What foods increase blood pressure

What foods increase blood pressure
  • What pressure is considered normal?
  • Top 10 products
  • Expert commentary

The material was commented on:

Alexander Shishkin, Head of the Department of Faculty Therapy, Medical Institute of St. Petersburg State University, Professor, Doctor of Medical Sciences;

Yulia Sorokina, endocrinologist, nutritionist at the Yuno Medical Center, doctor of the highest category, member of the European Association of Endocrinologists, Ph.D.

Blood pressure (BP) is the pressure of blood on the walls of blood vessels. It depends on the tone of blood vessels and the volume of circulating blood. The normal blood pressure level at any age is less than 140/90 mmHg. Art. (1). An increase in this value is called hypertension, or arterial hypertension. If the blood pressure on the walls of blood vessels drops below 90/60 mmHg. Art., then this is hypotension (2).

The problem of hypotension is not as simple as it might seem at first glance, says Alexander Shishkin, head of the department of faculty therapy at the Medical Institute of St. Petersburg State University, professor, doctor of medical sciences. According to modern concepts, hypotension is a decrease in blood pressure below 100/65.

As a rule, there are more hypotensive people among women, the expert notes. This is due, among other things, to hormonal levels, lower muscle mass and more frequent disruptions of vegetative-vascular regulation. Hypotension also occurs in athletes and people living in high altitude areas as an adaptive and protective mechanism.

Hypotension can be primary or secondary:

  • Primary. It can be provoked by severe stress and prolonged psycho-emotional stress. In such cases, anti-stress therapy can help.
  • Secondary. It occurs in various diseases, from tuberculosis to cirrhosis of the liver, with anemia, heart failure, rheumatism, tumors, and thyroid diseases. People with hypotension may have an increased risk of cardiovascular events.
What foods increase blood pressure

What foods increase blood pressure: top 10

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Proper nutrition plays an important role in controlling blood pressure. We find out with doctors which foods help increase blood pressure.

1. Salt

Salt retains water in the body and increases vascular tone (3), (4). It can be in its pure form, in the form of a seasoning, as part of chips, sauces or canned fish.

2. Caffeine

Coffee, green and black tea, and caffeinated energy drinks speed up the heart rate, cause blood vessel spasms and increase the load on the heart, increasing blood pressure (5). Doctors advise all coffee and tea lovers to switch to decaf options.

3. Sugar

Simple (refined) sugar can increase blood pressure. Fast carbohydrates are instantly digested and lead to a spike in blood sugar. What’s more insidious, however, is the hidden sugar found in honey, sweet baked goods, sodas, and white bread or high fructose corn syrup. Such products cause a rapid increase in blood glucose levels, a jump in blood pressure and heart rate (6), (7).

4. Bacon

Jerky, bacon and brisket are high in sodium and saturated fat. Such food increases both blood pressure and the level of “bad” cholesterol, doctors warn (9).

5. Pickled foods

All kinds of pickles and marinades increase blood pressure due to the high salt content, which increases blood pressure on the vessels. This is why such foods also increase blood pressure (10). This means that the diet of hypotensive patients should be diversified with pickles, tomatoes or herring.

6. Butter

Heavy consumption of butter and other full-fat dairy products can also raise your blood pressure because they contain saturated fat, which can narrow arteries. However, for a hypotensive person, this property of butter can be a pleasant bonus, and you can add a sandwich with butter and cheese to your morning cup of coffee, advises Alexander Shishkin.

7. Alcohol

Increased alcohol consumption can dramatically increase blood pressure (eleven). However, regular drinking can cause long-term blood pressure problems and is dangerous to health, doctors warn.

8. Fast food

Obesity – one of the most important risk factors for the development of hypertension. People who are obese are more than three times more likely to develop hypertension (12). Regular consumption of foods with saturated fats and trans fats, chips, snacks and other fast food increases blood pressure and can lead to the development of hypertension.

9. Soda

Research shows that even one sweet soft drink causes an increase in both systolic blood pressure (top end) and diastolic blood pressure (low end) (13). In addition, soda contains a lot of processed sugar – regular consumption of such drinks can lead to obesity and increases the risk of developing hypertension.

10. Semi-finished products

Prepared foods are easy to prepare, but many of them contain too much salt. It helps preserve the taste of food when canning or freezing. If you constantly include processed foods in your diet, in the long run they will do more harm than good (14).

Expert commentary

We asked the most popular questions related to nutrition for hypotension to doctors. We’ll tell you what you need to eat to quickly increase your blood pressure, and whether there are differences in nutrition between hypotensive patients of different sexes.

Why might blood pressure drop?

Pressure can drop with loss of fluid volume in the body (loss of blood, including during menstruation, vomiting, diarrhea), lack of fluid intake (a person drinks little water), anemia, diseases of the adrenal glands, severe pain, allergies, notes Yulia Sorokina. A sharp, pronounced drop in blood pressure is called shock.

How to quickly increase blood pressure?

You should eat or drink some of the foods that increase blood pressure, advises Alexander Shishkin. For example, dilute half a teaspoon of salt in 200 ml of water. Or eat pickled cucumbers or nuts, drink strong sweet tea or coffee, not instant, but ground.

Are there differences in blood pressure-raising foods for men and women?

We must always remember that treatment is an individual process. But these differences are not between men and women, explains Alexander Shishkin. So, if a patient with gastritis and hypotension drinks strong tea or eats pickles, then gastritis can worsen and the condition will only worsen.

Can pregnant women eat foods that increase blood pressure?

Hypotension is quite common among pregnant women, Yulia Sorokina emphasizes. Red meat, liver (especially with anemia), sea fish, black tea, cocoa (15). Coffee is best avoided due to its pronounced effect on blood pressure and pulse. Cranberry juice with the addition of honey (a glass per day) may be useful.