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Under Pressure: Reducing High Blood Pressure Can Have Physical and Mental Health Benefits

You probably already know that high blood pressure (HBP) can have a major impact on your health. It’s already well proven that HBP can frequently be at the root of heart disease, stroke, and kidney failure.

Now new research is showing that HBP in middle age can increase the risk of dementia. Hypertension in people as young as 36 is linked to poor brain health in later life.

Get to Know Your Numbers

Blood pressure is measured as both systolic (the top number) and diastolic (the bottom number). Systolic measures the pressure exerted on the arteries when the heart beats. Diastolic is the pressure when your heart rests between beats.

Reducing High Blood Pressure

The good news? Improving your lifestyle choices can have a major, rapid impact on your health. Healthy eating and exercise can significantly lower your numbers and the risks of heart disease or dementia.

Take Off the Weight, Take Off the Pressure

One of the best ways to lower your numbers is by maintaining a healthy weight. Overweight people have more mass to pump blood through, so the heart has to work harder which can increase your blood pressure. Changing to a healthier diet can lower HBP within a week!

The Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension (DASH) includes fiber, magnesium, potassium, and calcium-rich foods like fish high in Omega-3’s, beans, lentils, yogurt, berries, and olive oil. Beets and spinach are high in nitrates, which can relax blood vessels and lower blood pressure. Other recommended foods include limiting sodium to a single teaspoon of salt.

Cutting back on your salt and sodium intake can be challenging but swapping it for the flavors from lemon and lime or spices like garlic, ginger, or rosemary can be a flavorful and delicious solution.

More Ways to Reduce High Blood Pressure

The fight or flight response triggered by stress causes your heart to beat faster and harder. Regular exercise, meditation, and spending time with loved ones can help you relax and ease tension. Alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco can also increase anxiety and stress.

Reducing blood pressure can be one of the most important ways to lower your risk of heart disease. But being prepared with a Heart/Stroke/Cancer policy from ASBA is always a good idea. The policy could help cover specialized heart treatments not covered by Medicare. Learn more.

Source: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanhl/article/PIIS2666-7568(21)00283-X/fulltext