If hypertension is present, it causes increased stress on the vessel wall as blood flows through it. The muscles in the wall thicken and the lining of the vessel is damaged and fatty plaques develop. It results to narrowing and stiffness and diminished flow of blood, insufficient supply of oxygen and nutrients. Over time, the tissues are damaged and eventually die. The supply of blood to other areas of the body is measured by the blood pressure. Hypertension can cause complications such as kidney problems, heart failure and even eye problems.
Causes of hypertension
- Genetic factors
- Excessive drinking of alcohol
- High salt consumption
- Lack of exercise
- Taking birth control pills
- Taking certain pain medications
- Adrenal and kidney disease
- Eat non-meat proteins such as legumes, nuts and seeds. These foods are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, phytochemicals, fiber and proteins. Eat at least 6 servings every week. Walnuts, peas, almonds and sunflower seeds are also good choices.
- Minimize the consumption of salt at least 1500-2000 mg every day to reduce the blood pressure. Minimize eating canned soups which contain high levels of sodium and limit the addition of salt to foods.
- Eat more whole grains such as oatmeal, brown rice and quinoa at least 6-8 servings every day which is highly beneficial to the heart.
- Eat lean protein such as poultry breast, fish as well as soy or eggs. Lean meats should be grilled, roasted, broiled and poached. It is best to include fish such as salmon which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids that can lessen hypertension.
- Eat a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables to boost the immunity of the body and reduce the blood pressure. Eat at least 4-5 servings of vegetables and fruits every day.
- Perform exercises regularly at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercises such as jogging, walking and swimming.
- Minimize anxiety, stress and depression to prevent hypertension.