high bp
By Okbima 18 May 2024 166

High BP (Blood Pressure Or Hypertension): Symptoms, Causes & Foods To Avoid


High BP (Blood pressure) is a common condition when the force of blood in the arteries is too high. Symptoms are headaches, dizziness, and feeling tired. Unhealthy habits like eating too much salt and not enough fruits and vegetables can cause high blood pressure. Avoid processed foods, sugary drinks, and fatty foods. Exercising regularly and eating healthy can help control high blood pressure.


What Is High Blood Pressure?

High blood pressure is when the blood pushes too hard against the artery walls. This can cause heart problems, strokes, and kidney damage. Blood pressure can be measured by systolic pressure & diastolic pressure.

  • Systolic Pressure: The first number shows the pressure in your blood vessels when your heart beats.

  • Diastolic Pressure: The second number shows the pressure in your blood vessels when your heart rests between beats.


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High BP Symptoms

High blood pressure is called the silent killer because there are usually no warning signs. It's important to check your blood pressure regularly, even if you feel healthy.

In rare cases, people with very high blood pressure might have symptoms like:

  • Severe headaches

  • Nosebleeds

  • Fatigue or confusion

  • Vision problems

  • Chest pain

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Irregular heartbeat

  • Blood in the urine

  • Pounding in the chest, neck, or ears

  • Seizures


High BP Range

Blood pressure is recorded using two numbers, one for when your heart beats and one for when it rests. It is measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). There are different categories for blood pressure ranges.



Systolic (mm Hg)

Diastolic (mm Hg)


< 120

< 80



< 80

Hypertension Stage 1



Hypertension Stage 2

≥ 140

≥ 90

Hypertensive Crisis

> 180

> 120


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High BP Causes

High blood pressure (Hypertension) can happen because of different circumstances. Here are the main reasons why it can happen.

  • Unhealthy diet: Excessive salt intake, a low fruit diet, vegetables & whole grains, and a high intake of processed foods can cause high BP.

  • Lack of physical activity: An inactive lifestyle is a significant risk factor.

  • Smoking: Smoking damages blood vessels and increases blood pressure.

  • Excessive alcohol consumption: Heavy alcohol drinking can cause high blood pressure issues.

  • Stress: Chronic stress can cause a high BP.

  • Sleep apnea: This sleep disorder disrupts breathing patterns which can cause high blood pressure.


Effects Of High Blood Pressure On The Body

If you don't get treatment for high blood pressure, it can harm your body. Some common problems it can cause are cardiovascular issues, kidney damage, eye problems, etc.

  • Cardiovascular issues: High blood pressure can harm the walls of the arteries, causing plaque to build up and reduce the size of the blood vessels. This can cause heart disease, a heart attack, or a stroke.

  • Kidney damage: High blood pressure can damage the blood vessels in the kidneys which can reduce kidney function and increase the risk of kidney disease.

  • Eye problems: High blood pressure can affect the blood vessels in the eyes which can cause vision problems and even blindness.

  • Brain complications: High blood pressure can increase the risk of cognitive decline, dementia, and other brain-related issues. It can also increase the risk of stroke, which can cause permanent brain damage or even death.

  • Peripheral artery disease: High blood pressure can make the blood vessels in your legs smaller or blocked, which can cause issues with blood flow. This can cause leg pain, sores, and amputation.

  • Sexual dysfunction: High blood pressure can affect blood flow to the genitals which can cause erectile dysfunction in men and decreased libido in both men and women.


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How To Control High BP?

You can control your BP with a healthy diet, regular exercise, limiting alcohol, stress management & reducing caffeine intake.

  • Healthy Diet: The DASH diet is a healthy eating plan that focuses on eating lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and avoiding unhealthy fats, red meat, sweets, and sugary drinks. It's important to watch how much salt you eat to help lower your blood pressure.

  • Regular Exercise: Try to get at least 2.5 hours of moderate exercise each week, or 1.25 hours of intense exercise. It's also good to do strength exercises twice a week.

  • Maintain a Healthy Weight: Losing weight if you're overweight or obese can improve blood pressure control.

  • Limit Alcohol: Excessive alcohol consumption can increase blood pressure. So, reduce your alcohol consumption.

  • Smoking: Smoking hurts your blood vessels and increases your blood pressure. It's very important to stop smoking for your health.

  • Stress Management: Chronic stress can cause high blood pressure. Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, and yoga can be helpful.

  • Reduce Caffeine Intake: While the long-term effects of caffeine on blood pressure are debated, reducing intake may be helpful for some people.


What To Eat In High BP?

If you have high blood pressure, it is important to follow a heart-healthy diet to help manage your condition. Here are some foods that can help.

  • Fruits and vegetables: These foods are high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and low in sodium and fat. They can help to lower blood pressure.

  • Whole grains: You can eat whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat, and oats instead of refined grains like white bread and pasta. Whole grains have more fiber and can reduce blood pressure.

  • Lean protein: You can eat lean protein sources like chicken, fish, and tofu, and limit high-fat meats like bacon and sausage. Protein is important for overall health but can also help lower blood pressure.

  • Nuts and seeds: These foods are high in healthy fats, fiber, and protein, and can help lower blood pressure.

  • Low-fat dairy products: You can take low-fat dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese. These foods are high in calcium which can help to lower your blood pressure.

  • Beans and legumes: These foods are high in fiber, protein, and minerals like potassium and magnesium which can help lower blood pressure.


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High Blood Pressure Foods To Avoid

There are some high BP foods that you should avoid eating like fast food, sugary drinks, pickles, frozen foods, and processed or packaged foods.

  • Processed and packaged foods: These foods have high levels of sodium, which can cause high blood pressure.

  • Fast food: Fast food is high in sodium, unhealthy fats, and calories, all of which can cause high BP.

  • Canned soups and sauces: These products are high in sodium and can increase blood pressure.

  • Pickles and other pickled foods: Pickled foods are high in sodium and can cause high blood pressure.

  • Baked goods: Baked goods like pastries and muffins are high in unhealthy fats and sugars, which can increase blood pressure.


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In conclusion, high BP is a serious problem that can cause health issues if not taken care of. Some signs of high blood pressure are headaches, feeling dizzy, and chest pain. Things that can cause high blood pressure include eating too much salt, being stressed, and not moving enough. To control high blood pressure, it's important to avoid foods with lots of salt, processed meat, and sugary drinks. Eating a balanced diet with lots of fruits, veggies, and whole grains can help keep blood pressure normal and make you healthier.

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