Hypertension refers to the state of high blood pressure in your blood vessels. It is caused by a myriad of factors, first in line is the foods you eat. When the pressure level of your blood is above 120 mm Hg, it is considered high and when it is below 80 mm Hg it is considered low.
A high blood pressure creates strain on the smaller blood vessels and blocks the reach of blood to muscles and tissues further away from the heart. Hypertension if not treated could, therefore, result in heart disease and organ failure. To guard against it, identify and avoid the following top 10 dangerous food and drinks.
10. Animal Protein
Animal protein comprises of red and white meat. The difference between the two is the fat content, red meat has a greater fat content while white meat has a lower fat content. Generally, animal protein is also a huge source of fat in the diet. They are loaded with cholesterol and saturated fats that if taken in large amounts will clog the walls of veins and arteries. The clogged blood vessels press upon blood flowing through them causing high blood pressure. It is recommended that people take more white than red meat because of this and try to keep off processed meats such as sausages, ham, and bacon.
There are many types of tea with many health benefits. However, the ones made purely of natural extracts such as chamomile and ginger have the greatest benefit. So what’s wrong with the other types of tea, the answer is caffeine. Black, white and even green tea all have caffeine content. Caffeine can cause a short drastic rise in your blood pressure. It is believed that caffeine causes the release of adrenaline that shoots up your blood pressure. If you have concerns or if you have discovered that caffeine affects your blood pressure, then you should limit it or avoid caffeinated beverages completely.
8. Table Salt
Salt is the number one cause of high blood pressure and especially table salt because of the high content of sodium in it. Consuming a lot of salt in your food raises the amount of sodium in your blood. This high concentration of sodium retains water in your blood and hampers the kidneys’ ability to filter it out. The extra fluid going around causes an increase in blood pressure in your vessels. The 2020 Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension recommends that you consume no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day, which is only about a teaspoon. We consume a lot of table salt hidden inside fast and processed foods. To avoid too much sodium intake, you should consider doing away with overly salted fast foods, snacks, and processed meats. If you suffer from hypertension already you should only take less than 1500 milligrams of salt a day.
7. Spicy Food
Spicy food is good if it is filled with all the right spices. Spices help to bolster appetite by leaving food tastier and smelling great. Chili is known to cause thinning of blood and relaxation of blood vessels leading to lower blood pressure. The spicy foods that you should avoid are once again those that have a lot of sodium component. Flavoring spices and condiments such as baking soda, tomato and tartar sauces, pickles, ketchup, and meat tenderizers should be avoided. Instead eat foods rich in natural spices such as garlic, onions. Mustard, cumin, black pepper, and chili powder.
6. Canned Soup
Soup is great for cold and staying hydrated but canned soup should not be on your list of soups. This is because canned soups can contain as much as 900mg of sodium in half a cup of serving. The entire can will pack your blood with up to 2,000mg of sodium, which is close to the daily recommended amount of your sodium intake. Canned soups that you should particularly keep off are tomato juices and pasta sauces. These have a high sodium content and they will lead to an increase of sodium in your blood hence high blood pressure. Opt for fresh tomatoes and if you must take soup, settle for homemade alternatives such as chicken broth and bone soup.
Drinking too much liquor can have direct and indirect effects on your blood pressure levels. This is according to the American Heart Association. Alcohol causes a short-term spike in your blood pressure. Most drinks containing alcohol, especially beers, are calorie-packed and they raise your metabolism and blood pressure pretty fast. This is because calories and sugar need to be broken down and transported throughout the body quickly. Long-term drinking contributes to an increase in body fat and weight gain. The fat and extra protein you put on clogs and presses on blood vessels increasing blood pressure levels.
Healthcare providers recommend that men limit their alcohol intake to two drinks per day and women to one drink per day. Binge drinking is a bad habit that may cause long-term alcohol addiction and in return lead to chronic hypertension. If you prefer to drink often, you should consider indulging in red wines that have been shown to have anti-aging effects.
Viscera are the internal organs especially those around the chest and abdomen. These include the heart and lungs, the liver, pancreas, and kidneys. These organs have a high concentration of fat around them, in animals and humans alike. They function to protect them against shock. Frequent consumption of these organs means increasing your fat intake. If you must consume meat then aim for lean beef and white meats that have low-fat content. A high concentration of fat in your visceral organs would also cause hypertension in your body. You should reduce the fat around your visceral organs through upper body exercises such as sit-ups and press-ups.
Frequent consumption of meat is bad for your blood pressure because of the high fat content in meat. The fat causes weight gain and obesity which are leading factors of hypertension. Meat is also dangerous when it is cooked at high temperatures in cooking methods such as grilling and deep-frying. Studies show that high temperatures in meats create harmful chemicals among them being polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and heterocyclic aromatic amines (HAAs). These toxic chemicals lead to inflammation in the body pressing on blood vessels and causing high blood pressure as a result. To avoid such consequences limit consumption of meat to at least 2 servings per week.
Carbohydrate is the food compound contained in starches such as bread and potatoes. Foods that are packed with carbs have a high glycemic index. This is the rate at which energy and calories are released into the blood when they get digested. Therefore a high carbohydrate diet gives your body a lot of energy with a short time. Most of this energy is in the form of glucose and when it is not used through activity, it is stored leading to weight gain. Carbohydrates, therefore, lead to high blood pressure indirectly through weight gain.
Overweight people require high pressure in the flow of their blood so that nutrients and oxygen can reach every muscle and tissue in the body. The weight of the extra fat also presses upon the blood vessels causing a further increase in blood pressure. If you are on a high carb diet you should ensure that you exercise often to burn the extra calories to prevent sudden and unnecessary weight gain.
1. High-energy Food
High-energy foods comprise of foods rich in starch, extra fat, and calories. Most high-energy foods, therefore, fall in the category of fast foods and high-energy drinks. The high energy in the foods induces hyperactivity in the body so that the energy can be used up quickly. This leads to a spike in blood pressure levels so that blood can be pumped faster to every part of the body. When energy is not fully used up in energy foods and drinks, the extra calories is stored in the body resulting in weight gain; which is a leading factor in high blood pressure.