What is it?
Major blood vessels leading from the heart and lungs become furred up and constricted. The elasticity of the arterial walls is reduced, making the vessels very stiff and Hard. This increases Internal pressure of the blood flowing through the arteries and makes the blood pressure very high. Coronary heart disease occurs when the arteries carrying oxygen and nutrients in blood to the heart become so narrow that the supply is reduced. A complete blockage, due to a blood clot forming in the artery wall or plaque breaking off from the wall will precipitate a heart attack, or if that occurs in arteries supplying the brain a stroke occurs. Key risk factors for both heart disease and stroke are high blood pressure and a low intake of foods rich in the antioxidant vitamin E, beta-carotene, Magnesium, vitamins C.
High blood pressure is one of the main indications of coronary heart disease and stroke risk.
Both high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels can be radically improved by changes in eating habits and lifestyle.
Symptoms of high blood pressure: often people can have NO SYMPTOMS, therefore ensure you get it checked regularly by your doctor. Sometimes people can suffer from Headaches, mood swings/bad humoured, redness in the face, feeling lightheaded or unwell, nauseous or sometimes nothing at all.
Other essential factors for effective blood pressure management and control:
Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. If you can’t eat them for whatever reason, then juice them! Fresh fruit and veg are rich in potassium, calcium, magnesium, fibre and vitamin C, these all aid in reducing blood pressure. Forget about the five a day rule, in my opinion we need far more than that, although many struggle to even get 5 of each in daily. In Japan there recommended daily servings of fruit and veg is 17 portions a day at least!!! So aim high and do what suits your body. Way too much attention is paid to the sugar found in fruit and not to the high levels of processed sugar which many consume on a normal basis. This excess sugar is stored as FAT in the body. Potassium is very important and it is rich in foods such as celery, if you do not like eating celery, then juice it with an apple and a little lemon or lime and you will not taste it.
Losing weight is very effective in reducing high blood pressure levels.…the closer you are to your desired and optimal body weight the better you will feel. However do not be fooled by thinking poor cardiovascular health only affects people who are over weight, many skinny people have elevated blood pressure problems too.
Keep your body hydrated, it is very important to keep muscles functioning properly and to ensure the effective removal of waste from the body. Water is also very important for good kidney function as the kidneys regulate fluid balance within the body. this factor is so often overlooked with regards to high blood pressure.
Stop Smoking! NOW.
Ensure your homocysteine levels are within normal ranges.
If you are suspicious or worried about your blood pressure levels, ensure you get it professionally checked by your doctor.
If you are already taking prescribed medication, DO NOT JUST STOP TAKING IT, Speak with your doctor about dietary or other lifestyle changes etc you would like to make and ask for continuous monitoring to ensure progress is going in the right direction.