Influence of alimentation and style of life in the control of hypertension



You are hypertensive and is struggling to be able to maintain the standard blood pressure? Understand the influence of diet and lifestyle on these indicators.

Hypertension is a non-communicable chronic disease that affects a large portion of the world population. No doubt you’ve probably heard it as it is popularly known, “High Blood Pressure”, and it is associated with several factors, such as sedentary lifestyle, poor diet, smoking, etc. (SOARES, FALHEIROS and SANTOS, 2011).

The pressure is the force applied that blood flow on the arteries. Under normal every heart conditions hiring the pressure increases to about 120 mmHg, which correspond to systolic pressure and heart breaks it drops to about 80 mmHg, diastolic blood pressure value (FONSECA & MOSQUE, 2005).

Already the hypertension is characterized primarily by increased levels of systolic pressure at or above 140 mmHg and diastolic less than 90 mmHg in adults. Such syndrome may become a direct or indirect cause of many deaths due to stroke, heart failure, renal failure and myocardial infarction. Hypertension affects not only the elderly but also adults and even can occur in children (SOARES, FALHEIROS and SANTOS, 2011).

Below we report the list of factors that influence the control of blood pressure and risk factors for hypertension:

Excessive sodium intake

The sodium chloride is considered an important factor in the development of hypertension. The excess nutrient that increases the pressure increase in blood volume, thereby increasing cardiac output. Then by self-regulatory mechanisms, there is increased peripheral vascular resistance, maintaining high blood pressure levels (CUPPARI, 2005).

The composition of the salt is 40% and 60% sodium chloride (GARDEN, MONOGO and Reis, 2004). The average population salt consumption is around 10-12 grams. The total consumption of sodium can originate from three sources: 75% of processed foods, 10% intrinsic sodium and 15% addition a general salt can be recommended to a hypertensive patient 4 to 6g salt salt a day, which is equivalent to 1 tablespoon (coffee) (Alves and Ferreira, 2004). Nutritional counseling to hypertensive patients should not advocate the intake of processed products such as canned foods, sausages, preserves, sauces and ready spices, broths, smoked, isotonic drinks, besides the use of the salt shaker table (CUPPARI, 2009).

Weight control

Excess weight is another factor for hypertension. It is estimated that 20% to 30% prevalence of hypertension can be explained by this association is recommended that body weight is within the limit BMI (24.9 kg / m²) (CUPPARI, 2009). Excess abdominal fat (waist circumference greater than 86 cm for women and 91 cm for men) is associated with an increase in risk for hypertension and other risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD). The risk of developing hypertension is 2 to 6 times larger in overweight subjects compared to subjects with body weight within the optimum (Krummel, 2002).

Sedentary lifestyle

The physical exercise can reduce blood pressure, as well as producing additional benefits, such as decreased body weight, decreased insulin resistance and helps in stress management (CUPPARI, 2005). The literature suggests that prolonged moderate-intensity activities are carried out by patients suffering from hypertension (LATERZA; RONDON & NEGRÃO, 2007).

Drinking alcohol

The consumption of alcohol alters the blood pressure, it is advisable that hypertensive not make use of these products. For hypertensive patients who consume alcohol, the amount of 30 ml of ethanol / day is suggested as the maximum. This corresponds to 60 ml of liquor, 240 ml of 720 mL of wine or beer. For women, the intake should not exceed 15 ml of ethanol / day. (CUPPARI, 2005). Àvila et al (2010) reports in his work that prolonged intake of alcohol can, and raise blood pressure, increase the risk of death from cardiovascular causes.


Smoking should be avoided not only to control blood pressure, but in order to reduce the risk of cancer, lung disease and constitute a risk for coronary heart disease, stroke and sudden death (CUPPARI, 2005). Smoking causes hardening of the arteries, or atherosclerosis, and consequently requires greater effort heart, causing increased pressure (LAGE and OLIVEIRA, 2003). Hypertensive that make tobacco use should be encouraged to give up the habit, seeking greater longevity.


There is little to coffee related material and its influence on blood pressure. It is suggested that the occurrence of changes is due to excessive consumption of caffeine (OLIVEIRA, MAGALHÃES and VERDE, 2014).


Stress has also been reported as a risk factor for hypertension. Physiological changes may be related to stress-related increases in blood pressure and it is believed that when the stress is often, persons predisposed to hypertension may develop the disease (Malagris, 2013).

Nutrition Therapy

The nutritional treatment is essential for the control of blood pressure. Control of high blood pressure through dietary changes aimed at controlling blood

pressure as well, reducing the risk of serious heart disease. (LAGE & OLIVEIRA, 2003).


Diets rich in potassium should be encouraged since they increase the benefits of low sodium diet (low sodium intake). Potassium leads to reduction in blood pressure levels due to increased natriuresis, decreased secretion of renin and norepinephrine and an increase in prostaglandin secretion (CUPPARI, 2005).

There are foods that have a high potassium content, namely: beans, chickpea, fresh peas, split peas, oats, wheat germ, beets, potatoes, radish, cassava, yam carrot, parsley, endive, kale Brussels sprouts, kale, chicory, spinach, cranberries, avocado, banana, raw cherry, melon, passion fruit, etc.


Calcium intake whether through milk or other forms has been considered a great tool for the prevention of stroke (MAHAN & Escott-STUMP, 2010). Consumption around 600 mg / day or more Ca. has been considered ideal to have a beneficial effect of thier blood pressure. Its main sources are dairy products, leafy vegetables, sardines and salmon (JARDIN; MONEGO & REIS, 2004).


Magnesium has a great inhibitory function of vascular smooth muscle contraction and can control blood pressure as a vasodilator. Is lot of green leafy vegetables in magnesium, nuts, breads and whole grains (MAHAN & ESCOTT-STUMP, 2010).


The fibers work in the prevention of hypertension. Dietary fiber are all vegetable diet polysaccharides (cellulose, hemicellulose, pectins, gums and mucilages). Taking as a basis of their solubility properties in water, the fibers are differentiated in soluble (pectins, gums, mucilages and some hemicelluloses), for example, oat bran and cooked carrots. And insoluble (lignin, cellulose and hemicellulose), as an example we can mention: wheat bran, legumes and leafy. The dietary fiber increases the bulk of promoting bowel regulation of intestinal transit time and decreasing the pressure of the intestinal lumen (LAGE & OLIVEIRA, 2003).