The 5th month of the year is the hypertension awareness month. For this occasion, you will find in this article a lot of relevant information related to improving the health of your arteries.
FIRST, WHAT IS IT, THE ARTERIAL TENSION?
The heart has a primary function: to make sure that the circulation of the blood is done properly throughout the body. Blood pressure is actually the pressure that is created by the flow of blood on the inner walls of the blood vessels. Hypertension, therefore, occurs when the blood pressure against the walls is too high. You must ask yourself, how is this harmful? Well, when the pressure is too high, the heart has to work harder. With the years, these efforts asked to the heart cause scars in the arteries, and thus diminish their elasticity.
ARE THERE RISKS?
What means, concretely, a loss of elasticity? Untreated hypertension can lead to heart attack, heart failure, stroke, eye damage, blindness or kidney failure. Even worse, hypertension is one of the leading risk factors for heart disease.
BUT... WHAT CAUSES HYPERTENSION?
The risk of developing hypertension increases with the following factors, some are modifiable, others are not.
- Lack of exercise
- Being a male
- Excessive consumption of alcohol
- Family history of hypertension or heart disease
HOW TO TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR ARTERIAL TENSION NUTRITIONALLY?
To date, it is the DASH-type diet that has shown the best results in lowering blood pressure. Indeed, it has shown that a healthy diet of 3 servings of dairy products in addition to 8-10 servings of vegetables and fruits a day could reduce blood pressure twice as much as a diet rich only in vegetables and fruits.
1 serving of fruits and vegetables:
- 1 cup raw leafy vegetables
- ½ cup of vegetables
- 1 medium fruit
1 serving of dairy products:
- 1 cup of milk
- ¾ cup of yogurt
- 50g of light cheese
- ½ cup grated cheese
In several studies of the DASH diet, participants saw their blood pressure drop rapidly, two weeks after changing their diet. About salt, which is particularly prone to raise blood pressure, the recommendations are maximum 2300 mg/day, or 1 teaspoon. But know that salt is found mainly in meals served in the restaurant.
Cooking with flavors, without adding salt:
- Lemon, lime or orange slices with fish
- Basil to accompany tomatoes
- Dill on potatoes
- The marjoram in legumes salads
Diet is a big part of the treatment of hypertension, but to put the odds on your side, do not overlook other factors such as physical activity, cigarette, the amount of liquid to drink each day , etc.!
A CENTER NOT LIKE OTHERS THAT HAS YOUR HEALTH AT HEART!
In Longueuil, more specifically at the Pierre Boucher Hospital, a clinic called Center Axis specializes in cardiovascular rehabilitation. The team consists of doctors, nutritionists (including Catherine and me), kinesiologists and a psychologist who all take care of the health of men and women who have suffered a heart attack in the last 12 months (see page from the center here). The 3-month program includes 3 to 4 meetings with the nutritionist: the preventive nutrition team has a personalized approach to each patient, always with the aim of countering the blood pressure and protecting the heart of these. In addition to individual meetings, I give a conference 1 Saturday by month on different topics related to food.
The next will be Saturday May 25 and will focus on reading nutrition labels.
SOME LINKS TO SATISFY YOUR CURIOSITY
- The screening session for high blood pressure
- The Quebec Hypertension Society, which contains several interesting tools
- The Hypertension Research Foundation
- The DASH diet
- Axis Center