Blood pumped into the body by the left ventricle of the heart exerts pressure on the blood vessels through which it passes. The blood vessels respond to this pressure with resistance.

The highest point when the heart contracts is called systolic pressure and the lowest point when the heart relaxes is called diastolic pressure.

Hypertension is a condition in which the pressure in the blood vessels increases. The heart works harder to maintain circulation in the face of increased blood pressure.

For blood pressure to be normal, large (systolic) blood pressure should be below 120 mmHg and small (diastolic) blood pressure should be below 80 mmgHg.

The prevalence of blood pressure in the population is between 30% and 45% and this rate increases with age. According to studies, hypertension is observed in one in three adults.

Evaluation of Blood Pressure

The number of individuals diagnosed with hypertension is increasing due to inadequate physical activity, alcohol use, excess body weight, and poor stress management.

In addition, blood pressure is affected by nutrient intake. Therefore, adequate and balanced nutrition should be provided. The elements to be considered in an individual’s lifestyle and nutrition are as follows;

-Regular exercise is important in the prevention and treatment of hypertension. Therefore, it is recommended to exercise at least 3 days a week.

-Saturated fatty acid consumption is increasing worldwide. Reducing saturated fatty acid consumption reduces plasma LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol levels.

International dietary guidelines recommend that saturated fatty acid intake should be reduced and replaced with unsaturated fatty acids.

-Green leafy vegetables should be included in the diet due to their potassium (K) content.

-Foods containing cereals should be preferred for adequate mineral and fiber intake.

-Body mass index (BMI) should be kept within the ideal range.

-Alcohol intake should be limited. Women should not exceed 1 glass and men should not exceed 2 glasses.

-Consuming fish 2 days a week or using fish oil supplements is important in blood pressure control.

-Foods containing refined sugar should be avoided.

-High salt consumption (such as canned foods, pickles, pickled foods) increases hypertension and increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that salt consumption should be less than 5 g/day.

-Adequate consumption of vegetables and fruits containing potassium helps to reduce the risk of hypertension.

-Nutritional plan should be created by taking cultural habits into consideration.

-High fiber diets are known to be associated with CVD risk. According to the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) 2015 report, every 7 grams of fiber intake reduces CVD risk by 9%.

-Inadequate consumption of calcium increases the risk of hypertension. Therefore, attention should be paid to daily consumption of milk, yogurt and cheese with low salt content.

-Health checks should be done regularly.

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