Blood Pressure

jays Articles, Month 6

MONTH 2 – Article

Blood Pressure

Last Reviewed: 04/02/2022

Time To Read: 3mins

Tags: ,

What is blood pressure?

Blood pressure is the pressure in your arteries when your heart pumps blood around your body, and the pressure in your arteries when your heart relaxes between heart beats.

Blood pressure changes throughout the day and is affected by things like stress, caffeine, nicotine, exercise, and diet.

Too much fat and cholesterol in the diet can build up in the arteries. This causes the arteries to narrow which makes it harder for the heart to pump blood around the body. This will increase blood pressure. If the artery becomes completely blocked, a heart attack or stroke will occur.

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How can I reduce my blood pressure?

High blood pressure is preventable. Maintaining a healthy weight, exercising daily, reducing your saturated fat intake, limiting alcohol and salt, not smoking, and maintaining your stress levels will all contribute towards a healthy blood pressure.

What if I have low blood pressure?

Low blood pressure can be good or bad depending on a person’s health. Low blood pressure can result in someone feeling dizzy or fainting which might be an indication of a medical problem. Low blood pressure could also be caused by certain medications. It is always best to seek medical advice if you are concerned about low blood pressure.

If you typically have low blood pressure and no medical symptoms, this could be a good thing as you will be putting less pressure on your heart (the lower your blood pressure the less hard the heart has to work to pump blood around your body).

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What is a healthy blood pressure?

The New Zealand Heart Foundation recommends maintaining a blood pressure of 120/75 mmHg or lower.

The New Zealand’s Ministry of Health’s Cardiovascular Disease Risk Assessment and Management for Primary Care recommends lifestyle interventions for every person who presents with a blood pressure equal to or greater than 130/80 mmHg.

Lifestyle interventions that have a significant effect on lowering blood pressure include:

  • Reducing salt intake (less than 1800mg daily)
  • Exercise daily (for example, 30 minutes of walking)
  • Reduce or limit alcohol intake as follows:
    • two standard drinks* per day for women and no more than 10 standard drinks per week
    • Three standard drinks per day for men and no more than 15 standard drinks per week
    • At least two alcohol-free days per week

* A standard drink is approximately 330 mL of 4% beer or 100 mL of 12.5% wine

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Key Message

Following a predominantly wholefood plant-based diet will help reduce elevated blood pressure by limiting or eliminating animal products (meat and dairy), which can be high in saturated fat and salt, and replacing these with wholegrains & fruit and vegetables.

We hope you found this article useful.

Michelle @ The Food Cruncher

The Food Cruncher provides general information and a forum for discussions about health, wellness, food and related subjects. The information and other content provided in this website, or in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment.

If you or any other person has a medical concern, you should consult with your healthcare provider or seek other professional medical treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something that you have read on this website or in any linked materials. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or emergency services immediately.

The opinions and views expressed on this website have no relation to those of any academic, hospital, health practice or other institution.

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