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4/17/14 6:00 AM Comments

Blood is used to transport nutrients and oxygen around the body. It flows through blood vessels, which include veins, arteries and capillaries. The pumping action of the heart gives blood the necessary pressure to get to all the parts of the body. This pressure is known as blood pressure. Blood pressure is measured and recorded as two numbers.  The higher number is called your Systolic blood pressure, and it measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart muscle contracts. The lower number is called your Diastolic blood pressure and it measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart muscle is at rest between beats and refilling with blood. Normal blood pressure should be below 120/80, and should not go below 90/60. Since your circulatory system is so important to your body, it's important to know how to maintain healthy blood pressure. There are many ways to maintain healthy blood pressure.

 

Regular exercise can help to lower high blood pressure and maintain health. The best exercises for healthy blood pressure levels are those that exercise the heart. They are known as aerobic exercises. Swimming and jogging are great aerobic exercises. You may also be able to help lower your high blood pressure or maintain a healthy level by reducing your stress levels. Meditation is one way to help manage your stress. Meditating involves deep breathing and calming the mind. Other ways to maintain a healthy blood pressure include avoiding excess sodium and tobacco. These substances may raise your
blood pressure, and cutting them out may help get you back to healthy
blood pressure levels, especially if paired with regular exercise.

 

There are many foods that can help to maintain a healthy blood pressure, especially foods that are low in sodium and fat and high in potassium. Potassium can help reduce the effects of sodium. A diet with more fruits, vegetables and whole grains and less sugar, sodium and red meats can result in healthier blood pressure. Adding magnesium to your diet may help bring blood pressure to healthy levels as well. According to a paper published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (h/t Science Daily), magnesium may slightly reduce blood pressure levels. Coenzyme Q10, a natural chemical compound, supports healthy cardiovascular function and may help to maintain a healthy blood pressure.

 

Sources:

 

Kass, L, et al.  "Effect of magnesium supplementation on blood pressure: a meta-analysis." Science Daily.  European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, April 2012. Web. March 13, 2014.
< http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120313230354.htm >.

 

Burke, BE, et al. " Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of coenzyme Q10 in isolated systolic hypertension.” South Medical Journal, November 2001.
< http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11780680 >.

 

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