Before every appointment, we always check the patient’s blood pressure. Often we hear, “Are my numbers normal?”

Blood pressure is the force of blood against the walls of arteries. It’s recorded as two numbers, systolic-the pressure when the heart beats while pumping blood, over diastolic-the pressure when the heart is at rest between beats. An ideal blood pressure reading is a systolic of less than 120, and a diastolic of less than 80(120/80).

Trying to maintain normal blood pressure is vitally important as high blood pressure increases your risk of stroke, heart attack and congestive heart failure. It’s estimated that one in four adults have high blood pressure.

Try lowering your salt intake, in addition to eating more fruits and vegetables. Whole grains, poultry and fish are foods that are good choices in a healthy diet. Try to reduce your intake of red meats, sweets and sugared soda. Adhering to these simple suggestions can affect your blood pressure and overall health greatly.

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