Posted: Wednesday, May 17, 2023. 9:48 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: The Ministry of Health and Wellness is raising awareness of hypertension (high blood pressure), which it says is one of the main risk factors leading to heart disease, one of Belize’s leading causes of death.
Key risk factors for high blood pressure include poor diet, high salt content, being overweight, and not participating in physical activities.
Salt content should be limited to less than five grams or just under a teaspoon per day and foods with excessive salt, especially processed food such as bacon, chopped ham, salami, cheese, and instant noodles, among others, should be avoided.
The public is encouraged to practice the following nutrition and health tips: measure your blood pressure often to know blood pressure levels; take your blood pressure medication as prescribed; use herbal-based seasonings such as garlic, onions, cilantro, spices, citrus juice, or salt-free seasonings instead of salt and bottle mixed seasonings; avoid processed foods and canned foods; consume fresh fruits and vegetables regularly; maintain moderate physical activity (at least 30 minutes most days of the week); manage and control stress levels and reduce consumption of alcoholic and caffeinated drinks.
The Ministry of Health and Wellness is prioritizing wellness campaigns and fairs throughout the country to promote health checks, healthy eating, and increased physical activity. Activities such as blood pressure testing, mental health services, weight, and body mass index checks, and sharing healthy eating tips are key actions within these campaigns. The ministry encourages workplaces and schools to organize similar wellness activities.
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