Blood pressure refers to the force of blood pushing against artery walls as it travels through the body. The National Stroke Association says nearly 73% of Americans have high blood pressure. Persistent high blood pressure can cause serious health problems, weakening blood vessels, damaging major organs, and increasing the risk of stroke. In fact, people who have high blood pressure have one and a half times the risk of having a stroke compared to those who consistently have optimal blood pressure of 120/80.
The following table from National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute shows normal blood pressure numbers for adults. It also shows which numbers put you at greater risk for health problems.
Categories for Blood Pressure Levels in Adults (measured in millimeters of mercury, or mmHg)
|Normal||Less than 120||And||Less than 80|
|High blood pressure|
|Stage 2||160 or higher||Or||100 or higher|
Natural Methods for Preventing High Blood Pressure
If you’re looking for natural methods in how to prevent high blood pressure, check out Vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency and a diet high in trans fat has been linked to stiff, non flexible arteries, and hypertension. Vitamin D is a key element in fighting dysfunction in the body, especially heart disease.
“According to researchers from the Emory/Georgia Tech Predictive Health Institute, even if you’re considered generally “healthy,” if you’re deficient in vitamin D, your arteries are likely stiffer than they should be, and your blood pressure may run high due to your blood vessels being unable to relax.”
Here are 4 Keys to Increase Vitamin D and Prevent High Blood Pressure
- Get Sun exposure: Lack of sunlight reduces your vitamin D stores and increases parathyroid hormone production, which increases blood pressure.
- If you choose an oral vitamin D supplement, be sure to choose vitamin D3
- Make whole, ideally organic foods, the focus of your diet
- Avoid processed foods, as they are high in sugar/fructose and trans fats, which in turn can increase blood pressure