Blood Pressure and Healthy Alternatives

Registering and monitoring vital signs is a method healthcare professionals use to monitor a patient’s health. Blood pressure, one of the vital signs, is measured by registering the maximum (systolic) and minimum (diastolic) pressure. The level of the patient’s blood pressure determines the type of treatment necessary to improve their health. Blood pressure readings fall into four categories from normal to stage 2 hypertension, aka high blood pressure.

• Normal blood pressure systolic below 120 mm Hg/diastolic below 80 mm Hg

o Maintain a healthy lifestyle

• Prehypertension Systolic 120-139/Diastolic 80-89

o Adopt a healthy lifestyle

• Stage 1 Hypertension Systolic 140-159/Diastolic 90-99

o Adopt a healthy lifestyle. Possibly medication will be prescribed to help lower blood pressure

• Stage 2 Hypertension Systolic 160 or more/Diastolic 100 or more

o Adopt a healthy lifestyle. Medication may be necessary to help lower blood pressure.


Natural Ways to Lower Blood Pressure

Most doctors recommend a dietary approach to lower blood pressure first and medications second. The highlights of dietary recommendations include:

• Increase consumption of…

o Fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy foods

o Whole grain cereals and bread, fish, poultry, and nuts

o Foods rich in calcium, magnesium, and potassium

• Reduce consumption of…

o Foods high in saturated fat, cholesterol, and total fat

o Red meat and sweets

o Salt/sodium

Studies have proved moderate intake of alcohol and a combination of better eating habits plus a regimen of daily exercise will help lower high pressure. Moderate alcohol consumption increases good cholesterol levels, which reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke by helping prevent blood clots and keeps blood flowing smoothly. Less calorie intake and increased activity reduces body mass and lessens blood pressure.


Foods That Lower Blood Pressure

Studies have proved consumption of certain foods help lower blood pressure. Cured and smoked meats, bologna, bacon, ham, hot dogs, and corned beef should not be consumed or eaten in limited quantities.

The following are foods that lower blood pressure….

• Lean cuts of meat

• Chicken and turkey (skin removed)

• Fresh or frozen fish

• Skimmed milk

• Loaf breads, dinner rolls, English muffins, bagels and pita bread

• Cereals, as long as they are ‘low sodium’ varieties

• Plain rice and noodles

• Fresh or frozen vegetables and canned vegetable which have not had salt added

• Fruit (preferably fresh)

• Soups which are low in sodium

• Margarine and vegetable oils

• Spices, herbs and flavorings such as parsley, oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, vinegar and fruit juices

Moderation of diet and exercise are natural ways to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.