May is Blood Pressure Awareness Month

Did you know that May is Blood Pressure Awareness Month? We would like to help clear up a few questions you may have in regards to blood pressure.

First of all, what is the actual definition of blood pressure? According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, blood pressure “is the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps blood”.

There are two words to know when it comes to your blood pressure; Systolic Pressure and Diastolic Pressure. Systolic pressure is the pressure when your heart beats while it is pumping blood. Diastolic pressure is the pressure when your heart is at rest between the beats. When your blood pressure is measured you are read a number like “119/77”. The numbers read are these measurements. The number above (or the one listed first) is the Systolic pressure and the one below (or the one listed second) is the Diastolic pressure. An adult should fall under 120mmHg for the systolic pressure and under 80mmHg for the diastolic pressure for a normal blood pressure reading. Anything above these numbers is listed as high blood pressure.

To prevent from reaching high blood pressure you can follow these steps:

  1. Eat a healthy balanced diet
  2. Get enough physical activity
  3. Maintain a healthy weight
  4. Avoid smoking and drinking

A few healthy foods you can try to help lower high blood pressure include flax seed, dark chocolate, beets, hibiscus and a few others. You can read the full list from Berkeley Wellness.

If you are wanting to try a new list of delicious recipes to help maintain a lower cholesterol level, you can try these from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

Not sure what your blood pressure reading is? Make sure to visit your physician for your yearly physical. You can also visit a Walgreens location and get your blood pressure taken there.

Maintaining a balanced blood pressure level is extremely important. Make sure you check this one off your list and keep your heart healthy!