Understanding High Blood Pressure

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 17,585
    Dr. Russell Greenfield, discusses what high blood pressure is and how to avoid it.

    Dr. Russell Greenfield: Hi, I am Dr. Russell Greenfield. Today I am going to discuss some simple strategies to help you successfully lower your blood pressure if it's high. The more of them you do the better, because while each provides a small reduction combining them magnifies your chances for successfully lowering your blood pressure for the long-term.

    First, read up on the D.

    A.

    S.

    H. Diet. DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. It includes vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products that provide lots of essentially nutrients including potassium, calcium, magnesium, and the diet alone has been shown effect for shaving points off your blood pressure.

    In general, it's a good idea that cut down our foods high end saturated fat like red meat and full fat dairy products and to eliminate those foods that still contain Trans fats. Believe it or not it's actually a good idea to tweak yourself to a daily small square of plain high cocoa content dark chocolate, because it too can help reduce blood pressure and for at least a 70% cocoa content in your chocolate.

    And remember, just one square a day. It's also important to lower your daily salt content. Study show that by cutting your average salt intake of an average of 2-teaspoon full to one per day you can cut your risk of stroke by 23% and your risk of heart deceases by 17%. Now most salt in your diet comes from processed foods. So reading fruit labels becomes very important.

    Look for store items and restaurant options labeled low sodium and leave the salt shaker empty. Become more physically active. We're not talking 10 k runs right off the bat just a brisk walk for at least half an hour everyday. Be sure to touch space with your doctor first, but in addition to its cardiovascular benefits exercise helps reduce stress.

    An unmanaged stress will raise your blood pressure. Get the sleep you need and regularly use healthy relaxation techniques like breath work to further reduce stress. Supplements such as vitamin D, Coenzyme Q10, and the herbal remedy Hawthorn may also offer some benefits as my acupuncture, but again speak with your doctor first.

    If your blood pressure is mildly elevated and aren't able to lower to lower it within 6 months with these methods, prescription medication maybe necessary. If your blood pressure was very high to begin with, you might already be taking medication, but these diet and lifestyle measures we discussed may help you lower the dosage needed and thereby reduce the risk of side effects.