According to the latest study published in the journal Neurology, it has been confirmed that high blood pressure in people can lead to memory loss over a period of time.
A large-scale study, involving nearly 20,000 people over the age of 45, found that high diastolic blood pressure (the lower reading when measuring blood pressure (BP) is more likely to cause cognitive impairment or memory problems and thinking skills, compared to people with normal blood pressure.
The study found that for every 10 point increase in diastolic blood reading, the chances of the patient developing cognitive problems were 7 percent higher. The results were judged after taking into account other factors such as smoking, age, diabetes, cholesterol levels and exercise levels.
However, the biggest challenge with hypertension is that it is asymptomatic, and therefore, several people are not even aware of the problem. In severe hypertension, patients may experience headache, nose bleeding or blurred vision. Most patients discover about hypertension when they undergo a routine clinical examination. Therefore, it is important to check BP regularly. On timely diagnosis of hypertension, cognitive impairment, a precursor to dementia, can easily be prevented, says Georgios Tsivgoulis, University of Alabama, Brimingham.
Hypertension is not necessarily caused due to stress or strain, as is often believed. Stress is an inevitable part of life, and may slightly aggravate a pre-existing hypertension. Just as is the case with any other disease, hypertension can also be managed with medication and life-style modifications, says Dr. Manju Aggarwal.
Recommended food for BP patients:
Apples, due to their rapid and considerable diuretic effect, help in increased secretion of urine, thus bringing blood pressure down to normal levels.
Lemons, being a rich source of Vitamin C, strengthen the arteries when consumed in moderate amounts.
Garlic, is no-doubt, the most effective remedy for lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Its benefits double when consumed raw. It helps modify the heart rhythm, relieves dizziness, shortness of breath, and widens the blood vessels, thereby reducing the pressure.
Brown rice, due to the presence of calcium content, soothes and relaxes the nervous system, therefore lowering blood pressure.
Beetroot, an excellent solvent for calcium deposits, can be helpful in treating hypertension.
Increase intake of vegetables and fruits. Potassium present in fruits and vegetables helps counteract the effects of sodium that causes high blood pressure.
Fasting on coconut water and fresh fruits for a minimum of 2 to 3 days every two weeks can help. Consuming raw/boiled vegetables or soups are also recommended. Make sure to have dinner at least 3 hours before sleeping.
Foods to Avoid:
The most important aspect in controlling high blood pressure is to reduce the salt intake. Sodium in salt increases the contractility of blood vessels.
Ayurveda recommends avoiding pulses, gram, milk, milk products and cereals for the initial three months of detection of BP problems. Thereafter once the digestion improves, and BP normalizes, begin taking cereals, milk etc., but, in moderation.
Avoid fried, processed and refined foods, tea, coffee and soft drinks.
On adopting the recommended diet plan, high blood pressure will get back to normal within 3 months.