Monday, July 4, 2022

WHD 2022: Dietician Highlights Foods To Help Nigerians Control Hypertension

hypertension
A patient checking his blood pressure

As Nigeria joins the rest of the world to commemorate the World Hypertension Day (WHD) 2022, a dietician, Mr. Paul Okoh, has listed five foods Nigerians can include in their diets to help them control high blood pressure.

Speaking to Science Nigeria today (May 17, 2022) in Abuja, in commemoration of the WHD themed “Measure Your Blood Pressure Accurately, Control It, Live Longer”, Okoh pointed out banana as an extremely potent source of energy, packed with potassium and magnesium, with the ability to lower blood pressure significantly.

Also, he mentioned guava, a common sub-tropical and tropical fruit that helps to regulate water and electrolytes in the body, making it ideal for regulating blood pressure. 

According to him, low-fat dairy products tend to be a good source of calcium, which help the body fight high blood pressure.

“Beets contain a high amount of nitric oxide, which has been proven to lower blood pressure. Drinking beetroot juice can lower systolic blood pressure by as much as 4 or 5mmHg.

“Mango, a great source of fibre, beta carotene and potassium, is an ideal fruit for helping to reduce high blood pressure, especially during the summer.”

The World Health Organisation (WHO), defines hypertension as a situation in which a high blood pressure is persistently recorded within the range of 140/90 or more. 

This is a major concern, as it can lead to a heart attack, stroke or kidney failure. Sadly, hypertension goes undiagnosed until it becomes acute – thus, it is termed the ‘silent killer’. 

According to the WHO, hypertension is a major cause of premature death and nearly 1.13 billion people across the world are currently experiencing or living with it.

Okoh fingered high stress, unhealthy lifestyle and bad eating habits as contributors to high blood pressure.

“This is why it is important to keep hypertension in check because as they say, prevention is always better than cure.

“Hypertension is the number one risk factor for heart disease, stroke, renal complications and premature death. Hypertension can be prevented and managed by checking your blood pressure regularly and through treatment,” he said. 

Racheal Abujah
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