• Dr. Rick Shewbridge posted an update in the group Group logo of Know Your NumbersKnow Your Numbers 2 years, 6 months ago

    Blood Pressure – What You Need to Know Now
    Your blood pressure reading is composed of two numbers. The top number (SYSTOLIC) represents the
    pressure in the artery when your heart beats, and the bottom number (DIASTOLIC) represents the pressure remaining in the artery between beats.
    Blood Pressure Classification
    NORMAL: Less than 120 / less than 80
    ELEVATED: 120-129 / less than 80
    STAGE 1 HYPERTENSION: 130-139 / 80-89
    STAGE 2 HYPERTENSION: 140 or greater / 90 or greater
    HYPERTENSIVE CRISIS: 180 or greater / 120 or greater

    High blood pressure can be improved in a number of ways, which include weight control (losing as little as 5% of your body weight can improve the blood pressure), exercise (aerobic, 50-150 minutes/week), cutting back on salt, alcohol (more about salt later), and supplementing your potassium intake (see below). Mediterranean and DASH diets are particularly good for lowering blood pressure over time.
    The basic components of these diets encourage more intake of fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, fish, poultry, and less sugar-sweetened products, red meat, and salt. Processed foods should be low on our list of ‘go-to’ foods.

    Foods which lower blood pressure naturally include ground flaxseeds (2 tbsp per day), whole grains, Hibiscus tea, nitrate-rich veggies (V8 juice not helpful), beans, split peas, chickpeas, lentils. High potassium foods include avocado, acorn squash, spinach, sweet potato, wild-caught salmon, dried apricots, pomegranate, coconut water, white beans, and bananas.

    Salt is commonly over consumed. The daily recommended allowance is 1500 mg sodium per day (just ¾ tsp of salt). The average American, however, consumes 3500 mg sodium (1¾ tsp salt). A single serving of chicken can contain 840 mg sodium. In addition to raising blood pressure, excess salt suppresses a key anti-oxidant enzyme necessary for controlling blood vessel inflammation. Tip: aim for foods with less mg sodium than the grams of serving size (i.e., if serving size is 20 grams, look for that food that has 20 mg or less sodium per serving).

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