What is blood pressure?
When your heart pumps blood out to the body it pushes and squeezes the blood through the blood vessels. This force felt on the walls of the blood vessels is blood pressure.
What is the normal blood pressure range?
The normal blood pressure range is 120/80 (systolic/diastolic). Systolic pressure is when the heart is pumping and squeezing the blood and this pressure is the higher reading. The lower diastolic blood pressure reading is when the heart relaxes.
What causes deviations from the normal blood pressure range?
Anything that makes the blood less fluid makes it harder for the heart to pump the blood through the body. Hence the blood vessel walls have to endure a higher blood pressure.
If you consider the blood vessels as a pipe the narrower the aperture of the pipe the higher the pressure required to push the water out of the pipe. Similarly in the case of the blood vessel if the blood vessel is lined with fat this can reduce the aperture of the blood vessel therefore causing the heart to work harder to push the blood to all the cells in the body.
What is hypertension and what are the complications associated with it?
Hypertension is higher than normal blood pressure.
Complications associated are:
Heart Attack or stroke
Impaired vision due to bleeds in the blood vessels in the eye
What foods increase blood pressure?
Processed foods such as cured meats , bacon, sausage
Canned and dried soup mixes
Dressings and condiments for example Soya Sauce
What foods naturally lower blood pressure?
- Leafy greens contain potassium which helps the body get rid of Sodium from the body.
- Antioxidant rich foods like blueberries
- Beet root – one of the best natural sources of lowering blood pressure.It is said a glass of beet juice in the morning can significantly lower your blood pressure.
- bananas are another very good source of potassium
- Salmon contains healthy fish oils which help to reduce blood pressure
- Sweet potatoes another great source of potassium.
What else can be done to lower hypertension or high blood pressure?
- limit alcohol consumption
- cut back on caffeine
- quit smoking
- Aerobic exercises like walking, cycling, swimming
I hope this has helped and if you are struggling with ways to incorporate more beetroot into your meals, watch out for more Beetroot Salad recipe!