Why know

Blood PressureBlood Pressure

Blood pressure measures the force of blood exerted against the walls of the arteries as it is pumped through the body. When the heart beats faster or harder than normal, when there is an increase in blood volume (such as in pregnancy for example), or when arteries are narrowed, this force increases and blood pressure rises. Blood pressure is reported as two numbers: systolic (when the heart contracts) over diastolic (when the heart is relaxed).

Improve Your Score

Drink water! Staying hydrated is so important for healthy blood pressure. Also, watch the amount of packaged, processed foods you eat - crackers, chips, granola bars, candy, cereals and even sauces and dressings have incredibly high levels of sodium, sugar and unhealthy fats. While those ingredients allow them to sit on a shelf for years without spoiling, they aren't great for you. Sprinkling salt on your home cooked dinner is not where people run into issues with sodium – it is the high sodium levels of processed foods, especially with low-fat and non-fat options. Think about it this way – if the fat is removed from something, flavor has to be added back in somehow, most of the time food manufacturers do this by increasing the sodium levels in their food.

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