High Blood Pressure and Why it’s Bad
Blood pressure is the measurement of the force of your blood pushing against the walls of your arteries as your heart beats. High blood pressure doesn’t have many noticeable symptoms but can lead to serious, and sometimes fatal, implications. These implications include stroke, heart attack, and kidney failure to name a few. In the United States about 75 million adults (nearly 1 out of 3) have high blood pressure, and high blood pressure costs the country $46 billion per year.
High blood pressure is sometimes referred to as hypertension. There are two forms of hypertension that are the result of high blood pressure. These include primary and secondary hypertension.
Primary hypertension, also referred to as essential hypertension, is the result of many years of gradual contributing factors to high blood pressure. These contributing factors largely include lifestyle choices such as diet and exercise, as well as biological factors such as genetics.
Secondary hypertension refers to high blood pressure that is the result of a secondary factor such as an underlying medical condition, drug use, or other medications. For this type of blood pressure, it is common practice to treat the underlying condition, as well as the high blood pressure, to reduce the risk of the serious implications mentioned above.
High blood pressure is largely produced by a series of unhealthy lifestyle habits occurring over the years. Luckily for us, moringa can be a wonderful aid in helping us shift our habits so that we can be healthier and happier. Let’s take a look at the lifestyle factors that contribute to high blood pressure and how moringa can help!
Eating Healthy Foods
A poor diet is a major contributor to high blood pressure. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) has developed a diet specifically for preventing high blood pressure. This is called the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet. This diet is primarily composed of fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products. It also includes whole grains, fish, poultry, beans, seeds, nuts, and vegetable oils. This diet asks that you cut down on foods high in sodium and sugars, as well as limiting red meat and alcohol.
Fruits and vegetables high in potassium are great for preventing high blood pressure! Potassium helps regulate the adverse effects that excess sodium has in our bodies. Just like many other leafy greens, moringa is high in potassium, vitamins, and minerals. Moringa has three times as much potassium as bananas, making it an amazing source of potassium. At 140mg of potassium per serving, moringa is an excellent addition to a diet for preventing high blood pressure.
Exercise and Maintaining a Healthy Weight
Exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight are essential in preventing high blood pressure. Aerobic exercises, also known as cardio, are types of exercise that require your heart to beat at a faster rate so that it can pump oxygenated blood to the muscles you are engaging. These forms of exercise provide many benefits, including strengthening your heart, lowering your blood pressure, and helping you maintain a healthy weight. Some examples of aerobic include hiking, jogging, cycling, swimming, dancing, cross-country skiing, and kickboxing. Don’t forget to grab a moringa bar to take with you when exercising, eating a healthy snack directly after exercising will give you energy and help your muscles recover.
Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial in preventing many health problems, including high blood pressure and the associated risks mentioned above. Being overweight or obese puts you at a high risk for developing high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, and more. This can lead to other serious problems such as high risk of stroke, heart attack, gallstones, osteoarthritis, and respiratory issues. Managing your weight can be aided by developing healthy lifestyle habits such as eating healthier and exercising more.
Managing stress is an important aspect of living a happy and healthy life. The link between stress and high blood pressure is still being studied, but stress can lead to other damaging lifestyle factors such as an unhealthy diet, alcohol consumption, and other forms of substance abuse. Learning how to manage your stress levels is essential to maintaining good mental and emotional health. Reducing stress also makes it easier to maintain other healthy lifestyle habits.
4 Tips on Reducing Stress:
- Simplify your morning routine. Starting your day with a hectic morning can often leave you frazzled and unable to focus throughout the work day. In order to free up time in the morning, try getting some things done the night before. This includes tasks such as picking out your clothes, prepping your work items to go in the morning, and getting a breakfast ready to grab and go. Try this recipe for Creamy Raspberry Moringa Oats!
- Take time to breathe. Sometimes it’s hard to remember to simply breathe deeper. Find some time in your busy day to sit quietly and focus on your breath. When we breathe deeper, we experience benefits such as increased muscle relaxation, improved oxygen delivery, endorphin release, and lowering blood pressure. Try some of these breathing exercises to help you relax and feel refreshed.
- Give yourself time to be active. Research has shown over and over that regular exercise directly reduces stress levels. Try to designate at least 15 minutes out of the day to move your body. Go for a walk, do yoga, stretch, or any other type of exercise that your heart desires! Make sure to bring a nutritious snack with you to eat afterwards, like these Moringa Snack Bites.
- Find opportunities to be creative. Take some time out of your day to work the right side of your brain by doing something that sparks creativity. Play an instrument, draw some doodles, paint, or find a fun DIY project to do. You can also get #moringainspired and use our moringa powder to dream up some recipes of your own!
What are your favorite ways to manage stress? Comment and let us know!