High Blood Pressure and Cholesterol

Do you know the number one killer in America is actually - heart disease? High cholesterol and high blood pressure can lead to serious heart conditions. But, these two causes can be prevented.

Let's start with high cholesterol. The American Heart Association says that one in five American's has too high a cholesterol level. But first, just what is cholesterol? Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance called a lipid that is found inside cells and blood. It is produced naturally in the liver, but some of the "bad" cholesterol comes from the food we eat, mainly in animal fats. While too much cholesterol can be harmful, a certain amount is necessary for bodily functions, such as making cell walls and acting as a building block to produce various hormones, bile acids, and Vitamin D.

cholesterol

Having too much cholesterol can block blood flow, resulting in a thickening and hardening of artery walls, a disorder called arteriosclerosis. Since this also narrows the arteries, blood flow can be slowed down, or even blocked. With less blood, the heart, therefore, gets less oxygen. That can result in chest pain, heart attack, or something as drastic as death. Lowering your blood cholesterol level is one of the best ways you can decrease your risk of heart disease. And, even if your cholesterol is close to the desirable range, 200 milligrams per deciliter of blood, you can lower it and reduce your risk of heart disease.

With all this thickening going on, water can play a very important role. Drinking water can actually thin the blood, making in natural way to help the blood pump more smoothly. When the body is dehydrated, the blood becomes acidic which can lead to a build-up in LDL levels of cholesterol. Drinking plenty of water will keep your blood ways clean and eliminate the excess buildup of cholesterol waste from the body. Drinking plenty of water will keep your blood ways clean! Moreover, drinking lots of water can improve your metabolic rate, which may help you lose weight. Since exercise, along with a healthy diet, is an important contribution to the lowering of cholesterol, once again, water needs to be drank in order to replenish what was lost. In fact, consumption of water so you are fully hydrated can increase your metabolic rate!

Let's talk about water and high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. Blood pressure refers to the force of blood pushing against artery walls as it makes its way through the body. Just like air in a tire, blood fills arteries to a certain capacity, and anything over that capacity can have damaging effects. (Ever have too much pressure in your tires?) Just like high cholesterol, high blood pressure can threaten healthy arteries and lead to life-threatening conditions such as heart disease and stroke. And what's scary is that there are not any real symptoms until which is why high blood pressure is known as the silent killer.

Does Drinking Water Lower Blood Pressure?

So does drinking water lower blood pressure? Hypertension can be combated in many ways, such as quitting smoking, stopping drinking alcohol, or losing weight. Water can also help lower this pressure, as blood is mainly composed of water. So how much water should you drink a day for high blood pressure? Those with high blood pressure will benefit from keeping hydrated by drinking at least 8-10 glasses (60-80 ounces) of water each day. Excessive salt consumption can adversely affect blood pressure, but luckily sodium can be flushed out of the body by drinking clean purified water daily.

What Happens If You Don’t Drink Enough Water?

So, drinking a healthy amount of water each day can maintain a healthy heart but what happens if we don’t drink enough water? When it comes to water and blood pressure, dehydration will definitely affect your blood pressure adversely. Our kidneys clean our blood. When we are dehydrated and have high blood pressure, the blood flow to our kidneys is reduced which makes our bodies think they are low on water. They will thus react by telling the brain to constrict veins and arteries, which will make the blood pressure even higher.

Importance of Water Quality

The quality of the drinking water can also have an effect on our cholesterol levels. Animal studies have shown that chlorine in drinking water can raise levels of plasma cholesterol. This is something we must be aware of because most tap water in the US is chlorinated. Therefore, it is a good idea to install a quality water filtration system that can remove chlorine and other harmful chemicals from your drinking water.

What To Do Next

Drinking plenty of clean water can help combat high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Remember it is also never too late to improve your heart health with the help of regular exercise, balanced nutrition, and a positive outlook on life. The human body is very resilient and if you treat yourself well, you will be surprised by your body’s own natural ability to heal itself and lower bad cholesterol. And yes, our body's own natural ability to heal can be improved with a healthy weight and diet. It makes water drinking more essential to our daily life. Here’s drinking to your health and achieving your goals. We know you can do it!

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