Hypertension, more commonly referred to as high blood pressure is a common condition that affects the body’s arteries. If you have high blood pressure, the force of the blood pushing against the artery walls is consistently too high, which forces the heart to work harder to pump blood. About half of all Americans have high blood pressure, and many don’t even know they have it.
Your blood pressure changes throughout the day based on your activities. For most adults, a normal blood pressure is less than 120 over 80 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). Your blood pressure is considered high when you have consistent systolic readings of 130 mm Hg or higher or diastolic readings of 80 mm Hg or higher.
Following are some tips for managing blood pressure based on recent research.
Cocoa shown to reduce blood pressure and arterial stiffness
Cocoa flavanols have previously been found to lower blood pressure and arterial stiffness as much as some blood pressure medication. However, how effective flavanols are in everyday life in reducing blood pressure has remained unknown, as previous studies in this area have been performed in tightly controlled experimental settings.
The positive impact cocoa flavanols have on our cardiovascular system, in particular, blood vessel function and blood pressure, is undeniable. Doctors often fear that some blood pressure tablets can decrease the blood pressure too much on some days. Learn more at University of Surrey.
High blood pressure treatment without drugs?
A study of more than 400 adults with prehypertension, or stage one high blood pressure, found that combining a low-salt diet with the heart-healthy DASH diet substantially lowers systolic blood pressure — the top number in a blood pressure test — especially in people with higher baseline systolic readings.
“What we’re observing from the combined dietary intervention is a reduction in systolic blood pressure as high as, if not greater than, that achieved with prescription drugs,” says senior study author Lawrence Appel, M.D., M.P.H., professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Learn more at Johns Hopkins Medicine.
Does Your Skin Impact Blood Pressure
Skin plays a surprising role in helping regulate blood pressure and heart rate, according to scientists at the University of Cambridge and the Karolinska Institute, Sweden. While this discovery was made in mice, the researchers believe it is likely to be true also in humans.
In a study published in the open access journal eLife, the researchers show that skin — our largest organ, typically covering two square metres in humans — helps regulate blood pressure and heart rate in response to changes in the amount of oxygen available in the environment.
These findings suggest that our skin’s response to low levels of oxygen may have substantial effects on the how the heart pumps blood around the body. The study was conducted by the University of Cambridge and the Karolinska Institute, Sweden.
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