According to the World Heart Federation, an astonishing number of people have high blood pressure around the world – 970 million, to be exact. In the Western world, more than 330 million people suffer from elevated blood pressure, or hypertension.
Hypertension has been rated by the World Health Organization as one of the leading causes of premature death.
That is only the tip of the iceberg. Elevated blood pressure is considered a growing epidemic. World Heart Federation statistics estimate that close to 1.56 billion adults will have high blood pressure by the year 2025 if preventative measures are not taken to improve heart health.
UNDERSTANDING HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
Blood pressure is a simple measurement of the force necessary to maintain blood flow throughout your body. Blood pressure is defined as the exerting force or pressure exerted by the blood against artery walls as the heart pumps.
High blood pressure occurs when blood force gets too high.
You have probably heard about high blood pressure before as it is a very common condition. Yet if it is left untreated or is not properly monitored, it can be life- threatening. Elevated blood pressure above healthy levels of blood flow can trigger a number of devastating health issues, one of which is cardiovascular disease. Long-term high blood pressure will damage blood vessels and increase the risk of stroke.
The health of your heart depends on healthy blood pressure.
While hypertension is most often discussed, there are two types of irregular blood pressure to consider. High blood pressure is called hypertension, when blood pressure is too high. Low blood pressure is called hypotension when blood pressure is too low. Both of these conditions are alarming and should be taken seriously. Hypertension, especially, should be addressed right away to protect the health of the heart.
HEART HEALTHY HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE FACTS
It is easy to think that high blood pressure won’t happen to you, but this condition often sneaks up with age. The reality is that one in three people around the world have high blood pressure. Rates of hypertension skyrocket as a person grows older.
50 per cent of adults in the Western world over age 60 have high blood pressure. 90 per cent of adults are at risk of developing high blood pressure within their lives.
There are certain risk factors that contribute to high blood pressure:
- Poor diet
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Oral contraceptives
- Drinking excess alcohol
- Emotional stress
Women and men of black ancestry have the highest risk of high blood pressure. Men have higher rates of hypertension than women, although women are more susceptible post-menopause, or after the age of 55.
Lifestyle factors play an undeniable role in the regulation of high blood pressure. Inactivity is often to blame. Regular exercise helps to lower the heart rate, and it can decrease the number of times the heart beats. This will automatically lower the amount of blood pressure on artery walls.
Likewise, regular exercise supports a healthy weight. Being just a few pounds overweight will require your body to pump more blood just to stay alive. As more blood travels through blood vessels, it places even more strain on artery walls to increase blood pressure.
The talk of high blood pressure may be intimidating and discouraging, but there is a silver lining. All of these factors are entirely within your control. You can make positive lifestyle changes to exercise, reduce anxiety, moderate alcohol consumption, quit smoking, and eat really healthy foods to balance blood pressure and protect your heart.
5 QUICK TIPS TO NATURALLY CONTROL BLOOD PRESSURE
It does take a commitment to your health to protect your heart, but balancing blood pressure isn’t as complicated as many medical professionals would like you to believe. Take these five tips to heart to improve cardiovascular health.
1. Eat an anti-inflammatory diet. Cutting out inflammatory foods can automatically lower blood pressure—nourishing, anti- inflammatory foods like non-starchy vegetables, legumes, dark-skinned fruits, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, and hemp seeds are recommended.
2. Eliminate or moderate meat intake. A diet low or devoid of meat can help to lower blood pressure; saturated fat in animal products may affect blood viscosity, which is higher in sufferers of hypertension.
3. Maintain a healthy weight. Following an anti-inflammatory diet makes it easy to regulate body weight.
4. Take vitamin C. Research supports 500mg or more of vitamin C per day to lower blood pressure.1
5. Take anti-inflammatory enzymes. An anti- inflammatory enzyme like Serrapeptase, used in combination with digestive enzymes, antioxidants, and Nattokinase, can support arterial and circulatory health to maintain blood pressure over the long- term.
It is important to point out that, despite what many medical professionals may suggest, too much cholesterol is not a contributing factor to hypertension and heart disease. Cholesterol produced by the liver is necessary for optimal health. It supports brain function and hormonal balance, while guarding against inflammation.
Oxidized cholesterol is the culprit behind serious cardiovascular damage. Cholesterol is oxidized after it is exposed to free radicals, which contributes to existing inflammation in the arteries. This is just one more reason to rehabilitate blood pressure and heart health with an antioxidant – rich, anti-inflammatory diet. Antioxidants neutralize free radical damage to keep cholesterol oxidation at bay.
What you eat and the lifestyle choices you make can directly impact the health of your heart.
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