Blood that circulates in blood vessels exerts a pressure against the friction proposed by the walls of the vessels, and is known as blood pressure. And, when this pressure exceeds normal range, it is referred as a high blood pressure or in clinical terms as hypertension.
Our heart is responsible for pumping blood throughout the body, and for that it exerts a particular pressure that falls within the range of 120/80. In case of hypertension, this range exceeds which puts extra burden on heart, opening it to different health disorders. Therefore, people with a consistent rise in blood pressure are at constant risk of developing a heart stroke. Symptoms like headache, nausea, and raised body temperature are indications of high blood pressure.
How different factors affect blood pressure?
A person with frequent raise in blood pressure can blame genetics, inactive lifestyle and unhealthy diet for the recurrence of this issue. In all these scenarios, only thing a person can do, is to manage his or her lifestyle to control this unwanted raise in blood pressure.
Smoking, alcohol consumption and lack of exercise are major lifestyle contributors to high blood pressure. From the aspect of diet, frequent consumption of caffeine, high intake of sodium rich foods (processed and canned foods) and too much intake of sugary and fatty foods, are the factors to increase the risk of high blood pressure.
Apart from these factors, some chronic health problems like obesity and diabetes are also linked with hypertension in a person. In obesity, high levels of bad fat lead to narrowing of blood vessels and block the normal path of blood. This forces the blood to go on higher speed, and ultimately exerting more pressure to the vessels. Whereas, in diabetes, when blood sugar exceeds normal levels, it makes the blood concentrated and causes difficulty in smooth blood circulation. Moreover, the body speeds up blood circulation to excrete out the unwanted glucose molecules, leading to enhanced blood pressure.
Lifestyle modifications to manage blood pressure
Now, we know the possible and most usual causes of abnormal blood pressure, so by simply avoiding those factors we can manage this condition.
First of all, an activity level of few minutes to half an hour is very important in keeping overall health under control. Similarly, when a person gets involved in some physical activity, the blood flow increases the flexibility of blood vessels and helps in reducing friction against blood flow. Along with this, regular water intake is also necessary, as it prevents the vessels from getting hard.
A specific dietary pattern is formulated to manage blood pressure and is known as DASH diet. It is the abbreviation for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension and is efficiently used to manage blood pressure. This diet is formulated on foods rich in dietary fiber, low in sodium and saturated fat.
Moreover, foods that are rich in potassium are also very important for balancing sodium levels in the body. Sweet potato, bananas, spinach (but in less amount), figs and beetroot are some of the foods with a healthy concentration of potassium in them. Potassium helps blood vessels to expand properly and helps the blood to ease through the vessels.
Foods that are rich in fiber keep blood sugar in control and do not cause any spike, preventing the blood pressure to shoot. Fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts are present in this food category and are quite helpful in managing hypertension.