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High blood pressure: how a targeted diet helps
High blood pressure is a widespread disease. In Germany around 44 percent of women and slightly more than half of men suffer from high blood pressure. Although it does not cause pain or any other discomfort, if left untreated it leads to severe damage to the blood vessels. The consequences are heart attacks, strokes and kidney damage. The causes for the development of high blood pressure have not yet been conclusively clarified.
What promotes high blood pressure?
Blood pressure is regulated by complex mechanisms. Interactions between biochemical messenger substances, blood vessels and the nervous system play a decisive role. Calcification of the blood vessels reduces their elasticity, the vessel walls become stiffer and the pressure in the vessels increases. The development of high blood pressure is promoted primarily by genetic makeup as well as too little exercise, unhealthy diet, obesity and stress.
High blood pressure is present when the values measured by the doctor on different days are 140 to 90 mmHg (millimeters of mercury) or above. Both values do not have to be increased. Most often the upper value is increased. It is important to measure on both arms.
The therapy takes place with the help of antihypertensive drugs. The basis of high pressure therapy, however, is always a change in lifestyle: Even with a balanced diet, renouncing alcohol and nicotine as well as regular exercise, a regular day-night rhythm and regular relaxation phases, increased blood pressure values can be permanently and effectively reduced, and the drugs work better. The effect of weight loss has been well studied: for every kilogram of body weight lost, the upper blood pressure value drops by around one mmHg.
Beetroot juice lowers blood pressure
A vegetarian or low-meat whole-grain diet also has a positive effect on blood pressure. Because red meat, sausage, cheese and butter in particular contain saturated fatty acids, which are considered a risk factor for the development of high blood pressure. Omega-3 fatty acids in linseed oil and flaxseed, walnuts, rapeseed, soy and wheat germ oil as well as the monounsaturated fatty acids in olive oil lower blood pressure. Half a liter of beetroot juice a day lowers high blood pressure by up to ten millimeters of mercury. Beetroot contains nitrates, which widen blood vessels and thus lower blood pressure. Two to three cups of green tea a day can reduce blood pressure by three to five mmHg. Half a liter of tea made from ten grams of hibiscus flowers a day can also reduce blood pressure within four weeks.
Instead of sweets, experts recommend consuming nuts or dark chocolate. Just six to ten grams of dark chocolate (cocoa content at least 70 percent) per day can lower blood pressure.
Reduce table salt
Restricting the intake of table salt is discussed again and again. In fact, quite a few hypertensive patients are so-called saline responders. This means that they react to even small amounts of salt with an increase in blood pressure. You should reduce your intake of table salt. On average, ten to 15 grams of table salt are consumed every day. In patients with high blood pressure, the salt intake should be reduced to six grams per day.
Salt can be saved if ready-made products, cured products and fish marinades are avoided. Sausages and cheese should be consumed sparingly. When cooking, salt should be avoided if possible and spices such as turmeric, ginger, coriander and cumin or black cumin should be used. Mediterranean cuisine with lots of fruit and vegetables, low-fat dairy products and little red meat, but more fish, has been shown to lower high blood pressure over a long period of time.
High blood pressure - the creeping danger
30 million Germans have high blood pressure, but many are unaware of the health risk. In one focus we provide information about symptoms and therapies. more
Recipes for high blood pressure
Low-salt and plenty of vegetables: healthy dishes for people with high blood pressure or the resulting thickening of the heart muscle. more
Interview partner in the post:
In the studio:
Prof. Dr. med. Joachim Schrader
Chief Physician of the Medical Clinic and Medical Director St. Josefs Hospital Cloppenburg
European center of excellence for high blood pressure
Tel. (04471) 16 29 51
Fax: (04471) 16 2970
Email: [email protected]
In the post:
Prof. Dr. Andreas Michalsen
Chief physician at the Immanuel Hospital Berlin
Email: [email protected]
This topic in the program:
Visit | 06/14/2016 | 8:15 pm
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