There are things in life that we can control and things that we can’t, but a healthy level of blood pressure is one thing that is well worth trying to manage. Blood pressure is an element of health that has a reverberating effect throughout our bodies. When it is under control, all systems are able to receive the support they need, which makes us feel good.
So what do our blood pressure numbers mean anyway? The measurement of our blood pressure is actually a calculation of how hard our heart has to pump to get the blood to flow throughout our bodies. The heart is like a water pump and the blood vessels are like hoses. Imagine that you are trying to water your entire yard with a really narrow gardening hose. The whole yard needs water today so you turn up the water full blast to get the job done — but all the plants get pulverized! The force and the pressure backup certainly are not good for the pump, nor for the elasticity of the hoses. The water pump starts to heat up, then slows down — you get my drift. Eventually the system just can’t keep up. After a full day of trying to water, some plants just aren’t getting the nourishment they need. Over time, if the pump is working too hard, you might think, hey, maybe I need a bigger pump. Presto, heart enlargement. The heart (pump) begins to literally change its shape by enlarging, stiffening or elongating, and the blood vessels (hoses) start to stiffen.
“Heart failure has actually become a condition of almost epidemic proportions.”
As you can well imagine, the heart gets tired of this and eventually a weakened condition sets in called “heart failure.” This does not mean that the heart stops beating, rather it means that the heart just can’t keep up. It can’t beat hard enough to push the blood throughout the body. When this happens, we can become tired or out of breath. Heart failure has actually become a condition of almost epidemic proportions. To prevent heart failure, make sure your body is the right size for your heart, so maintain a good body weight. Don’t smoke or over-drink. Make sure you get plenty of exercise and eat a heart healthy diet. That means lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and proteins and dairy products that are low in saturated fat. Fish, of course, is a magnificent option and is recommended twice a week.
Check out the DASH diet for guidance on how to happily, healthfully and effectively manage hypertension. You should also know that at Salty’s restaurants part of our mission is to prepare your food with any dietary needs you have. Plus our menus contain a vast array of very nutritious seafood that can help keep you in heart healthy control.