Imagine you are at your annual physical and your doctor tells you that your blood pressure is 130/80. Do you wait to hear what she has to say next, or do you instantly know that your numbers are on the high side of normal? An EmpowHER online article explained what those blood pressure numbers mean, so you can be better prepared for your next appointment. The women’s health and wellness resource also shared ways you may be able to lower those numbers and maintain them, such as eating plenty of colorful vegetables and supplementing with MegaNatural-BP premium grape seed extract.
Knowing your blood pressure numbers is important, regardless of your age. Results from the 25-year CARDIA study indicate that slightly elevated blood pressure in young adults may increase the risk of heart dysfunction later in life. Dr. Britt Burton-Freeman, director of Illinois Institute of Technology’s Center for Nutrition Research said, “We advise people to get their blood pressure measured at least once per year, but more often helps people stay on top of their health, and allows for detection of rising blood pressure that might need attention early.”
There are two numbers in a blood pressure reading. The top number is called the systolic pressure and the bottom is the diastolic pressure. “Systolic pressure measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart muscle contracts. Diastolic blood pressure measures the pressure in the arteries in between heart muscle contractions, when the heart is resting and refilling with blood,” explained Burton-Freeman. “Healthy blood pressure is less than 120 mm Hg for systolic pressure and less than 80 mm Hg for diastolic blood pressure.”
People who have prehypertension – systolic reading between 120-139 or diastolic readings between 80 and 89 – are also at risk of developing hypertension, also known as high blood pressure. To bring those numbers back into the normal range, Burton-Freeman suggests maintaining a healthy body weight, increasing the number and variety of fruits and vegetables consumed, eating more fiber-rich whole grains and cutting back on processed or cured meats. Regular supplementation may also help. “MegaNatural-BP helps people with elevated blood pressure in the prehypertension range achieve a healthy blood pressure and maintain it,” said Burton-Freeman