Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)

2017/10/10

Hypertension describes a constant, elevated pressure of the blood within the blood vessels. Often, there are no overt symptoms and hypertension is detected during blood pressure checks. Very high blood pressure episodes can result in headaches, palpitations, nosebleeds and an illusion of a buzzing sound in the ear.

Symptoms: NO SYMPTOM EXCEPT IN MORE SEVERE CASES: HEADACHE – BLACK DOTS IN THE VISUAL FIELD

HEALTH RECOMMENDATIONS:

DIET

When having hypertension, the general rule is to avoid table salt (sodium). Indeed, the typical North American diet is very high in sodium compared with potassium. It is preferable to cook at home rather than purchasing prepared foods or going to the restaurant. Not only will the oils used for cooking be of a better quality, but this will also help control sodium levels in the meal. Potassium however is important to maintain proper heart muscle activity (namely beating). Potassium can be found in bananas, oven-backed potatoes (with skin), cantaloupe, spinach, etc.

As for our diet’s general imbalance in sodium versus potassium, the same happens with omega-6 over omega-3 fatty acids. Our diet in fact supplies too much omega-6 and not enough omega-3. Rebalancing these ratios is already a great approach to the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, including hypertension. None surprisingly, alcohol and fat consumption should be limited. The Mediterranean diet is recommended to reduce cardiovascular risks. This diet gives priority to fruits and vegetables, whole grain cereals, extra virgin olive oil, red wine (1 to 2 glasses maximum per day), as well as lean meats, including a lot of fish.

 

PHYSICAL EXERCISE

Maintaining a healthy body weight through regular physical activity is strongly recommended to keep a healthy cardiovascular system. Plan 30-40 minutes for an exercise period and repeat it 4-6 times weekly. If you are starting on an exercise program, talk to your doctor to have a complete evaluation of your heart capacities.

 

STRESS MANAGEMENT

Chronic stress and anxiety are the enemies of a healthy heart. It is critical to learn how to manage difficult situations that can lead to stress. Relaxation techniques, practiced daily, will be very beneficial for hypertensive, stressed individuals.

 

BASIC ADVICE

Obesity, stress and lack of physical activity are all aggravating factors for hypertension. In fact, although blood pressure is elevated during physical activities, all blood vessels adapt to the required effort, which does not lead to a worsening of the condition. Dark chocolate, rich in cocoa, has also shown benefits to reduce high blood pressure. Enjoy!

Le chocolat noir riche en cacao a aussi démontré ses bienfaits pour réduire la tension artérielle.

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