By Ms. Sheela Seharawat

When the heart beats, it pumps blood throughout the entire body, giving us the energy and oxygen it needs to perform and work efficiently. As the blood moves within the vessels, it exerts push against the walls of the vessels. The force at which the blood pushes in the pressure of the blood or simple called blood pressure. It this push is too high, it puts tremendous strain on the on the arteries, including the heart, which can further cause heart attacks and strokes.

If this pressure is low, it is termed as hypotension, and in case it is high, it is called hypertension. However, both have their own effects of the human health, high blood pressure or hypertension is considered more dangerous of the two.

In order to prevent or treat conditions of blood pressure, it is important to understand and know what the probable habitual causes of it are. Let’s understand in details:

Excessive Salt Intake

Too much salt is bad for blood pressure
Too much salt is bad for blood pressure

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One of the major causes of hypertension is excessive salt intake. Excessive intake of salt or sodium tightens the blood vessels causing restriction to the blood flow within the blood vessels. In such cases the blood has to exert excessive pressure to maintain a free flow, causing hypertension.

Poor Diet

Saturated and trans fats are not good for hypertension
Saturated and trans fats are not good for hypertension

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Diet higher in bad fats and salt leads to higher risk of hypertension. It is actually the type of fat more that effects than the quantity. Saturated and trans fats found in animal sources, processed and packaged foods, baked goods and fried foods are bad for healthy.

Eating Foods High In Cholesterol

Eat foods high in cholesterol can lead to high blood pressure
Eat foods high in cholesterol can lead to high blood pressure

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Eating unhealthy sources of food causes built up of cholesterol deposits on the walls of the arteries. This makes free flow blood along the arteries and vessels difficult, exerting high amount of pressure on the walls of the arteries and causing high blood pressure.

Diabetes

Diabetes is a lifestyle disease that leads to hypertension
Diabetes is a lifestyle disease that leads to hypertension

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Diabetes has been attributed as n lifestyle disease, meaning it is controllable and due to habitual poorer lifestyle we develop diabetes. People with diabetes also suffers from high blood pressure in almost all cases. High blood sugar, medication, and other underlying cardiovascular problems are the prime cause for the same.

Mental Stress

High levels of stress contributes to hypertension
High levels of stress contributes to hypertension

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All factors of stress leads to high blood pressure and it is more chronic when the stress levels are higher. It impacts both our physiological as well as sociological wellbeing. Stress impairs our mind and the flow of blood to the heart and brain.

Smoking And Drinking Alcohol

Smoke and drink are both bad for blood pressure
Smoke and drink are both bad for blood pressure

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Both have negative effects on our health in many ways. With every puff of smoke the blood turns a little less red and little more blue, depriving the brain of the energy and nutrients it needs to function properly. Similarly, excessive drinking of alcohol increases the chances of irregular heartbeats, heart failure and stroke.

Obesity

Obese people are more prone to hypertension
Obese people are more prone to hypertension

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Obesity is also one of the major causes of high blood pressure. Excessive fats squeezes the blood vessels thereby making blood flow difficult, causing blood pressure issues.

Prevention Of High Blood Pressure

A healthy lifestyle with healthy habits is the biggest mean to prevent and control blood pressure problems. A healthy lifestyle means:

Having A Healthy Weight

Maintain a healthy weight to counter hypertension
Maintain a healthy weight to counter hypertension

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Being overweight or obese increases the chances of having hypertension or high bloodpressure. Maintaining a healthy weight helps in controlling blood pressure problems and other healthy issues.

Having A Healthy Diet

Eat healthy foods to control high blood pressure
Eat healthy foods to control high blood pressure

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In order to manage blood pressure issues successfully it is necessary we take care of our diets. Eating less of sodium (salt) and having more of potassium is required. Eat foods that are low in unhealthy fats like processed and packages foods and increase the quantity of whole grains, fruits, vegetables and healthy fats.

Learning How To Manage Stress

Learn ways to control stress
Learn ways to control stress

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Stress management is a crucial aspect in controlling blood pressure issues. It helps in our physical and mental wellbeing. Adopt of the many ways of controlling and managing stress like listening to music, meditation, and yoga and alike.

Limit Alcohol And Quit Smoking

Quit smoking and reduce alcohol
Quit smoking and reduce alcohol

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Limit your alcohol intake to not more than two drinks in a day and consult experts to quit smoking. Both have negative impacts on our overall health and blood pressure.

By trying to know and avoid some of these causes of blood pressure, you will be working towards reducing it. And this is so important for overall quality of life. This is because without an effectively functioning heart, you cannot have a good quality of life.

DISCLAIMER: While we have taken steps to check the accuracy of information & practices shared here; it is not a replacement for a doctor’s opinion. it is important to first always check with your own doctor before trying any medication, practice or suggestion from this site.

Ms. Sheela Seharawat
Started her career in the Indian Army hospital. She is the founding member of Diet Clinic, a motivational speaker and an expert dietician practicing since 2006 as a registered dietician under IDA