Unwelcome Intruder. Like a sneaky thief, high blood pressure is silent and stealthy in its course, but serious—even deadly in its effects. It progresses slowly—often without symptoms—but this unwelcome invader causes metabolic mayhem including heart attack and stroke; blood vessel, kidney, brain, and eye damage.
High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is the leading cause of preventable death and disability worldwide. Seventy-five million Americans, or one-third of the adult population, have high blood pressure (140/90 mm/Hg or higher). Another third of the population have prehypertension (blood pressure readings between 120/80 and 139/89 mm/Hg). A blood pressure in this range still increases the risk of heart attack or stroke. A more preventive recommendation for blood pressure is less than 120/80 mm/Hg.
DASH! to Lower Blood Pressure. DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension—a program initiated by the National Institute of Health. The DASH plan emphasizes fresh vegetables and fruits, beans, whole grains, nuts, and other plant foods. It is a near-vegetarian diet that is low in animal fat and cholesterol.
A shift toward plant nutrition also helps you shed extra pounds that lead to high blood pressure, and improve mood and energy so you can handle pressure-popping stress better!
DASH studies have shown that:
Increasing fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts and limiting saturated fats significantly reduced blood pressure within 2 weeks.
In addition to the above changes, reducing sodium produced the best results.
Restricting the consumption of red meat, refined foods, sweets, and sugary drinks reduced blood pressure and cholesterol.
Combine daily exercise with plant nutrition. Seventy-seven percent of those who combined daily exercise with more plant nutrition and less meat achieved normal blood pressure levels within 6 months.
Similar to DASH diet participants, those who ate little or no meat combined with more plant foods had the lowest blood pressure of any group.
From Break-in to Break-through! Stop the unwelcome intrusion into your good health, and experience a health breakthrough that will restore your brain, recover lost energy, and renew blood vessel health. Other lifestyle factors proven effective in lowering blood pressure include shedding extra pounds, avoiding alcohol, getting adequate rest, and not smoking. Make sure you get adequate daily sunshine or vitamin D. Work with your doctor when making lifestyle and exercise changes, and get treatment for uncontrolled high blood pressure.
It is written that “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy: I have come that they may have life, and may have it in abundance.” A thief has no other purpose but to plunder and destroy life. God’s purpose is to save and preserve life—for today and eternity.
(Submitted by Betty Dean. Used by Permission from www.lifestylematters.com. Courtesy of LifeSpring – Resources for Hope and Healing, Stuart, VA.