Are You Aware of Your Current Blood Pressure Level? Perhaps more Importantly, Are You Aware of What Your Level Should Be?
Did you know that 50% of the people living with high blood pressure are unaware of their condition?
Despite being the top contributing factor for strokes, heart attacks and cardiovascular conditions, high blood pressure is an issue which remains frequently overlooked.
Kinetik believes it is vital to increase awareness of the issues related to high blood pressure, and to encourage more people to start paying attention to this issue which can affect anyone, at any time.
The most effective way to naturally lower your blood pressure is to increase your awareness of the triggers and aim to avoid them as much as possible.
This article will answer some common queries related to high blood pressure and how to go about lowering it naturally.
How Will I Know If I Have High Blood Pressure?
Due to its lack of visible symptoms, high blood pressure (hypertension) is often known as the ‘silent killer’. The most reliable way to determine whether you are at risk is to check your blood pressure regularly, either by visiting a health professional, or using a home monitor system to check it yourself.
Having determined your blood pressure reading, the next stage is to ensure you understand the implications of the figures given. Kinetik’s online blood pressure checker is taken from the NHS website and can give an instant explanation on what your reading means for your well-being.
How Soon Should I Take Action If My Blood Pressure is High?
It is important to take immediate action, and you should discuss the most appropriate course of action with your GP.
However, there is no need to wait for a high reading before taking action. A few easy lifestyle changes can act as preventative measures to maintain healthy blood pressure levels, and taking action now could allow you and your family to avoid issues with blood pressure in the long term.
Is It Possible to Lower My Blood Pressure Naturally with My Diet?
A well-balanced diet is vital for every element of your health and well-being. These are some foods which have a direct impact on blood pressure, and of which we should be wary:
Blood Pressure UK has identified an excessive intake of salt as the most significant cause of high blood pressure, and states that a higher intake correlates directly with higher blood pressure.
It is recommended that adults ingest no more than 6 g of salt per day, but thanks to hidden salt in the foods we consume, many of us take in far more than this. Processed foods such as ready-made cooking sauces and microwavable meals are well known for containing elevated levels of salt, but even everyday items such as breads and cereals can have surprisingly high levels.
Read food labels carefully and aim to cook fresh foods from scratch wherever you can. When cooking, incorporate a range of herbs and spices, rather than adding additional salt to your dishes.
Saturated fat is converted into cholesterol by the body. While some cholesterol is needed in the diet, any additional cholesterol in your blood will cling to the walls of your arteries. This makes the arteries too narrow for blood flow, straining then and resulting in higher blood pressure. It also increases the risk of heart attacks or stroke.
Where to be wary of saturated fat:
- Red meat – opt for lean cuts and trim off visible fat. If grilling, allow the fat to drain away and blot excess fat with kitchen paper ahead of eating.
- Cheese – Seek out low fat options where available
- Pastries and cakes – the most delicious treats available to us are generally those we need to avoid overindulging on. Try to enjoy in moderation.
- Butter or plant based oils, such as palm oil and coconut oil – Make the change to cooking with oils which are low in mono-saturated fats like sunflower oil, rapeseed oil and olive oil. If butter on your sandwiches is a must, try switching to a low fat spread.
Alcohol contains a high number of calories which can lead to weight gain. Being overweight is in turn, directly linked to high blood pressure.
To keep your blood pressure at a healthy level, it is advisable to follow current UK guidelines for alcohol consumption, which recommend no more than 14 units of alcohol per week for both adult men and women. This amounts to 6 x 175 ml glasses of wine, or 6 pints of standard strength beer or ale.
What Foods Can I Consume to Help Lower My Blood Pressure?
- Enjoying 5 servings of fresh fruit and vegetables each day will give your body the vital vitamins and minerals needed to keep it healthy. Aim to include these in your diet at every opportunity.
- Pulses and legumes, such as chickpeas and lentils, are especially rich in potassium which has a neutralizing effect on the impact of salt in your body. Aim for three heaped tablespoons each day.
- Berries have high levels of antioxidants and are reasonably low in sugar, making them an excellent choice for healthy snacking.
- It is said that fish high in omega-3 fatty acids can help to lower blood pressure, while also being low in saturated fat and calories. Eating fish at least 2-3 times per week is advisable.
What Other Lifestyle Changes Can I Make to Naturally Lower My Blood Pressure?
Increase your movement levels! Engaging in regular physical activity to increase your fitness will have a great effect on your well-being and your mood.
If you have concerns about hypertension, be wary of activities that will cause rapid rises in blood pressure, putting increased strain on your heart and blood vessels. This includes weight lifting, sprinting, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT classes) and fast paced sports, such as squash.
Exercises recommended for their positive effects on high blood pressure are brisk walks or jogging, swimming, cycling or group exercise classes, such as dance-based activities.
Nonetheless, it is vital that you are careful not to put any extra strain or stress on your body, especially if you already suffer from high blood pressure, so it is always recommended that you consult with your doctor before beginning any new exercise or fitness regime.
Where Shall I Start If I Want to Monitor My Blood Pressure and Lower It Naturally?
If you are not yet aware of your blood pressure levels, have these checked at your earliest convenience. If you would prefer to do this from your own home, you can acquire your own blood pressure monitor.
Consult your monitor’s manual carefully to ensure that the readings you take are as accurate as possible.
Take your readings when your heart beat is at its resting rate (and has been for a minimum of five minutes), sit comfortably with your legs uncrossed, and ensure that your arms are supported and level with your body, rather than being raised to head level.
Record a number of readings to allow you to achieve an average. The free Kinetik health app, available on iOs or Android can assist you in recording and tracking your readings.
About Kinetik Wellbeing
At Kinetik Wellbeing we believe that technology has an important role to play in making all of our lives better. Our award-winning, affordable and accurate range of products allow you to independently take control of your Health and Wellbeing through regular checks and treatment in the comfort of your own home.
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