Blood is vital to carrying important oxygen, nutrients, and other chemicals throughout your body, but how does it do it? Well, this is thanks to blood pressure, the force that moves your blood throughout your circulatory system from your heart. Your veins, blood vessels, and arteries are essentially a plumbing system through which your blood moves, and blood pressure keeps the blood moving in your body.
Blood pressure changes for a variety of reasons, but if yours stays above 120/80 (the measure of diastolic and systolic pressure) you’re dealing with high blood pressure, (also known as hypertension), and that can cause many other long-term problems if left untreated. Some ways of managing hypertension include dietary changes, and to explore how what you eat can affect this problem, let’s look at what hypertension does to you, what foods are harmful, and which are helpful.
Residents of the Little River, South Carolina, who are dealing with problems related to hypertension can find help with Dr. Rogers Walker and the compassionate medical team at Walker Urgent & Family Care.
How hypertension affects the body
Hypertension comes in two types: primary and secondary. Primary hypertension develops over many years with no discernible cause, and secondary hypertension is a symptom of other conditions, such as obstructive sleep apnea, kidney disease, adrenal gland tumors, thyroid conditions, and some medications and illegal drugs.
High amounts of pressure on the walls of your arteries, veins, and blood vessels can damage them and your organs, leading to several complications. Conditions like metabolic syndrome, narrowed blood vessels in the eyes or kidneys, aneurysm, dementia, and cardiovascular disease can result from this damage.
Foods that can make it worse
Although many factors can contribute to getting hypertension or making it worse, such as obesity, family history, physical inactivity, and stress, the food you eat can also play a major role. Diets with too much sodium, too little potassium, too much alcohol, and any tobacco use can increase the risk of getting high blood pressure or worsen its effect on your body. To reduce the damage this condition can do, you should reduce the amount of butter, margarine, fatty meats, whole milk dairy products, fried foods, salted snacks, canned soups, fast foods, and deli meats you eat. You should reduce or avoid alcohol and eliminate smoking as well.
Diets to improve your health
Diet changes to help reduce the damaging effects of hypertension on your body include using less salt and more spices, herbs, vinegar, lemon or fruit juices to flavor foods, as well as ingesting less fatty and high-calorie foods. Adding more lean meats, skinless turkey and chicken, low salt, ready-to-eat cereals, fruits, vegetables, plain rice, pasta, potatoes, and unsalted seeds and nuts to your daily diet will make a big difference when managing your blood pressure.
What you eat can make a massive impact on your health, so watch your salt intake, avoid smoking and reduce alcohol to help prevent long-term issues like hypertension. To help manage the effects of hypertension on your body, make an appointment with Dr. Walker and Walker Urgent & Family Care Center today.