Tips on how to cope with high blood pressure

High blood pressure, or hypertension, as it is popularly called, is also referred to as ‘the silent killer’ because it often does not have any tangible symptoms.

It is particularly prevalent in people over 40 years old, and a leading cause of stroke, heart attack, kidney damage and even sudden death, when not detected early, or properly managed.

As dangerous as high blood pressure may seem, there are however seven medically-certified lifestyle and dietary tips that may help in coping with it, especially for people over 40s.

Exercise regularly and watch your weight:

Take a brisk walk for about 30 minutes, at least five times a week. Do not jog, that will affect your joints. Don’t get hooked to your car. WALK. Plus, control your weight, try to keep it within the acceptable Body Mass Index (BMI) threshold.

Take lots of water:

 Take water first thing in the morning and last thing at night; more water in the morning and less in the night. Avoid late meals; try to eat your dinner before 7 pm.

Cut down on carbs and salt:

 For those over 40, avoid too much of carbohydrates and starchy foods like: pounded yam, eba and rice. Avoid oily foods and fast foods. Reduce your salt intake.

Take lots of vegetables and fruits:

 Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. But keep in mind that some fruits like ripe pineapples and ripe pawpaw may harm you because of their high sugar content.  Eat lots of nuts, bitter cola and garlic. Some people hate to take garlic because of the smell. But you can take garlic with parsil leaf, it kills the smell.

Go easy on alcohol:

 Some people say red wine is good for the heart, but you must be careful, and consume it in moderation. Check the alcohol content. Alcohol consumed in excess can be very dangerous for high blood pressure patients.

Avoid cow (red) meat:

 You need to drastically reduce your consumption of red meat, and if possible, cut it completely out of your diet.  Replace it with more of fish and ‘white’ meat – chicken, turkey, snails, etc.

Manage Your Anger and Stress:

 Know when to let go. Accept situations you cannot control and make a conscious effort to reduce your stress level. Anger will spike your blood pressure level and too much stress will invariably weaken your heart.

Finally, if you are above 40, ensure you go for regular medical checks, to monitor your blood pressure. And if you have already been diagnosed as hypertensive, and you are on prescription drugs, ensure that you take your drugs regularly, and strictly according to your doctor’s instructions.