pressure.

Medication is not always necessary in treating your hypertension; Maintaining a healthy weight and paying close attention to what you eat can go a long way toward reducing your stress. However, note that before making any drastic changes, you should consult with your healthcare provider.

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