Many of us know that foods and genetic factors cause high blood pressure issues. But yet, many haven’t been able to take precaution by monitoring what they consume. We do not have control over genetic factors. But we can control what we eat and change those unhealthy lifestyles. If you can track or make a list of the things that you ate this week, or habits you still promote, you will understand how you are ignorantly inviting high blood pressure.
Most young people’s mindset is that they are strong. So, they don’t bother about blood pressure issues until it strikes. But high blood pressure or hypertension is a well-known silent killer. Reports of people with big dreams who have lost their lives due to hypertension should sound as a warning to the majority of us who still have a chance to correct some health mistakes we have been making.
So, if you are ready to maintain good health, these are the 3 habits you must change starting from today.
- You consume more than three drinks per day
Alcoholics believe they are having a good time of their lives by drinking to stupor. They forget about health issues and drink as much as they can. It happens every day even with all the warnings. The only time they feel sober is after visiting their doctors. Sincerely, alcohol consumption can lower blood pressure. But this can only happen when consumed in moderation or considerably smaller amounts.
To put things straight; as an alcoholic, you are at high risk of developing high blood pressure. But you can change all that by reducing the number and volume of drinks you consume. Excess alcohol can destroy the heart and even cause hypertension. Consuming just three drinks can increase your blood pressure instantaneously.
Another vital reason to avoid excess drinking is calories. Alcohol contains many calories which can lead to obesity. And being overweight can predispose not just to high blood pressure but other life-threatening conditions.
Advice on alcohol consumption:
- Females are not supposed to surpass one drink on a daily basis.
- Men shouldn’t also exceed two drinks per day. One is safer.
Have in mind that the one drink in question is 12 ounces and 5 ounces of beer and wine respectively.
- Issues of weight and food don’t bother you
As a grown-up person, you have the chance to eat whatever you like. No one has the power to stop or make decisions for you. You can even decide not to take a medical professional’s advice seriously. After all, you own your life, right? And for many, as long as their favorites; pastries, fried chicken and soft drinks, keep coming, they do not bother about the impact these foods can have on their health.
The impact food can have on blood pressure is more than you can ever imagine. It might not increase your blood pressure directly or immediately but will somehow contribute to it. For example, when you overeat or consume more calories, you are likely to become overweight. And obesity is a culprit as far as blood pressure is concerned.
Being overweight can expose you to a higher risk of high blood pressure. So, the ideal thing to do if you are obese is to lose weight. High fiber foods can help you consume less food which is also an excellent way to lose weight. They can help you feel full and stay without having cravings.
Tips on BMI (Body Mass Index)
- 18.5 or lower – Underweight
- 18.5 to 24.9 – Normal weight
- 25 – 29.9 – Overweight
- 30 and above – Obese
Advice on weight management and healthy BP
- Eat more fruits and vegetables that supplies high potassium such as banana, oranges, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, peas and cucumbers. These foods can increase your potassium levels and reduce the effect sodium can have on your blood pressure.
- Plan your meals same way you plan your daily activities. If possible, also write down or monitor what you eat daily.
- Consume low-fat dairy products.
- Avoid or cut down on soft drink consumption. They have too many sugars, and calories hence can jeopardize your weight loss efforts.
- You have not quit smoking
Some people believe shisha or Goza, as widely known, is safe to inhale. But have in mind that tobacco is tobacco, be it shisha or cigarette you are smoking. And study shows that the average shisha smoking session which lasts for about sixty minutes can cause smokers to inhale an equivalent amount of smoke that 100 cigarettes will give.
Generally speaking, smoking is dangerous to health. It is also the number one factor responsible for preventable deaths in the United Kingdom. So, it is advisable to quit smoking to improve your healthy life and maintain healthy blood pressure.
For every stick of cigarette one smokes, blood pressure can increase for minutes or even hours after the session. And the main factor that causes this particular problem with cigarette is nicotine.
However, many are still finding it difficult to quit smoking after realizing the damage it has done or can do to their health. If you are still struggling, the advice below can help you overcome your smoking habit.
Advice on smoking: How to quit easily
- Fully convince yourself that to stop smoking is the best option
- Take advantage of FDA-approved NRT which includes nasal spray, inhaler, skin patches or chewing gums. These items will provide you with a controlled volume of nicotine and wean your body off the cigarette gradually.
- Lower the amount of tobacco you consume on a daily basis if you cannot quit at once.
- Use FDA approved non-nicotine drugs like bupropion (Zyban) and varenicline (Chantix).
Maintaining a healthy blood pressure is not something that is difficult to do. It is something you can achieve if you work towards it. Your lifestyle needs to change, and you also need to quit unhealthy habits that can expose you to blood pressure issues in the future. You should also be able to discipline yourself. When you take certain decisions to avoid certain habits, you need to stand by it. And to have more knowledge about BP issues, you can use this blood pressure chart whenever you wish.
Otega Clement Okperigho is a passionate writer who likes to research and provide detailed information on health issues. He believes in the ideology that health is wealth and that the right information can save lives. Clement enjoys sharing information about blood pressure issues. He also encourages everyone to be mindful of their blood pressure. You can read more of Clement’s write-ups here.