Tips for Fighting Hypertension
Do you feel anxious when visiting our Doctor?
This increase in blood pressure is referred to as “white coat syndrome” for the white coats traditionally worn by Doctors. This white coat effect means that your blood pressure is higher when taken in a medical setting than when it is taken at home.
When we feel tense or nervous our blood pressure rises. Please tell Dr. Shehla Ebrahim, our experienced physician, that you have some anxiety when visiting. She also suggests giving yourself plenty of time to arrive to the appointment and, once in the waiting room, enjoying some deep slow breaths to help you relax.
You can be proactive in managing hypertension through your choices in food.
Improve your sodium-potassium ratio
- Recent studies found that the sodium to potassium ratio appears to be more strongly associated with blood pressure outcomes than either sodium or potassium alone. According to Canadian Community Health Survey, the average potassium intake was well below the recommended 4,700 mg/day.
- Good sources of potassium include melons, berries, broccoli and spinach. A cup of milk or yogurt would match or outdo a banana for potassium intake.
Try the DASH Eating Plan – Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension
- Choose foods rich in potassium, magnesium, and other nutrients that may affect blood pressure.
- Try to incorporate the following into your diet to reduce hypertension:
- Fruits and Vegetables: 8 servings or 4 cups
- Lower-fat dairy products: 3 to 4 servings or 1 ½ – 2 cups
- Whole grains: 3 to 4 servings or 1 ½ – 2 cups
- Nuts, seeds and legumes: to be included several days a week
Get enough daily Vitamin D
- Are you getting between 1,600 – 4,000 IU? Ask your doctor to suggest a daily dosage for your body type and lifestyle. (Remember, sunscreen blocks the natural production of vitamin D).
Consume a Moderate Amount of Alcohol
- One to two drinks per day could benefit blood pressure regulation, but no more!
- This condition is associated with higher than expected levels of insulin (relative to the level of glucose) circulating in the blood.
- Eat regularly throughout the day, ideally every 3 to 4 hours.
- Lower glycemic loads – as a rule of thumb, the more fibre the better. There are many foods that have a glycemic load of 10 or less, including:
- Beans, including kidney, garbanzo, pinto, soy, and black
- Fibre-rich fruits and vegetables, such as carrots, green peas, apples, grapefruit, and watermelon
- Cereals made with 100 percent bran
- Nuts, specifically cashews and peanuts
- Whole-grain breads, tortillas, or pitas made with whole wheat, barley, or pumpernickel
- Tomato juice
- Dairy products like milk
Dr. Ebrahim encourages everyone to strive to be as healthy and feel as wonderful as possible. Eat well, enjoy moving your body, and have a generous dose of fun and laughter every day.
For more information about how to address hypertension and anxiety with diet, contact our office today. Our friendly and knowledgeable team can answer questions or help you schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Ebrahim.