How to prevent high blood pressure naturally?

High blood pressure increases your chance (or risk) for getting heart disease and/or kidney disease, and for having a stroke. It is especially dangerous because it often has no warning signs or symptoms.

Regardless of race, age, or gender, anyone can develop high blood pressure. It is estimated that one in every four American adults has high blood pressure. Once high blood pressure develops, it usually lasts a lifetime. You can prevent and control high blood pressure by taking action. The causes of high blood pressure vary. Causes may include narrowing of the arteries, a greater than normal volume of blood, or the heart beating faster or more forcefully than it should. Any of these conditions will cause increased pressure against the artery walls.

High blood pressure might also be caused by another medical problem. Most of the time, the cause is not known. Although high blood pressure usually cannot be cured, in most cases it can be prevented and controlled. High blood pressure occurs more often among African Americans than whites. It begins at an earlier age and is usually more severe. Further, African Americans have a higher death rate from stroke and kidney disease than whites.

Everyone – regardless of race, age, sex, or heredity – can help lower their chances of developing high blood pressure. Here’s how:
• Maintain a healthy weight, lose weight if you are overweight,
• Be more physically active,
• Choose foods lower in salt and sodium, and
• If you drink alcoholic beverages, do so in moderation.
These rules are also recommended for treating high blood pressure, although medicine is often added as part of the treatment. It is far better to keep your blood pressure from getting high in the first place.

Another important measure for you health is to not smoke: While cigarette smoking is not directly related to high blood pressure, it increases you risk of heart attack and stroke. As your body weight increases, your blood pressure rises. In fact, being overweight can make you two to six times more likely to develop high blood pressure than if you are at your desirable weight. Keeping your weight in the desirable range is not only important to prevent high blood pressure but also for your overall health and well-being.

It’s not just how much you weigh that’s important: It also matters where your body stores extra fat. Your shape is inherited from your parents just like the color of your eyes or hair. Some people tend to gain weight around their belly; others, around the hips and thighs. "Apple-shaped" people who have a potbelly (that is, extra fat at the waist) appear to have higher health risks than "pear-shaped" people with heavy hips and thighs.

No matter where the extra weight is, you can reduce your risk of high blood pressure by losing weight. Even small amounts of weight loss can make a big difference in helping to prevent high blood pressure. Losing weight, if you are overweight and already have high blood pressure, can also help lower your pressure. Americans eat more salt (sodium chloride) and other forms of sodium than they need. And guess what? They also have higher rates of high blood pressure than people in other countries who eat less salt. Often, if people with high blood pressure cut back on salt and sodium, their blood pressure falls.

Cutting back on salt and sodium also prevents blood pressure from rising. Some people like African-Americans and the elderly are more affected by sodium than others. Since there’s really no practical way to predict exactly who will be affected by sodium, it makes sense to limit intake of salt and sodium to help prevent high blood pressure. Drinking too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure. It may also lead to the development of high blood pressure. So to help prevent high blood pressure, if you drink alcohol, limit how much you drink to no more than 2 drinks a day. The "Dietary Guidelines for Americans" recommended that for overall health women should limit their alcohol to no more than 1 drink a day.





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