Blood Pressure Is Important, What You Need to Know
Fact: about 1 in 3 American adults need to be concerned about their blood pressure. And, according to the American Heart Association, 28% of them do not know it.
Many people go about their lives unaware that their blood pressure levels may be creeping higher, even within the normal range, as they age or add on extra pounds.
Things you take for granted like remembering names or your ability to think or learn can be affected.
Experts strongly advise you to know their numbers.
They advise that blood pressure tested right away if you haven’t in the last 2 years. The risk of not knowing and not acting is simply too great. You have many options available to take control.
The Big Q: Why does blood pressure matters?
The Big A: Blood flow depends upon relaxed, open arteries, healthy blood pressure is one of the Key measures of a healthy heart, so blood pressure is vitally important
The Big Q2: What is blood pressure?
The Big A2: Blood pressure is a measure of the force against the walls of your arteries in response to the pumping of your heart.
The amount of blood being pumped and the flexibility of a persons arteries both influence that force. Blood pressure can rise when either or both of these things happen:
- Arteries contain a large amount of blood
- Arteries lose some of their flexibility
When arteries become less flexible and cannot expand easily to handle the extra amount of blood flow, and blood pressure rises.
When blood pressure rises, the heart has to work harder to keep blood flowing. Certain situations could cause this increased demand for a short time like high intensity training, but that is not an issue if you’re healthy.
The problem is when it’s continuous.
Forcing the heart to pump hard without a break can place it under a great deal of stress.
And here is a fact many do not know about blood pressure.
When blood pressure is too high, even when within the normal range, arteries can become stiffer, which makes your heart work harder, and blood pressure go even higher within the normal range.
There are 2 numbers are used to measure blood pressure. The systolic, or top number, measures the force when the heart contracts. The bottom number, or the diastolic, measures the force when your heart rests.
Human Blood pressure issues can go undetected for years.
Know your numbers
According to the CDC, a “normal” reading is 120/80.
A person is considered “at risk” if:
- Systolic is 120-139 mmHg
- Diastolic is 80-89 mmHg
And once the levels reach these numbers, they are considered “high” risk:
- Systolic is 140 mmHg or higher
- Diastolic is 90 mmHg or higher
If a person is under 60 anni and have no other risk factors, the diastolic pressure may be most important. If over 60, your systolic pressure is your most important cardiovascular risk factor.
Be aware that, depending on overall health, a physician may want to treat the patient with medication even if the pressure is as low as 130/80.
In addition to testing blood pressure levels, be sure to check the fasting insulin level. As Insulin resistance is very closely linked to blood pressure.
A healthy fasting insulin level is between 2 and 3 microU per mL.
The US Joint National Committee (JNC) on blood pressure recently stated: “The potential benefits of a healthy diet, weight control, and regular exercise cannot be overemphasized. These lifestyle treatments have the potential to improve blood pressure control and even reduce medication needs.”
If a person has concerns about blood pressure and rising blood sugar or insulin levels or an expanding waistline, there is a lot one can do to help maintain normal healthy levels.
Here are some tips that I learned, as follows:
- Get plenty of exercise, ideally barefoot and outdoors in the sun
- Get active and walk more steps.
- Exercise is one of the most powerful strategies for managing blood pressure and your insulin level.
- Breathe deeply and slowly and let go of stress.
Note: low, deep breathing and practices such as yoga, tai chi, and qigong help decrease stress hormones, and in turn, lower an enzyme that raises blood pressure. Also, inhale slowly and exhale deeply for 5 mins 2X a day. There’s a strong link between stress and blood pressure issues. If there are unaddressed negative emotions like fear, anger, and sadness, one is less able to cope with normal, everyday stressors.
5. Eat Real food Many grocery store food choices today do not even resemble real food get the processed foods out of your cart, and out of your home. Many processed foods contain high levels of sugar and fructose, processed salt, unhealthy trans fats, and damaged omega-6 vegetable oils all things that can affect your blood pressure and health.
Note: Medical experts that I read say one of the primary causes of blood pressure issues is related to your tissues becoming insulin and leptin resistant in response to a high-carbohydrate and processed food diet
As human tissues become more resistant to their actions and your insulin and leptin levels rise, so does blood pressure. In a group of study subjects who were insulin resistant, almost 67% also had blood pressure above optimal levels.
The Rule: Buy food that still looks like the original food.
Visit local farmer’s markets. Look for grass-fed and pasture finished meats.
Eat more fermented foods, I eat sauerkraut every day.
Cut out processed salt, the kind found in processed foods and most salt shakers).
Balance your gut flora.
I talked earlier about how a lack of flexibility of arteries can affect your blood pressure.
Researchers have discovered that both trans fats and a lack of Vitamin D can contribute to stiff arteries. And too little Vitamin D is related to insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome, too.
Sunlight exposure increases the level of nitric oxide in your skin, which helps dilate your blood vessels.
Get your Vitamin D levels tested regularly.
Eat a diet rich in vegetables and fruits.
The latest research suggests that the biggest benefit of eating lots of vegetables and fruits may be for your heart and blood pressure.
Certain fruits and vegetables contain a type of phytonutrient called polyphenols that have been shown to support healthy normal blood pressure and cardiovascular health.
Many Americans do not eat enough fruits and vegetables; the CDC reported in Y 2013 that the average adult eats less than 3 servings a day.
So, do your heart and blood pressure a favor and eat plenty of fresh, Organic produce daily.
Eat healthy, Be healthy, Live Lively