According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, a 2014 National Survey of Long-Haul Truck Driver Health and Injury reports that about 26% of truck drivers in the United States have high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. Among truck drivers, the report also states that 88% are at risk for developing either hypertension, smoking, or obesity. High blood pressure is one of the many major health concerns for truck drivers because it is the cause of multiple cardiovascular health problems. Hypertension is caused by a variety of factors such as obesity, stress, smoking, alcohol, and family history to name a few. However, truckers can combat this medical condition by consuming these foods that lower blood pressure in truck drivers.
Foods That Lower Blood Pressure in Truck Drivers
What is High Blood Pressure?
According to the American Heart Association, “about 85 Americans — one out of every three adults over age 20 — have high blood pressure.” Known as the silent killer, high blood pressure, or hypertension, occurs when the body generates a high force of the blood (blood pressure) against the artery walls. Hypertension is one of the leading cause of heart diseases such as strokes, heart attacks, and kidney failures to name a few. This is because high blood pressure can cause damages in one’s arteries, blood vessels, and even kidneys.
What Are the Causes of High Blood Pressure?
Causes of High Blood Pressure:
- Family History
- Lack of Physical Activity
- High Salt Intake
- Low Potassium Levels
- Low Vitamin D Levels
What Should You Eat?
Managing your blood pressure can be an easy task when you implement a healthy diet in your everyday life. A large portion of what causes high blood pressure derives from poor eating habits. Therefore, increasing these foods that lower blood pressure in truck drivers is your first step towards a healthy life.
- Potassium: Foods rich in potassium are great foods that lower blood pressure in truck drivers. This is because potassium lowers your sodium intake within the body. In addition, potassium loosens the force within your blood vessels. An important cause of hypertension is having too much sodium in your diet, which causes your blood vessels to retain too much water. As a result, your body will require more force to pump the blood, thus increasing your blood pressure.
- To incorporate more potassium into your diet, increase your intake of fruits, vegetables, and proteins. For example, bananas and pomegranate are two fruits that are rich in potassium. Leafy greens such as spinach, kale, and romaine lettuce are also great ingredients for a potassium rich salad or side dish. Seeds such as sunflower and pumpkin seeds are perfect for a potassium-rich snack. Kidney beans and potatoes are also foods rich in both protein and potassium.
- Vitamin D/Calcium: Foods rich in vitamin D/calcium are great for lowering your blood pressure by producing enzymes in your kidneys to help you fight off heart diseases. Here are some ideas on how you can incorporate a calcium-rich diet into your meal planning:
- Breakfast: Low-fat yogurt with oats and bananas
- Lunch: Leafy greens salad with sweet potatoes
- Dinner: Butternut squash soup with white beans
- Snack: Baby carrots, oranges, or almonds
- Nitric Oxide: Foods rich in nitric oxide will help manage your blood pressure. Dark chocolate, beets, walnuts, and arugula are some foods that have high contents of nitric oxide.
- Get Your Daily Exercise: Aside from consuming these foods that lower blood pressure in truck drivers, maintaining a healthy diet also consists of physical activity. Exercise will help supply your blood vessels with more oxygen to lower your blood pressure.
- Stop Smoking: Not only is smoking bad for your respiratory system, but it can also damage your circulatory system by increasing your chances of gaining hypertension. This is because tobacco contains chemicals that can cause the lining of your artery to narrow, making it harder for your blood to pass through the arteries.
- Drink in Moderation: Excessive drinking can cause multiple kidney failures, so drink in moderation to lower your chances of health problems.
- Drink Plenty of Water: Increasing your water intake can help lower your sodium levels, thus helping your body monitor its blood pressure.
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a silent killer that plagues truck drivers across the country. Incorporate these foods that lower blood pressure in truck drivers into your meal planning to prevent further health problems.