Gert Coetzee, pharmacist, and Diet pioneer who founded The Diet Everyone Talks About comments on hypertension and the healthy ways in which you can prevent it. Hypertension – also known as high blood pressure – is defined as a short-lived or chronic rise of the blood pressure in the arteries.
Hypertension occurs when the blood pressure reaches above 140/90, with normal blood pressure is defined as being below 120 (maximum pressure)/80 (minimum pressure).
This chronic disease is a major risk factor for heart diseases, strokes, kidney, and even eye diseases. Research that an estimate of 1,3 billion people worldwide has hypertension and that in 2015, 1 in 4 men and 1 in 5 women had hypertension. Hypertension can also burst or block arteries that supply blood and oxygen to the brain, causing a stroke.
The common two types of hypertension:
- Primary hypertension, which is called essential hypertension is when there is no known cause for your high blood pressure. This is the most common type of hypertension which usually takes months or even years to develop, resulting from your lifestyle, environment, and body changes.
- Secondary hypertension is when a health problem is the cause of your high blood pressure like kidney problems, sleep apnea, thyroid or adrenal gland problems and from other medicines.₁
Many people with high blood pressure do not experience symptoms – which is why hypertension is called the ‘silent killer’—this why it is essential to have your blood pressure checked regularly.
Severe and common hypertension symptoms like headaches, nosebleeds, shortness of breath, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, confusion, anxiety, chest pains, and muscle tremors can occur. Variable risk factors include unhealthy diets (excessive salt consumption and low intake of fruit and vegetables).
Hypertension is a chronic disease with no cure, but it can be prevented and managed by your lifestyle and dietary changes. If you are overweight, it is important to lose weight to stay healthy to help prevent the disease adds Gert.
Below he lists some hints and tips on how to reduce your risks of getting hypertension:
- Reducing your salt intake to less than 5g daily. Eating more fruits such as berries, bananas, kiwis, and watermelons. You should also eat green, leafy vegetables such as lettuce, cabbage, and spinach.
- Exercising regularly.
- Avoiding using tobacco.
- Reducing alcohol intake. Limit your alcohol consumption to no more than two drinks per day for men and no more than one drink per day for women.
- Limiting the consumption of food with high saturated fats. ₂
Below is a delicious recipe for a “Hearty Salmon, Broccoli & Walnut Salad” from The Diet recipe book to help keep your blood pressure healthy and in check.
200g tender stem broccoli
200g salmon skinned (and pre-cooked if you prefer)
1tbsp olive oil
½ red chili deseeded and finely chopped
2 spring onions, sliced
25g chopped nuts such as walnuts, brazil nuts or almonds
1tbsp mixed seeds such as linseeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds
- To make this delicious salad, heat a little water in a tiered steamer. When it comes to the boil, add the broccoli to the water, place the steamer on top and lay the salmon inside. Cook for 3 mins until the broccoli is tender and the salmon firm and just cooked.
- Remove from the heat, allow the salmon to cool, and drain the broccoli. Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the chili, spring onions, nuts, and seeds for 3-4 mins until golden. Using a zester or a potato peeler, pare/peel the zest of half the orange into long strips. Add to the pan with a squeeze of juice from the orange. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
- Flake the salmon into pieces, mix with the broccoli, and sprinkle the chili and nut mixture over the top.
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