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High Blood Pressure Can Be Controlled Through Healthy Eating

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As blood flows through the body, it exerts stress on blood vessel walls; creating an effect known as blood pressure. Blood pressure is measured by “the force in the arteries when the heart beats (systolic pressure) and when the heart is at rest (diastolic pressure)” (American Heart Association [AHA], 2008, para. 1). An average healthy adult’s blood pressure has a measurement of 120 over 80 or less (AHA, 2008, para. 3). “High blood pressure (also called hypertension) occurs when your blood moves through your arteries at a higher pressure than normal” (AHA, 2006, para. 1).High blood pressure occurs when the measurement reaches 140 over 90 or more (AHA, 2008). High blood pressure is very common throughout America, and it does not have symptoms, so it is recommended to have blood pressure tested once a year (National Institute on Aging [NIA], 2007, para. 6).

According to the National Institute on Aging (2007), no single thing causes high blood pressure, but “being overweight, drinking too much alcohol, and eating too much salt are risk factor because they raise your risk of having high blood pressure. They do not cause it directly” (para. 9). Genetics, stress, and age have an influence on one’s blood pressure. To help relieve stress, “try relaxation techniques or biofeedback. These things work best when used at least once a day” (Family Doctor, 2006, para. 16). Having high blood pressure wreaks havoc on the body. “The risk of high blood pressure (hypertension) increases with age” (Mayo Clinic, 2008, para. 1).

Several parts of the body are affected by high blood pressure. The main body parts afflicted are blood vessels, which are weakened or distorted. The debilitated vessels lead to complications with organs within the body. Weakening vessels in the brain rupture and cause strokes. Narrowing vessels in the kidneys leads to a build up of waste in the blood and cause kidney failure (National Heart Lung Blood Institute [NHLBI], 2008). “High blood pressure is the number one risk factor for congestive heart failure” (NHLBI, 2008).

Regardless of how it is caused many factors play a role in controlling and preventing high blood pressure. To help control or prevent high blood pressure doctors recommend individuals maintain a diet low in salt, fat, and added sugars” (Healthwise, 2007, p. 2, para. 7). On top of a healthy diet, people with high blood pressure should limit their alcohol intakes, and start to exercise on a daily basis.

Healthy eating can affect someone’s life in many ways, but more importantly it can help control many medical conditions. To be able to eat healthier a person must have the proper knowledge of eating healthy. “Healthy eating requires some planning and purpose and an effort to include a variety of foods in your meals” (Healthwise, 2007, para. 2). “Healthy eating can actually help you lower your risk for disease” (Healthwise, 2007, para. 9). Eating healthy does not have to be difficult. Lowering ones risk of disease may only mean changing their diet, so it is more balanced. “Eat a wide variety of foods, especially those high in nutrients, such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, lean meats, fish, poultry, cooked dry beans, nuts, and seeds (Healthwise, 2007, p. 2, para. 3). To get a healthy, but balanced diet make sure to follow the proper dietary guidelines. To reduce your salt intakes eat less “prepared foods such as soups, snack foods and canned foods” (Healthwise, 2007, p. 2, para. 7). Many restaurants have stopped cooking in Trans fat because it has become a health risk. When cooking at home use canola oil or olive oil instead (Healthwise, 2007, p. 2, para. 7). If you have high blood pressure, the American Heart Association (2006) recommends that consuming one-two alcoholic beverages a day is the preferred amount (Family Doctor, 2006 para. 14).

Adding exercise to ones daily routine will help their heart become stronger. “A stronger heart can pump more blood with less effort. And the less your heart has to work, the less force, or pressure, that’s exerted on your arteries (Mayo Clinic, 2008, para. 2). “Becoming more active



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