1 out of 4 Filipinos have hypertension according to an article published this year on The Manila Times. Often, there are no obvious symptoms other than the occasional headaches and nape pains but a simple blood pressure test can determine if you have it or not. Hypertensive patients have a BP that’s higher than 130/80 mmHg which can still go up if you live an unhealthy lifestyle. Follow the simple tips below to help stop your BP from shooting up.
1. Control your weight
As you grow heavier, your blood pressure tends to go higher to support the excess weight. According to Mayo Clinic, being overweight also makes way for other disorders which may also worsen your blood pressure such as sleep apnea. Avoid eating out when you can and try to prepare your own meals so you can control your portions. Always try to make a conscious effort of eating healthy so you can avoid unnecessary weight gain.
2. Read food labels
Nutrition facts are there for a reason so make it a habit to learn more about what’s inside the food that you’re buying. Stay away from canned goods which are high in sodium and try to avoid buying ingredients which do not add any nutritional value to your diet.
3. Avoid consuming empty calories
Huffpost Australia explains that “empty calories are foods that are high in calories but are also 'nutrient-poor', meaning they are very low in essential nutrients.” Classic examples of empty calories are carbonated beverages, energy drinks, and fast food. Eating these foods do nothing but make you gain weight.
4. Stock up on fish
Fish is a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids which may help reduce blood pressure according to Livestrong. Opt for healthier cooking options when it comes to preparing your fish like grilling or pan searing fish using olive oil.
5. Eat more fruits
Fresh fruits like bananas, kiwi, and peaches are rich in potassium which lessens the effect of sodium on your blood pressure. Do not buy canned fruits that are filled with unhealthy sugar syrup and other preservatives. Slice fruits in advance so you can take them to work/school to encourage healthy snacking and freeze leftovers so you can make smoothies for later.
6. Exercise regularly
The best way to lose weight is to exercise daily and you really don't need to purchase a gym membership or expensive workout equipment. You can ask for support from your family by including them in your home workouts and jogging sessions.
7. Do not smoke
Smoking does nothing good for your body and it is especially harmful for those with hypertension since cigarettes significantly increase your blood pressure. Quit the habit and stay away from people who smoke.
8. Limit alcohol intake
If you are a drinker, limit your alcohol consumption to two bottles a day since drinking more than that can also trigger hypertension. Alcoholic drinks can also affect the efficacy of your blood pressure medicines.
9. Stay calm
Your mood can also contribute to your hypertension. Try to keep an open mind about your life and plan out your days to avoid stressful incidents. Always think positive and rest when you can.
10. Practice discipline
The Department of Health (DOH) estimates that about 200,000 Filipinos die from symptoms directly and indirectly caused by hypertension. Monitor your blood pressure at home and report any significant changes to your physician. Take your prescribed medicine on time and always watch what you eat.
Always consult your doctor before drinking any kind of medication, including vitamins. Keep in mind that your physician is in the best position to prescribe the right kind of treatment for your condition. Immediately stop using a product if you experience negative side effects.