Having high blood pressure can be potentially dangerous and involves increased force exerted by your blood going against the vascular walls. Chronic high blood pressure is called hypertension and can indicate a variety of things including lifestyle problems, a genetic predisposition and underlying conditions. In most cases, a small spike in blood pressure levels is normal after eating unhealthy foods or experiencing stressful situations. When blood pressure is too low it is called hypotension and is classified by a reading that is 90/60 or less. This can be caused by dehydration as well as not getting enough of specific nutrients so making simple dietary changes can increase it.
Foods That Raise Blood Pressure
1. For Combating High Blood Pressure
Many processed foods contain high quantities of salt. Salt is mostly made up of sodium, which occurs naturally in the majority of whole foods. However, most manufacturers of processed foods add a great deal of salt in order to increase their shelf life and restaurants do the same as a flavor enhancer. The problem is that the increased sodium found in these foods can lead to blood pressure spikes. That is why experts recommend avoiding processed foods such as chips, pickled goods, pretzels, peanuts, popcorn, frozen mixes, ketchup, dressings, dried soup mixes and lunch and deli meats.
Research has shown that people who have diets that are high in fat and meat tend to have blood pressure levels that are higher than those of vegetarians. That is because vegetarian diets include a great deal of fiber as well as polyunsaturated fats, both of which lower blood pressure. It also helps that many vegetables and fruits have potassium with reduces blood pressure.
Experts have found that when you consume excessive amounts alcohol, your blood pressure can rise dangerously. When a person has more than three drinks in one sitting, their blood pressure will temporarily elevate and this problem can become permanent if they binge repeatedly. Experts believe that keeping a mental tally of your alcohol intake is a great way to lower your blood pressure so it is important to be aware that one drink can be 1.5 ounces of liquor, 5 ounces wine or 12 ounces beer.
If you do not regularly consume caffeine, having a cup of coffee (or other beverage containing caffeine) can temporarily cause a sharp increase in your blood pressure. Although experts are not positive what causes this spike, they feel that it may be that caffeine blocks adenosine, a hormone which keeps the blood vessels widened. It is also possible that caffeine stimulates the adrenal gland, causing it to release more adrenaline and cortisol, both of which increase blood pressure.
On average, most Americans will have around 240 pounds sugar each year and a great deal of the excess is stored in the body in the form of fat. This leads to weight gain and increases the risk of cancer and heart disease. Although sugar increases blood pressure in everyone, this is especially true for those who are overweight.
2. For Combating Low Blood Pressure
Fortified Breakfast Cereals
Anemia is one possible cause of low blood pressure and this is when you do not have enough folate and vitamin B12 in your diet which means that your body will not be able to produce sufficient red blood cells which in turn leads to low blood pressure. Experts agree that a good way to combat this problem is to try eating fortified cereals that meet 100% of the daily requirements for these nutrients. You can also get B12 in beef braised liver, Swiss cheese, milk, tuna, yogurt, trout and clams. Folate can be found in beef braised liver, avocado, broccoli, green peas, spinach and cowpeas.
Most people are told to avoid eating canned soup because it contains a great deal of sodium which in turn raises blood pressure. However, if someone is trying to increase their levels, this can be a great way to do so. If you want to further increase your salt take, you can try adding a bit of soy sauce or table salt to your foods but you should always consult with your doctor before increasing the amount of salt you consume.
Dehydration is a common cause of low blood pressure and because of this experts suggest that a great way to help is to drink more water. Drinking water will not only prevent dehydration, but also increase the blood volume, which further increases the blood pressure. It is also important to limit alcohol intake as this can cause dehydration. If you want to further boost your blood pressure levels, try mixing a half teaspoon table salt in a glass of eight ounces of water, making salt water. If you drink one glass of this each day you will be increasing your salt intake and therefore raising your blood pressure. Once again, always talk to your doctor before increasing your salt intake.
If you choose to drink caffeinated beverages such as coffee with your meals, this can help you maintain adequate blood pressure levels. It is important to remember, however, that caffeine can lead to other medical problems so you should always talk to your doctor before trying this method.
Sports drinks such as Gatorade and Powerade contain a great deal of sodium and because of this they can help you increase your blood pressure levels when you add them to your diet.