Riana’s Corner: Hypertension
Maintaining a healthy blood pressure is very important because the higher your blood pressure is the higher your chances of having health issues are. All of your body’s important organs, such as your brain and heart, receive nutrients and oxygen through your blood flow.
Did you know that blood pressure is the force that moves blood through our circulatory system, responsible for many of our body’s functions, such as:
- carrying oxygen and nutrients through our circulatory system to nourish our organs
- delivering white blood cells and antibodies for immunity and hormones such as insulin
- enabling oxygenated blood to be delivered throughout the body, collecting toxic waste products in the body, which needs to be excreted.
Blood itself carries several other properties, including its temperature. It also carries one of our defenses against tissue damage, the clotting platelets that prevent blood loss following injury.
Our heart creates blood pressure by forcing out blood when the heart contracts with every heartbeat. Your blood exerts pressure against your arteries by creating this blood pressure from your heart. Our bodies become unbalanced when we experience hypertension or high blood pressure. This is when the pressure of the blood through the arteries are abnormally elevated. Sustained hypertension is a chronic illness, known as the silent killer and may put a person at risk for coronary artery disease, chronic kidney disease, strokes or hypertensive heart disease.
Some causes of hypertension include:
- Overweight to obese
- Lack of physical activity
- Too much alcohol consumption
- Older age
- Adrenal and thyroid disorders
- Kidney disease
- Cushing syndrome
- Sleep apnea
It becomes challenging when your hypertension is genetic and not lifestyle induced, but through diet, exercise and medication as prescribed by your doctor, you can reduce the risk of it getting worse or lethal. For those who have lifestyle-induced hypertension or those who want to prevent hypertension altogether, you could even reverse the effects!
- Follow a healthy diet which includes whole grain high fibre foods, a variety of fruit and vegetables, fish rich in Omega 3, olive oils, skinless poultry and low-fat dairy products.
- Avoid vegetable oils, animal fats and large portion sizes. Rather eat 6 smaller meals throughout the day, rather than 3 large meals a day.
- Stress is a great contributor to hypertension, and you should try to manage your stress levels by taking time for self-care. Meditation, cycling, yoga, long walks and switching off from technology are all great additions to your lifestyle.
Hypertension should be taken seriously!
I thought I’d share one of my favourite healthy recipes.
Avocado garden salad
100g salad leaves
¾ cup veggies, such as chopped cucumbers / cherry tomatoes / beetroot / broccoli
⅓ cup canned white or kidney beans, rinsed and drained.
½ avocado, diced.
1 tablespoon white-wine or grape vinegar
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
Combine greens, veggies, beans, and avocado in a medium bowl.
Drizzle with vinegar and oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Optional is grilling the broccoli to give the salad a slight twist.
Transfer to a plate and enjoy!
Take care and chat again soon!