HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
WHAT IS IT, HOW TO PREVENT IT AND HOW TO MANAGE IT
WHAT IS IT?
- People with family members who have high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, or diabetes
- African Americans
- Women who are pregnant
- Women who take birth control pills
- People over 35
- People who are overweight
- People who are not active
- People who drink a lot of alcohol
- People who eat too many fatty foods or foods with too much salt
- People who smoke
Hypertension can only be controlled with a good diet and exercise regime. If this is not put into place, the deadly side effects will occur and can cause an early death. 1 in 3 American adults have hypertension and it is estimated to cost around $93.5 billion a year in the US, for health care services, medication and missed days at work.
HOW TO PREVENT IT
- Eat right: A healthy diet is an important step in keeping your blood pressure normal. Make sure to include lots of fruit and vegetables in your diet as they are naturally low in salt. Also try to avoid fatty and unhealthy foods.
- Keep a healthy weight: Since being overweight increases your blood pressure, losing excess weight with diet and exercise will help lower your blood pressure to healthier levels.
- Cut down on salt: The recommendation for salt in your diet is to have less than 2,400 milligrams of sodium a day (about one teaspoon). To prevent hypertension, you should keep your salt intake below this level. Don't forget that most restaurant foods (especially fast foods) and many processed and frozen foods contain high levels of salt. Use herbs and spices that do not contain salt in recipes to flavor your food and do not add extra salt as a seasoning on dishes.
- Keep active: Even simple physical activities, such as walking, can lower your blood pressure (and your weight). You do not have to go to the gym to exercise, simple muscle strengthening exercise such as sit ups or push ups and squatting or the 'plank' position can help. About 225 minutes of combined vigorous and moderate activity is needed each week for the average adult.
- Drink alcohol in moderation: Having more than one drink a day (for women) and two drinks a day (for men) can raise blood pressure. Try to cut down on alcoholic drinks, and do not drink every day.
HOW TO MANAGE IT
Foods low in salt include:
- Non-processed foods
- Non preserved meats
Makes: 3 servings, 2 rolls each
Active Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
· 1 packet of fresh lasagne noodles
· 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
· 1 clove garlic, minced
· ½ red onion, diced
· 300g package extra-firm water-packed tofu, drained, rinsed and crumbled
· 1 cups chopped spinach
· ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
· 1 tablespoons finely chopped Kalamata olives
· ½ red capsicum, diced
· 2 jars diced tomatoes
1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, onion and capsicum. Cook, stirring, until onion and garlic have slightly browned. Add tofu and spinach and cook, stirring often, until the spinach wilts and the mixture is heated through, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl; stir in half of the Parmesan, olives and ¼ of a tin of diced tomatoes.
2. Wipe out the pan and spread remaining 1 tin of diced tomatoes and the rest of the Parmesan in the bottom. To make lasagna rolls, place a noodle on a work surface and spread tofu filling along it. Roll up and place the roll, seam-side down, in the pan. Repeat with remaining noodles and filling. (The tofu rolls will be tightly packed in the pan.) Spoon remaining tinned tomatoes over rolls.
3. Place the pan over high heat, cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium; let simmer for 3 minutes. Serve hot and enjoy!