High blood pressure is now a common lifestyle diseases that increases the risk of other diseases such as heart problems, heart attack, kidney problems and brain hemorrhage. Many people think that consuming too much salt is the main cause of high blood pressure, However factors such as obesity, lack of physical workout, eating excessive oily and spicy food and heredity can also lead to high blood pressure.
To control high blood pressure it is important to control your salt intake. An adult should not have more than 1500 mg of sodium a day*
[Sodium chloride or table salt has approximately 40% sodium
1/2 teaspoon salt = 1,200 mg sodium
3/4 teaspoon salt = 1,800 mg sodium
Remember that sodium is also found (in excessive quantities) in packaged food , soft drinks such as Coke & Pepsi ]
Excess salt in your diet not only increases your blood pressure, but it also increases the cholesterol level in your blood – impacting your arteries and thereby increasing the risk of having heart attack. To moderate your salt intake avoid eating salty snacks, soya sauce, tinned and packaged food as they contain high amounts of salt. You should also avoid sprinkling salt on cut fruits and salads. Although adding salt can stimulate your tastebuds it can cause your daily intake of salt to overshoot the recommended amount.
These are some other lifestyle changes that can keep your blood pressure under control.
- Eat a balanced diet. By balanced we mean food enriched with carbohydrate, protein, fibre, fat, vitamins and minerals.If we carefully examine our daily food then we will find that most often we eat either carbohydrates or protein. Example during breakfast if we are having white breads and eggs, then we are missing out on fibre & vitamins. You can include a bowl of fruits or boiled vegetables to complete missing fibre, vitamins and antioxidants. Try to include wholegrain, fruits, vegetables, sprouted beans, milk and lentils in all your meals.
- To keep blood pressure under control increase the intake of food that is rich in potassium. Potassium is found in apple, oranges, banana, potato, spinach, curd, carrots, tomato and sweet potato.
- If you are overweight then you are at risk of having high blood pressure. Thus try to keep your weight under control. Start going for exercises and stop having fattening food.
- For many people their job demand them to be on desk and work on computers for long hours. Less physical movement can cause excess calories to be deposited as fat leading to obesity. So people who are overweight should either compensate by exercising or should cut doen on their calorie intake.
- Eating fruits and vegetables can bring drastic change. Fruits and vegetables are a good source of vitamins, fibres and potassium. They provide less calorie . Plant fibre is easily digestible and can improve your blood circulation.
- Stress is another contributing factor. It has been observed that a healthy person can also develop high blood pressure due to Stress. This explains why people with Type-A personality often have high blood pressure. Yoga and meditation can help to relive stress.