WORRIED ABOUT HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE?

You might not be doing the right things to keep your blood pressure in the normal range.

According to the National Health and Morbidity Survey 2015, one in three adult Malaysians have high blood pressure, or hypertension. That’s almost half of the population in the country. The even more shocking fact? That 80 per cent of those with the condition were unaware of it.

Don’t want to be part of the statistics? You are most likely already doing all the right things to keep your pressure in check – eating right, exercise, avoiding alcohol and cigarettes. But there are other things you should also do – and probably don’t know about – to really manage your blood pressure level.

 

#1 Keep Your Coffee Intake Low

Coffee is a stimulant that can increase your blood pressure. It is caffeine (so not just coffee but other energy drinks with high caffeine content) that raises your blood pressure and can lead to damage over time. Keep your coffee intake to a minimal, like one cup a day.

 

#2 Go Bananas

Potassium (found in bananas) lessens the harmful effects of sodium (often the biggest culprit of high blood pressure). The more potassium you take in, the more sodium you excrete through urine. Potassium also eases tension in your blood vessel wells, helping reduce blood pressure. Other sources of potassium? Sweet potatoes, chicken, broccoli, peas, tomatoes and citrus fruits.

 

#3 Health By Chocolate

Research suggests that cocoa and dark chocolate contain an antioxidant known as flavonoids that have blood pressure-lowering properties.

 

#4 Get A Reliable Reading

Get yourself a blood pressure monitor at home to keep an eye on your level. Make sure it is from a reputable company. Also, blood pressure readings at home may be significantly different from those taken in the doctor’s office. It’s a good idea then to bring your monitor in to your doctor’s office to make sure it is accurate.

 

#5 Log Out. Unplug

Regular usage of your phone has been shown to increase blood pressure. Minimise your tech use, whether it is texting, checking your social media and chatting.

 

#6 Sleep More!

When you lack sleep, your heart does not get the rest it needs. Over time, your body is unable to properly regulate stress hormones, leading to high blood pressure. It is not just the lack of hours; your sleep should be of quality sleep as well. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, unwind at least an hour before you sleep, and keep your room cool and dark for the ideal sleep ambience.

 

#7 Track It!

Get yourself a fitness tracker to track how active you are. This not only gives you an idea of your overall fitness but acts as a motivation to do more.