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Under Pressure: The Effect of High Blood Pressure on Brain Health
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Under Pressure: The Effect of High Blood Pressure on Brain Health

One of the many reasons that I am so passionate about teaching people how to eat healthy through Beyond Diet is that more and more Americans are dying. They are dying because of all the unhealthy foods and drinks they consume.

Dramatic statement? Yes, but unfortunately it's true. Not only are people dying from a myriad of diet-related health issues, but people as young as 40 years old who have high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, are also suffering from brain injury and premature brain aging.

Scientists from the University of California, Davis, who study the brain are researching the effects that high blood pressure has on brain injuries. Their studies show that the brain of a 40-year-old person with hypertension or high blood pressure appears 7.2 years older than the brain of a 40-year-old with normal blood pressure. Scientists have known for years that high blood pressure is linked to brain damage, but this is the first study that shows brain deterioration in people in their 30s and 40s.

Holy cow! This is not okay!

This means that young people (30 is young, right?) who have high blood pressure can experience the same brain deterioration as elderly people, including cognitive decline and increased risk of dementia. And to make this news even scarier, your blood pressure doesn't have to be extremely high to put you at risk. Even slightly elevated blood pressure over a long period of time can lead to the same devastating consequences.

Although doctors don't know exactly what causes high blood pressure, most agree that our diet and weight play a huge role. Dr. Charles DeCarli, an Alzheimer's specialist who participated in the research study at UC Davis, puts it best: "The message here is really clear: People can influence their late-life brain health by knowing and treating their blood pressure at a young age, when you wouldn't necessarily be thinking about it."

Not that we need another reason to eat healthy and live a healthy lifestyle, but we can now add improving brain health to this ever-expanding list.

The beauty of Beyond Diet is that all of the scary diet-related health issues we hear about will virtually be eliminated, because you are only putting natural, organic, whole food into your body. You can cross worrying about your health off your list!

If you are concerned about your blood pressure, only a doctor can diagnose you. However, if you're just curious, go to your local grocery store or drugstore and check it for free.