Blood Pressure Awareness

High blood pressure affects people of all ages, races and genders. High Blood Pressure can lead to stroke and is the fourth leading cause of death in this nation. Suffering from a stroke can also lead to paralysis, confusion, speech impairment, and depression. According to the American Heart Association®, high blood pressure is defined as a blood pressure equal to or greater than 140/90, where 140 mmHg (millimeters mercury) is systolic blood pressure and 90 mmHg is the diastolic blood pressure.

The importance behind checking your blood pressure

Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to stroke, heart attack, heart failure or kidney failure. Having your blood pressure checked is the only way to find out if it is high, this is why high blood pressure is often called the “the silent killer” – there are no symptoms.

Although you cannot control race, heredity or age there are factors you can control.

Controllable Risk Factors:

  • Obesity: you are more likely to develop high blood pressure if your body mass index is 30.0 or greater.
  • Sodium Intake: A high-sodium diet may increase blood pressure in some people.
  • Lack of Physical Activity: Being physically inactive can lead to becoming overweight, which may increase your risk of developing high blood pressure.
  • Stress: Responses to stress vary from person to person, and can cause increases in blood pressure.

Find out your numbers:

  1. Visit your physician regularly to get your blood pressure checked. A desirable blood pressure is 120/80. Get your blood work taken annually.
  2. Lab work gives an accurate measure of your cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
  3. Follow a healthy lifestyle:
    • Exercise Regularly
    • Eat a Healthy Diet
    • Maintain a Healthy Weight
    • Limit Alcohol Intake and Quit Smoking!

For more information on heart disease and stroke prevention, visit the American Heart Association.

Pico De Gallo Grilled Chicken Salad

Pico de Gallo Ingredients:

  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 seeded, finely chopped jalapeño (can use ½ to reduce spiciness)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp. chopped, fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic, minced
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper

Chicken Salad:

  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes (or chicken tenderloins)
  • non-stick cooking spray
  • 8 cups green leaf or red leaf lettuce (approx. 8-10 leaves)
  • Cilantro or lemon/lime slices for garnish


  1. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients listed under “Pico de Gallo.” Set aside.
  2. Spray a medium skillet with cooking spray. Add chicken to skillet and turkey to medium-high heat.
  3. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Divide lettuce on to four plates, top with chicken.
  4. Spoon Pico de Gallo over salads and serve. Garnish with cilantro and/or lime slices if desired.

Nutrition Information per serving: 154 Calories, 148mg Sodium

Recipe: American Heart Association