Q: What can I do to help prevent developing high blood pressure?
A: The holiday season can be a very stressful time for many people, and stress can contribute to a rise in blood pressure.
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is the most common cardiovascular disease, and is sometimes called the “silent killer” because often you have no warning signs or symptoms.
Having your blood pressure checked on a regular basis is a good idea, to help detect any problems early.
You can help to prevent developing high blood pressure by doing several things:
Maintain a healthy weight – even small amounts of weight loss can make a big difference in preventing or treating high blood pressure.
Regular exercise – anyone who is physically active has a lower risk of developing high blood pressure.
Decrease salt intake - cutting back on salt intake sometimes helps to lower blood pressure.
Drink alcohol in moderation, if at all.
Other things that may help prevent high blood pressure include:
Potassium – eat foods rich in potassium. Some examples include bananas,
broccoli, potatoes, tomato juice.
Calcium – dairy foods like milk, cheese, yogurt are high in calcium.
Magnesium – this can be found in whole grains, nuts, green leafy vegetables,
Be sure to check with your doctor if you suspect you may have high blood pressure or if you are worried about developing high blood pressure.
He or she should also be consulted before you try a special diet or any supplements.