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Author(s): M. F. VALIM | S. BARROS

Journal: Alimentos e Nutrição
ISSN 0103-4235

Volume: 17;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 451;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Keywords: Blood pressure | sodium | potassium | folate | diet | orange juice.

Blood pressure is the force of blood against artery walls. It is measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) and recorded as two numbers: systolic pressure (as the heart contracts) over diastolic pressure (as the heart relaxes between beats). High blood pressure (hypertension) is defined as chronically elevated high blood pressure, with systolic blood pressure (SBP) of 140 mm Hg or greater, and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) of 90 mm Hg or greater. High blood pressure (HBP), smoking, abnormal blood lipid levels, obesity and diabetes are risk factors for coronary heart disease, the leading cause of death in the US. Lifestyle modifications such as engaging in regular physical activity, quitting smoking and eating a healthy diet (limiting intake of saturated fat and sodium and increasing consumption of fiber, fruits and vegetables) are advocated for the prevention, treatment, and control of HBP. As multiple factors influence blood pressure, the effects of each factor are typically modest, particularly in normotensive subjects, yet the combined effects can be substantial. Nutrition plays an important role in influencing blood pressure. Orange juice should be included as part of any low sodium diet and/or any blood pressure reducing eating plan, as it is sodium free, fat-free and can help meet recommended levels of potassium intake that may contribute to lower BP.
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