World Hypertension 2017 calls for experts from all over the world to share information and spread awareness about the growing menace of high blood pressure. Not only are incidents of high BP increasingly common these days but are also leading to a growing trend of cardiovascular ailments. While in some cases hypertension can be inherited, most other instances are the outcome of poor lifestyle and eating habits. Let us take a look at the basics of hypertension, some key facts about the condition and what can you include in your daily diet to manage high BP better.
What do the numbers indicate?
Systolic pressure (100-140 mmHg) is the pressure in blood vessels when the heart beats. Diastolic number (60-90 mmHg) measures the pressure in blood vessels while the heart is at rest between two beats. “Blood pressure is the force of blood against the artery walls as it circulates through the body. High blood pressure or hypertension is the constant pumping of blood through blood vessels with excessive force,” WHO.
Key facts about hypertension
1. Close to 1 billion people suffer from hypertension all across the world.
2. Two thirds of the above mentioned figure lives in developing countries.
3. By 2025 the global instances of hypertension is predicted to inch to 1.56 billion.
4. High blood pressure is one of the leading causes of premature deaths in the world.
5. Hypertension kills nearly 1.5 million people every year in South East Asia and a whopping 8 million globally.
Image via WHO
6. One third of the total South East Asian population suffers from hypertension.
7. Almost 60% diabetics also struggle with high blood pressure.
8. Lack or inadequacy of potassium can be one of the contributing factors.
9. Hypertension can be hereditary.
10. Although hypertension has no symptoms, a person with elevated blood pressure may feel nausea, fatigue, muscle tremors, chest pain and anxiety.
Foods that help
Some of the food items that you can safely include in your daily diet to help curb high blood pressure would include beetroot, spinach, celery, oranges, oatmeal, sunflower seeds, watermelon, avocados and bananas. Ideally, your diet must be a healthy mix of foods rich in potassium, magnesium, calcium and low in sodium. However, you must avoid full-fat dairy products as they may contribute to increasing you BP. Opt for low-fat dairy products or milk alternatives instead. Get in touch with your doctor to understand more about how you can control hypertension naturally through a balanced diet. Don’t forget to exercise regularly.