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Systolic Blood Pressure

Learn about systolic blood pressure

Systolic Blood Pressure

What is systolic blood pressure?

In Greek, the word "systolic" means "drawing together; contracting". Systolic blood pressure is when the peak blood pressure has been reached in the arteries. This occurs toward the end of the cardiac cycle at which time the left ventricles contract.

Systolic blood pressure is the amount of pressure that is placed on the vessels and arteries by the blood being pumped throughout the body. The older you get, the more important it is that you stay abreast of your systolic blood pressure measurements. This is because as you age, the arteries tend to harden, making you more susceptible to high blood pressure and other cardiovascular problems.

Eating healthy

Many studies have proven that you can successfully lower your blood pressure by eating healthy. A diet would be considered to be heart-healthy when it emphasizes on lean proteins, low-fat dairy products, whole grains and plenty of fresh vegetable and fruits.

Try and work out a balanced diet that includes a healthy version of food you love. You will be less tempted to get back to your unhealthy way of eating if you are enjoying the new, healthy food you are making an effort to eat.

Friendly bacteria can help

A recent study has suggested that there could be a potential link between eating probiotics regularly and lowering high blood pressure. The study observed the results of 543 adults that had normal or high blood pressure. It was found that those who consumed probiotics had a reduction in their blood pressure readings as compared to those who did not consume the beneficial bacteria. Where do you find probiotics? In foods such as yogurt, probiotic drinks and some supplemental foods as well.

What foods to avoid

Sodium-rich foods are a big no-no. The daily sodium limit for those battling hypertension is 1,500 milligrams. The real battle however, may come from knowing that over 75 percent of the sodium your body gets is from packaged foods, not the salt you sprinkle over your food, and making an effort to avoid those foods. Frozen meals, pizza, preserved meats, fruit and vegetable juice, preserved tomatoes and canned soup are just a few of the silent salt-carriers.

Avoid stimulants such as coffee, tea, sodas, alcohol, sugar and cigarettes. The Mayo Clinic has reported that drinking more than three drinks in one go can create a temporary increase in your blood pressure. Unfortunately, your morning coffee does the same.

What type of blood pressure monitor to get

In addition to living healthier, you should keep a blood pressure monitor on hand just to stay updated with your progress. Be sure to get an effective, clinically validated and accurate blood pressure monitor. If you don't like the extra fuss associated with a sphygmomanometer (an aneroid blood pressure monitor), you'll want to be sure that you choose a fully automated product that shows you the diastolic, systolic and pulse readings simultaneously. There are models that have a battery preservation feature that automatically powers off the device when it's not in use. If you have eyesight problems, be sure to select something with a large, wide angle LCD display and easy-to-see readings. It will also be beneficial to get something compact and light so you can easily carry it around with you.