High blood pressure doesn’t have a clear cause, but a diet high in salt is a risk factor for developing the condition. Experts recommend eating a healthy diet to prevent or reduce a high reading, and eating plenty of fruits and vegetables can help balance out the negative impacts of salt. According to Dr Andrew Thornber, chief medical officer at Now Patient, diet is important for us all, but especially if you have high blood pressure. He also advised: “It is important to start the day the right way and choose foods which lower and/or control blood pressure.”
Breakfast options Dr Thornber recommends include:
- Oats. Soaked oats or porridge would be great with a low-fat milk. They’re high in fibre and low in fat. fruDon’t opt for a sugary topping, choose berries, a banana or nuts
- Fruits are low in calories, contain helpful fibre and are packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants
- Wholegrain cereals are also a good choice
- Skimmed and semi-skimmed milk
- Low-fat yoghurt
- Low-fat cheeses such as soft or cottage cheeses.
- Eggs can also be a useful source of protein and minerals when eaten in moderation
- Avoid fatty cuts of meat or prepared foods like sausages and bacon, as these can be high in salt and saturated fat, which can cause your blood pressure to rise
- Oily fish, like mackerel, is recommended
- Wholegrain bread is a good option but be careful with the salt content
Breakfast provides the body and brain with feel after an overnight fast and that is where the name originates, breaking the fast.
Without breakfast a person is effectively running on empty.
Nutritionists advise that breakfast should be eaten within two hours of waking, should provide calories in the range of 20 – 35 per cent of the guideline daily allowance.
Apart from providing a person with energy, breakfast foods are good sources of important nutrients such as calcium, iron and B vitamins as well as protein and fibre.
When it comes to the most important meal of the day, health experts agree that skipping the meal is bad, especially if a person has type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure.
Alongside eating a healthy diet, a number of other lifestyle changes can help prevent and reduce high blood pressure.
One of these is regular exercise. The NHS advises: “Being active and taking regular exercise lowers blood pressure by keeping your heart and blood vessels in good condition.
Regular exercise can also help you lose weight, which will also help lower your blood pressure.
Adults should do at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as cycling or fast walking, every week.
Physical activity can include anything from sport to walking and gardening.”
Limiting alcohol intake, losing weight if overweight, cutting down on caffeine and stopping smoking are also important.
High blood pressure rarely has noticeable symptoms, but if they do show, it’s worth looking out for the following sign.
Noticing blood in your urine could be a signal of high blood pressure.
The medical term for this is known as hematuria and should not be ignored. Blood in the urine can come form the kidneys, where urine is made.
If you suspect you may have high blood pressure or renal hypertension, it’s important to speak with your GP who will be able to determine if it might be high blood pressure or an unexplained chronic kidney disease.
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