The maintenance of optimal blood pressure levels is crucial for health. Both too high and too low blood pressure are damaging. People with elevated blood pressure levels are at the risk for heart attacks, heart failure, and even stroke. Unfortunately, 1 in 3 American adults have high blood pressure.
To control blood pressure, people are not only OTC drugs. Doctors also recommend some dietary changes and lifestyle alterations. Consuming a diet that is not too high in salt content is the first step to improving your health in this regard.
High blood pressure is so harmful that it also has a negative impact on cognition. An NIA-supported study found that every increase of 10 mm Hg in systolic blood pressure results in a 9 percent higher risk of cognitive impairment. Furthermore, a latest study shows that controlling your systolic blood pressure more strictly can help lower risk of brian decline.
The Link Between Blood Pressure Control And Cognition
A study by the University of Texas, Austin has found that blood pressure control can lower the odds of cognitive decline and impairment. The Journal of the American Medical Association has published this report. Diving deeper, it says that the adults who have high blood pressure should administer greater blood pressure control.
This is because being more careful than people are typically recommended to be is linked to fewer negative changes in the brain. This translates to lower risk of dementia and cognitive impairment. R. Nick Bryan, M.D. who was part of the research work said, “Though the benefit may be small, it’s one of the few impactful cognition-related interventions we have.”
Can Greater Blood Pressure Control Help Lower Risk Of Cognitive Impairment?
For the purpose of the study, researchers conducted the MRI of participants and compared the scans. A total of 449 adults participated who had an average age of 67. These individuals had systolic blood pressure ranging between 130 mm Hg and 180 mm Hg.
The magnetic resonance imaging of participants showed that those of them who had blood pressure but controlled it to achieve a systolic BP lower than 120 mm Hg had less white matter lesions on their brain. They also had a greater reduction in their brain volume compared to patients who achieved a systolic pressure of 140 mm Hg.
Tips On Lowering Blood Pressure
Keeping in view how necessary it is to lower your blood pressure, here are some helpful tips:
- Lose extra pounds. Obesity only worsens health problems.
- Exercise regularly. Physical activity comes with other health benefits as well.
- Eat a healthy low-salt diet.
- Quit harmful habits such as smoking, drinking too much alcohol, etc.
- Don’t stress too much. To reduce stress, you can try meditation, yoga, journaling, listening to music and the like.
- Get your blood pressure levels regularly checked.
- Add dark chocolate to your routine and reduce caffeine consumption.
- You can also take natural supplements such as fish oil capsules.