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Every two out of 10 individuals have high blood pressure. The causes are varied high-stress levels, obesity, diabetes, smoking, alcoholism, sedentary lifestyle, high salt intake, etc. But lifestyle modifications can help lower blood pressure and prevent the risk of cardiovascular diseases

Our goals today are materialistic and monetary and we give everything we can to achieve them. Our priorities have changed. Health is majorly ignored and considered nothing but secondary. The incidence of stress-related diseases is rising. One such stress-related disease that every two out of 10 individuals are diagnosed with is hypertension, which in layman's terms is called high blood pressure.

Our heart functions efficiently to pump blood via the arteries to all organs of the body. It can only work effortlessly if the pressure in the arteries is maintained. Blood pressure is hence the pressure or force exerted by the flow of blood on the walls of the arteries. Higher the blood pressure, harder will the heart have to work in order to supply blood to the body. Persistent high blood pressure will lead to a condition known as hypertension. Normal blood pressure reading is 120/80. A reading between 120/80 and 139/89 is known as a pre-hypertensive stage whereas anything above 140/90 means that the person is suffering from hypertension.

The causes for high blood pressure are varied with the most prominent being high-stress levels coupled with obesity, diabetes, smoking, alcoholism, nil physical activity, chronic kidney diseases, family history, extremely high salt intake and also certain nutritional deficiencies like calcium, potassium, magnesium and vitamin D deficiency.

More than 33 per cent of individuals are not even aware that they suffer from this condition. The age group is varied. It could be as young as 25-30 years of age to 50 years and above. The symptoms are very vague. Individuals with very high blood pressure can experience throbbing headaches, fatigue, irregular heartbeats, dizziness, nausea, breathing problems and chest pain.

Salt intake should not be more than 1500 mg every day
Salt intake should not be more than 1500 mg every day
Bananas, watermelon and oranges are high in potassium, which aids in lowering BP
Bananas, watermelon and oranges are high in potassium, which aids in lowering BP

Lifestyle modifications are a must in order to lower the blood pressure. Following are a few guidelines that will not help lower blood pressure and also prevent the risk of cardiovascular diseases and obesity.

The first step should be weight loss in case you are overweight or obese, with regular cardio and endurance exercises like jogging, brisk walking, swimming, climbing stairs, cycling etc
Diet plays a key role in blood pressure homeostasis. Hence reduce the overall salt intake and consume not more than 1500mg of salt every day.
Including foods like carrots, beetroots, radishes, lettuce, cabbage in the form of juices, soups or salads are extremely beneficial.
Skimmed milk is a rich source of both calcium and vitamin D. Regular intake can prevent deficiencies and it helps lower blood pressure by nearly 3-10 per cent
Consumption of calcium-rich foods like milk and milk products and other food items like spinach, rajma, ragi, bajra, jowar, kabuli chana etc help neutralise the sodium thereby lowering the pressure.
Consumption of fruits and vegetables has a lot of benefits. These are all mostly low in sodium and high in potassium which further helps in maintaining the electrolyte balance thereby preventing rise in the blood pressure. Bananas are the richest source of potassium along with watermelon, tomatoes, oranges, spinach and soya bean and should be included in the diet.
Heart-friendly nuts and oilseeds like almonds, walnuts and flax seeds, which are the richest plant omega 3 sources, should be included in the diet to lower the already-done damage and prevent cardiovascular risk.
Garlic helps in the dilation of blood vessels thereby reducing the pressure. It not just helps lower cholesterol levels but also enhances immunity. Raw garlic flakes are more potent, hence 2-3 flakes a day should be regularly consumed.
Fish oils, especially cod liver oil, also helps lower the blood pressure with its anti-inflammatory effect, hence consumption of either that or mackerel, tuna and salmon will surely help.

Also exercise is a must. So practising activities like yoga will prove extremely beneficial. The benefits of yoga are innumerable. It decreases the pulse rate, boosts immunity, balances energy levels, maintains weight, improves sleep, regularises heart beats, enhances concentration and memory, reduces stress and lowers the blood pressure.

Include foods like carrots, beetroots, radishes, lettuce, cabbage etc in the form of salads
Include foods like carrots, beetroots, radishes, lettuce, cabbage etc in the form of salads

Exercise helps make the heart stronger, especially high-intensity or power yoga. Therefore, a stronger heart will take lesser efforts in delivering blood to the vital organs of our body thus lowering the pressure or force on the arteries. Yoga asanas like the camel pose, breathing exercises like anulom-vilom, kapaal-bharti and shavasan or the corpse pose, pranayama and meditation should all be included in your daily regimen.

Prevention

The best option is to prevent hypertension, rather than curing it. Hypertension can be prevented by following the below:

Every two out of 10 individuals are being diagnosed with high blood pressure
Every two out of 10 individuals are being diagnosed with high blood pressure

Keep weight within a healthy, normal range.
Avoid cigarettes and restrict alcohol intake to no more than two drinks a week.
Aim to get at least 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise (like walking, jogging, biking, dancing, or swimming) a day, with yoga and pranayam, three or four days a week.
Limit intake of sodium by cutting down on processed, preserved and canned foods, pickles, papads, breads etc

The major culprit behind most of the diseases including hypertension is stress. If you could find a way in managing stress you can prevent 90 per cent of the disorders. If you follow the above guidelines to lower blood pressure it would help prevent the risk of cardiovascular diseases and also help you become resistant to hypertension symptoms and thereby combat it.

The writer is one of the leading holistic health gurus and has a health portal www.mickeymehtahbf.com

 

 

 

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