What is normal blood pressure?

Several countries have fixed this 140/90 and World health organization gives 160/95 and the values above these indicate high blood pressure. Blood pressure is an important marker of heart health and it keeps also the heart healthy.

Which vegetables and fruits maintain or reduce the blood pressure?

Celery is known to reduce the blood pressure, but it has more sodium than other vegetables which can increase the pressure. Take one to two stalks and this is enough for a day.

Garlic is also important to reduce the blood pressure and the mechanism is dilation of the arteries. Onion and garlic have adenosine which is a smooth muscle relaxant. Raw or cooked, both are effective to control the blood pressure.

Fibres and antioxidants of vegetables and fruits are capable of reducing the blood pressure. Comparatively the fibres and antioxidants of fruits are more effective than those of vegetables.

Which is the function of vitamin C and magnesium?

Vitamin C and magnesium are the substances which remove the waste in the arteries so that they do not become narrower. Both, we have to take along with food, since human beings cannot synthesize vitamin C in our body. However many animals can do it, that is why the animals have very rare or no heart attack. One or two oranges and one banana a day is enough to get both.

What about the plant oils?

Olive oil, sesame oil and all the oils which are rich in monounsaturated or omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids are good to reduce the blood pressure. But, intake of oils is very important. Complete avoidance of oil will lead to heath problems.

Coconut oil has almost 90% saturated fatty acids, but out of that 70% are middle and short chain fatty acids and these are healthy. It is not necessary to avoid completely coconut or coconut oil. Sesame oil, coconut oil and groundnut oils are the best oil for our Indian way of preparing meals. The reason is they are heat stable.

100 g of any oil has approximately 890 kcals and so you must be careful with the daily oil intake.

Never forget, the dose makes the poison.

What role does calcium und potassium play in blood pressure?

Calcium is important to have normal blood pressure and it also functions as a natural diuretic to mild the effects of much sodium intake. Calcium supplement gives contradictory results, 80% benefit from the supplementation and 20% the blood pressure goes marginally up. Dairy products containing low fat and vegetables are also good sources of calcium. Talk to the dietician to know the position exactly.

Potassium can also reduce blood pressure and it is proved that low potassium diet increases blood pressure. The mechanism behind is that too little potassium in the blood lead to sodium retention and high blood pressure. Fruits, vegetables and fish are rich in potassium.

Why do physicians advise persons with high blood pressure to avoid salt and salty food items?

The problem is that sodium narrows our arteries, thus increases blood pressure. We cannot avoid sodium completely because it is an essential element and it is better to avoid very salty food like processed foods, pickles, chips, snacks and salted fish.

Why alcohol causes high blood pressure?

If you have high blood pressure it is advisable not to drink alcohol. If you drink more than a glass beer (180 ml) then the benefits of low sodium diet and also the medicines for high blood pressure are cancelled. Alcohol is not essential to our body, we can completely sacrifice it.

What about coffee?

For 70 to 80% of the persons who have blood pressure we cannot find the reason. Mental stress is also an important factor for blood pressure. Coffee with mental pressure increases the blood pressure surely. Wait 45 minutes after drinking coffee, measure your blood pressure and find out whether coffee fits to your blood pressure or not. Two cups of medium strong coffee may be consumed daily.

What about the normal risks like overweight?

Overweight, smoking, mental stress and less physical activity are the big risks for high blood pressure. Too much drinking of alcohol is also a risk factor. Try to avoid all these risks and with correct food you can decrease the blood pressure.

What about tobacco and its products?

Tobacco and its products are harmful and should be avoided completely. This is applicable to passive smoking also. Never smoke in a room where non-smokers are there, particularly children and pregnant.

What about non-vegetarian food?

You can eat, but not too much. Eat meat without visible fat. Poultry without skin is better. One of the best meats is Turkey meat without skin. All meat from animals including milk has enough saturated fats and cholesterol. At the same time, all plant food has no cholesterol.

Never accept this argument – ear meat, but you must sacrifice coconut.

What about weight reduction?

Reduce the weight, it is always good for everything. Enough physical activities are a must.

Have you forgotten anything important?

Yes, you must drink lot of water, 3 l to 4 l in a cold country and 4 l to 6 l in a hot country. If you do lot of physical work and sweat much, then you must drink more than 6 l water. I mean, more than 6 l fluid intake per day and out of that at least 70% must be pure drinking water.