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Does A Plant-Based Diet Lower Hypertension?

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What is Hypertension?

 

Hypertension (or high blood pressure) is a rise in blood pressure to 140/90 or higher. There are many risks associated with hypertension. It has been linked to a higher risk of coronary disease, stroke, and even death.

 

Hypertension is currently considered to be a global epidemic. Over 1.4 billion people are affected by hypertension, making it one of the most common medical issues in the work. It is one of the leading risk factors for death. 

 

In the United States, almost half of all adults have ongoing hypertension or are taking medications to manage it. Almost 80% of adults in the U.S. have experienced struggles with high blood pressure at some point in their lives. 

 

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What Causes Hypertension?

 

For many people, there is no specific cause of high blood pressure. This is referred to as primary hypertension. 

 

For some people, underlying conditions cause them to develop hypertension. This is called secondary hypertension. These conditions include sleep apnea, thyroid problems, kidney problem, and genetic conditions. 

 

Certain medications can also cause hypertension, but you should always consult your doctor with any concerns over medications. Other risk factors for hypertension include:

  • Age
  • Race
  • Family history
  • Being overweight
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Using tobacco products

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What Dietary Changes Can I Make to Manage Hypertension?

 

While medications can help control hypertension, some people still struggle. Lifestyle changes may be the best option, and can effectively complement other treatments.

 

There are some easy ways to make little changes to help manage hypertension:

  • Implement change gradually, and be kind to yourself 
  • Cut back on the salt and alcohol
  • Avoid sugary, processed foods
  • Add some potassium to your diet 
  • Eat whole, plant-based foods
  • Add a good source of plant-based fiber, such as dark, leafy greens

 

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I have hypertension - Will a plant-based diet help?

 

The health benefits of a plant-based diet have been fairly thoroughly researched and there is a significant amount of evidence available in current literature. Plant-based diets are one of the best ways to manage hypertension.

 

Many studies have shown that plant-based diets consistently and effectively address many health concerns, especially hypertension. 

 

 

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It is no doubt that being on a vegan diet can offer significant benefits to overall health and well-being. The information provided here is meant to offer some guidance; specific medical advice should be obtained from your current health care provider. You should consult your health care provider before making any significant changes. Each individual is different, so your journey towards you body and your health will be unique.

 

Choosing a healthy plant-based and vegan diet is most beneficial when it comes to:

  • Higher levels of energy;

  • Improved sleep;

  • Aids in energy and overall happiness;

  • Provides a sense of comfort and relief;

  • Could prevent major diseases such as obesity and diabetes;

  • Accomplish weight-loss and management; and

  • Improves mental and cognitive functioning.

There are really no excuses not to try healthier habits in your everyday life. If you are looking for specific benefits of adopting healthier habits or just want to know about the general healing properties of herbs. Please remember to comment or post any health questions, or contact us directly!

 

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Karen Garland

Karen Garland

Hi! I'm Karen. I live in Fairbanks, Alaska with my wonderful husband and our many pets. I am a master's student in the Public Health program at the University of Arizona, focusing on public health promotion. I love to get outside and explore!

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