Hypertension is an excess of blood pressure in the arteries. This condition must be taken very seriously: the arteries are damaged prematurely and may even rupture, causing bleeding. If you suffer from both high blood pressure and excess weight, you have no choice but to lose a few kilos as quickly as possible, because fat creates excess pressure on the arteries and increases the risk. Losing weight can not only lower your blood pressure, but also make it disappear completely. A good motivation to attack your diet, in agreement with your doctor.
1/ In my shopping cart, I put…
– Dairy products
They contain proteins, the peptides, capable of mimicking the action of some of our hormones involved in the regulation of blood pressure. They act in particular by dilating the arteries and increasing their diameter. It’s mechanical: if you widen a pipe, the pressure on its walls becomes less!
To lower the scale needle and also avoid fat deposits on your arteries, which would reduce their diameter and thus increase the pressure, prefer low-fat dairy products: semi-skimmed milk, white cheeses at 20%.
– Fruits and vegetables
They are interesting for the potassium they contain as well as for the vasodilating and relaxing effects of this substance on the arteries. Without a sufficient amount of potassium in the body, it is impossible to properly regulate blood pressure. The antioxidant content of fruit and vegetables makes them protective for all cells in the body, including those in the arteries.
– Whole grains
When unrefined, cereals avoid peaks of insulin in the blood. A good point because this hormone promotes atherosclerosis, the deposition of fat on the arteries, and therefore increases hypertension. For breakfast, choose wholemeal bread rather than baguette, or oat flakes, which have a particularly good insulin-regulating effect, rather than industrial cereals.
2/ On my plate, I limit…
This condiment is known to aggravate hypertension. The more salty you eat, the more water circulating in the body, especially in the arteries, increasing the pressure on their walls.
By eating less salt, not only will you lower your blood pressure, but you will also easily lose 1 to 1.5 kg of water stored in your tissues. This means avoiding very salty foods such as cold meats, cheeses, salty biscuits, ready meals, pizzas, quiches. Compare labels at the supermarket to buy the least salty products, especially bottled water.
Caution! Salt can appear under different names: salt, sodium or sodium chloride (1g of sodium is equivalent to 2.5g of salt, which is almost half of the permitted daily intake). Get into the habit of using substances other than salt to give flavour to your meats and vegetables: aromatic herbs, spices, different kinds of pepper, garlic, onion and shallot.
3/ I’m getting into the habit of…
At the same time as it helps you burn calories, physical activity helps lower blood pressure. Immediately after the effort, arterial relaxation is observed, thus a decrease in pressure. Of course, if you haven’t exercised for a long time, don’t resume exercise until your doctor has checked your blood pressure to make sure it has been stabilized by your treatment.
Which sports to choose? Avoid sports that require rapid and intense effort (tennis, squash): they make the heart beat very quickly and cause a sudden rise in blood pressure. You should also avoid sports that block breathing, such as lifting weights, as well as scuba diving. Instead, focus on endurance, which strengthens the power of the heart and thus contributes to better blood pressure control.
– Monitor my sleep
Sleeping well, i.e. having the necessary hours of sleep according to your temperament and personal needs, helps to better regulate your blood pressure and weight. Don’t hesitate to go to bed as soon as you feel the first signs of sleep, even if it’s not too late or you’re watching a movie!
If you snore loudly in your sleep or if your partner tells you that while you sleep you sometimes seem to stop breathing, don’t take it lightly. This can be a sign of sleep apnea, which makes high blood pressure worse. It’s time to see a specialist.
– Fighting stress
Long-term stress (family or professional worries) is particularly deleterious in the case of hypertension. It leads to a phenomenon of fat storage due to peaks of cortisol, the so-called stress hormone, which it causes in the blood. It is therefore important to find solutions to reduce it.
Sophrology, self-hypnosis, meditation, yoga… There is no shortage of calming techniques. Also, practice channelling your outbursts of anger, which are also very harmful because they can cause strong flare-ups of hypertension.