Blood pressure is one of the most common ailments that we hear of these days. Call a friend to ask how she is doing and most often they’ll reply, all is fine but my BP is bothering me. BP as Blood Pressure is popularly known can move in either direction; high and low. Each has its own symptoms and treatment. While pharmacies are stocked up with BP medicines of different brands, it is better to try to control it by taking a healthy diet and exercising.
What is BP? The heart pumps all around our body to supply it with oxygen and energy. While moving within the arteries the blood pushes its way against the walls of the arteries. The strength with which it pushes the blood is called Blood Pressure. If this injection of blood is too fast it puts the strain on arteries and heart and is called high blood pressure.
BP Readings and Ranges: Blood pressure readings consist of two levels; top level called Systolic BP and the bottom level called Diastolic BP. Systolic BP is caused as heart contracts to push blood, while diastolic BP is when the heart relaxes between the beats. If a person’s blood pressure is 110/70 it means the systolic high is 110 and the diastolic is 70.
Normal BP: this ranges between 90/60 >120/80
High to Normal BP: 120/80>140/90
High BP: 140/90 +
Low BP: 70/40>90/50
Remedies to Keep BP in Normal Range
Diet: shifting to a diet rich in vegetables and low on protein, popularly known as Mediterranean Diet is the easiest of remedies you can apply. A Mediterranean diet divided into portions of 60% vegetables dressed or cooked in olive oil, 20% seafood, 15% dairy and poultry and 5% of meat and sweets over a week. For example, one can eat a bowl full of salad every day for lunch and dinner, eat fish two or three times a week and meats and sweets in very small portion once or twice a week only. Plus one needs to drink at least 12 glasses of water per day.
Exercise and Lose Weight: walk or jog for at least half an hour each day. Other than that you can do aerobics or play a sport like a tennis, squash or badminton to keep your cardio in check. Blood pressure is also correlated with obesity. So one must follow a proper diet plan and exercise schedule to lose weight.
Cut down the Sodium: you really don’t need to sprinkle salt on your boiled or fried egg. The egg already is quite salty in itself. Try substituting salt with garlic powder in salads and other foods. Processed foods and foods with shelf life too are rich in sodium. Reduce the intake of such food items.
Eat Potassium and Magnesium Rich Foods: potassium helps the body rid itself of sodium. Banana is a good source of potassium. Leafy greens, beans, apricots, nuts, seeds melon and milk too are a good source of potassium. Magnesium helps to relax the blood vessels. It also helps in the production of energy and transporting calcium and potassium which is helpful in bone development too.
Garlic: Garlic contains an enzyme called allicin which helps reduce the high blood pressure. Consuming freshly chopped four to five cloves of garlic mixed with food can help control high blood pressure.
Chia-seed: Chia-seed is a good source of omega 3 fatty acid, which helps in keeping the heart healthy. Consuming two teaspoonfuls of chia-seed soaked in half cup of water and mixed into milk or deserts can not only help lower the BP they also have other health benefits like reducing high blood loss during menstruation.
Trying to incorporate some of these remedies in your lifestyle will definitely help you keep healthy and will keep your blood pressure in check.