What You Should Know About Eating and Your Blood Pressure

  • 1 month ago

Keeping healthy blood pressure is essential because the higher it gets, the higher your chances of having health complications. The body's major organs like the heart and brain receive oxygen and nutrients through your blood. What this means is that having hypertension can increase your risk of stroke and heart disease.  

You should always aim to keep your blood pressure at a normal range, that is, below 120/80. However, having lower than 90/60 is also not good. Low blood pressure can weaken you or make you feel dizzy. In severe cases, it can cause oxygen deprivation, which can damage your brain and heart.  

Eating is one major factor that affects blood pressure. What, when, and how you eat can influence your blood pressure readings. Here, we will discuss the relationship between eating and blood pressure. So, let's dive into it!

How Does Eating Affect Blood Pressure?

How you monitor your blood pressure at home plays an important role in your readings. Your doctor might recommend taking blood pressure measurements before your breakfast. This is because your blood pressure will get low after a meal.  

When eating, your body provides an extra amount of blood to your intestine. The blood vessels that are far from your stomach will narrow, while your heart beats faster. The extra demand of blood in your digestive system will lower the blood flow in your other body parts. As a result, it will temporarily decrease your blood pressure. 

How Does Fasting Affect Blood Pressure?

Fasting can lower blood pressure but can cause an imbalance in electrolytes. This can increase the risk of developing issues with your heartbeat's rate or rhythm. Before trying fasting, talk to your doctor first fir guidance.

Does the Food You Eat Affect Blood Pressure?

Your diet significantly affects your blood pressure. If you have hypertension, you can lower it by changing your food choices. Heart-healthy foods are ideal for hypertension. You can load your meals with whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.

It is also important to avoid foods high in sodium. Sodium is an electrolyte that increases blood pressure. Consuming too much of it lets your body hold extra water. This is to wash that sodium away from your body. This activity puts more pressure on your blood vessels and heart that increases blood pressure. Limit salt consumption to 1 teaspoon or 2,300 mg per day. 

What Are the Factors That Affect Readings for Blood Pressure?

Self-monitoring your blood pressure is important, but doing it the right way is also essential. This is why you should take note of these factors that can affect readings for your blood pressure:

Talking 

Talking can increase your blood pressure. The action of speaking doesn’t affect blood pressure, but the emotions that attach to whatever you want to express do. This is why you should avoid talking and stay calm when taking blood pressure readings. 

Stress 

When you have stressful thoughts when taking blood pressure measurements, you might have high results. When you feel stressed, your body increases the production of hormones that temporarily elevates blood pressure. The hormones narrow your blood vessels and increase your heartbeat. Get rid of stressful thoughts a few minutes before taking the measurement and keep your mind calm. 

Position 

When you are in an uncomfortable position while taking measurements, the results may not be accurate. If you are putting force in your arm, results might be high. Position your arm properly and use the same arm when taking measurements. Your arm should be positioned at your heart level on a flat surface. You should not cross your legs as well, and your back must have support.   

Temperature

When you feel cold, your measurements might be high. This is because low temperatures narrow your blood vessels. When this happens, you need more force for the blood to enter the narrowed vessels. Make sure you don't feel cold when taking blood pressure measurements.

Clothing

Do not roll up your sleeve when taking measurements. This can tighten your arm, which makes blood flow more difficult and increases blood pressure. Use sleeveless or noticeably short sleeves when you take blood pressure measurements. It is also important to put the cuff on bare skin, not over your clothing for an accurate reading.  

Cuff Size 

If the cuff size is not a proper fit, you will not have an accurate result. Allow your doctor to check the cuff size for your monitor to make sure you get the right fit.

Exercise 

It is best to take blood pressure reading before exercising. Taking it after will surely give you high results.

Blood Pressure Monitor 

Your blood pressure monitor is also an important factor in getting accurate readings. There are many blood pressure machines on the market, but some may not give you accurate results. This is why it is important to get a high-quality monitor. One brand you can try is Raycome. They offer this BP machine that promises premium performance because they design it using smart technologies.  
 
Bladder 
 
When you feel like urinating, do not take blood pressure measurements. Having a full bladder can raise blood pressure. Empty it first before taking the measurement.  
 
Monitor Check-Up 

To make sure your BP machine is still giving accurate results, let your doctor check on it yearly. Your doctor can compare its readings with theirs. They can also easily identify if your machine is still working properly.  
 
When Do You Need to Visit a Doctor About Blood Pressure?
 
Regular physical check-up is important to keep your body healthy. You should have this yearly. Your doctor will check your blood pressure as part of your annual check-up. You can self-monitor at home, but it is still different when a doctor checks your blood pressure. 
 
If your home readings have frequent high or inconsistent results, visit your doctor as soon as you can. It could be that you have low or high blood pressure or underlying health issues that need special attention.
 
Conclusion
 
Keeping your blood pressure at a normal range should be one of your health priorities. Doing so helps prevent complications and helps you live a healthier life. Make sure to have a high-quality BP monitor at home to keep track of your blood pressure. In case there is inconsistency with the readings, visit your doctor as soon as you can!

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