How can our diet affect our blood pressure

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Too much potassium can be harmful in people with kidney disorders.

Add these 20 foods to your diet to lower blood pressure

As kidneys become less able to remove potassium from your blood, too much potassium may build up. Feeling sick to your stomach, a low, weak or irregular pulse and fainting may occur with high levels of potassium. Consult with a healthcare professional before taking any over-the-counter potassium supplement. Not only was blood pressure reduced, but total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein LDL or "bad cholesterol" were lower, too. Blood pressure was lower for everyone on the DASH diet. However, the less salt people consumed, the greater the decrease in blood pressure. People who already had high blood pressure had the largest decrease in blood pressure.

High blood pressure causes the heart to work harder to pump nutrient- and oxygen-rich blood to the body. The arteries that deliver the blood become scarred and less elastic.

Although these changes happen to everyone as they age, they happen more quickly in people with high blood pressure. As the arteries stiffen, the heart has to work even harder, causing the heart muscle to become thicker, weaker and less able to pump blood. When high blood pressure damages arteries, they are not able to deliver enough blood to organs for their proper functioning. As a result, organs may become damaged, too.

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For example, this type of damage can affect the heart, causing a heart attack, the brain, causing a stroke, and the kidneys, leading to kidney failure. The DASH diet is also low in saturated fat, sugar and salt.

Common characteristics of a Mediterranean diet include the following: High consumption of fruits, vegetables, bread and other cereals, potatoes, beans, nuts, and seeds Olive oil as a common monounsaturated fat source Dairy products, fish, and poultry are consumed in low to moderate amounts Little red meat is eaten Eggs are consumed zero to four times a week Wine is consumed in low to moderate amounts U.

Get Plenty of Potassium Potassium helps balance the amount of sodium in your cells, and not getting enough can lead to too much sodium in your blood.

Supplements include: Fiber, such as blond psyllium and wheat bran Minerals, such as calcium and potassium Supplements that increase nitric oxide or widen blood vessels, such as cacao, coenzyme Q10, or garlic Omega-3 fatty acids 5 Talk with your doctor before taking any of the above, since some supplements can interact with medications and cause deadly side effects. Sign up for our Heart Health Newsletter! Thanks for signing up for our newsletter!

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Eat to Lower Blood Pressure

American Heart Association. November 13, Mayo Clinic. April 10, High Blood Pressure. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

Healthy Eating & Living : Does High Blood Pressure Cause Bad Headaches?

February 2, Mediterranean Diet. October 11,

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