Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is the force exerted by the blood against the arterial walls as it is pumped throughout the body. Systolic pressure occurs when the heart beats, and the pressure is at its highest. Diastolic pressure occurs when the heart is at rest, between beats, and the pressure is at its lowest. For this reason, blood pressure is always given as two numbers. Blood pressure higher than 140/90 is considered high blood pressure, or hypertension. Blood pressure higher than 120/80, but lower than 140/90 is called prehypertension.

Some people are genetically predisposed to high blood pressure, but there are factors that may increase the risk. Excessive weight, lack of exercise, a high salt and/or high fat diet, smoking, and excessive alcohol consumption are all thought to be contributing factors. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and fiber can help reduce high blood pressure. High blood pressure often has no symptoms, so have your blood pressure checked regularly.

Beneficial Foods

Avocado Avocado's abundant potassium content helps fight high blood pressure.
Buckwheat Regular intake of buckwheat has been linked to lowered risk of high blood pressure.
Celery Pthalides in celery help lower blood pressure by relaxing the muscles around arteries.
Jackfruit Helps regulate blood pressure.
Olive Oil Using olive oil in place of other fats, including other vegetable oils, can lower high blood pressure. Some patients have been able to reduce or even eliminate blood pressure medications after 4-6 months of making the switch.

Beneficial Nutrients

Calcium Helps reduce high blood pressure.
Magnesium Helps reduce high blood pressure.
Potassium Helps prevent and lower high blood pressure.
Sodium Helps maintain healthy blood pressure levels. Excess salt leads to high blood pressure. Salt deficiency can cause low blood pressure, sometimes resulting in shock.
Vitamin B3/Niacin Lowers high blood pressure.
Vitamin B6 Helps lower high blood pressure, particularly when it is related to the overconsumption of alcohol.