If you have high blood pressure, there are ways to mitigate its risks. Diet and lifestyle modifications could help lower it.
Diets rich in foods rich in potassium, magnesium and calcium can naturally help lower blood pressure. You should include nuts, legumes, fruits vegetables and low-fat dairy products into your daily meals to lower it even further.
Eat a Healthy Diet
If you have high blood pressure, diet and lifestyle modifications may help lower its risks. Although certain risk factors, such as genetics or family history may not be within your control, others can be modified.
Dieting can help control high blood pressure and protect against heart disease and other serious health conditions, like dementia. Your physician can suggest an ideal diet and exercise plan tailored specifically to you.
Your diet should include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, poultry, fish, nuts, low-fat dairy products and beans to get all of the essential vitamins and nutrients your body needs to relax blood vessels and maintain normal blood pressure. These foods will provide your blood vessels with essential hydration while balancing out your blood pressure levels.
Cut down on salt intake and consume more potassium – both minerals are crucial in supporting healthy blood pressure levels, helping prevent or treat high blood pressure.
Consume a wide range of fruits and vegetables, particularly dark green, red, and orange ones. Vegetables and fruits contain fiber which can help lower your blood pressure.
Make a point of eating at least 2 cups of fresh fruit daily and three or more servings of vegetables to meet the daily recommended amount of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other beneficial nutrients that your body requires. This is a great way to stay on track with achieving good health!
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) advises following a diet known as DASH, consisting of fruits, vegetables, whole grain products, poultry, fish and nuts. This diet is rich in potassium and calcium – both of which help to lower blood pressure.
Oats can also help lower blood pressure. Studies indicate that they contain avenanthramide C and beta-glucan, two compounds thought to help regulate your blood pressure levels.
Studies conducted in 2020 also discovered that the ingredients contained within oats could help lower levels of malondialdehyde – an indicator of oxidative stress – by up to 39%.
Berry fruits such as strawberries and blueberries contain anthocyanins that can help to lower blood pressure, as well as Vitamin C and other antioxidants that may reduce inflammation and protect against heart disease.
Get Regular Exercise
One of the best ways to reduce your risk of hypertension is through diet and lifestyle modifications. Making positive dietary decisions, cutting back on salt intake and engaging in regular physical activity are all proven strategies for lowering blood pressure levels.
Aerobic exercise is the preferred form of physical activity, raising your heart rate while engaging large muscle groups like legs, arms and shoulders. Aerobics also improve blood circulation while helping prevent heart disease, strokes and other cardiovascular issues – examples include brisk walking, running, swimming and dancing.
Strength training (or resistance exercise) is another form of exercise which can help bring down blood pressure. Strength exercises like squats, lunges, push-ups and lifting weights may all play a part.
These forms of exercise help strengthen muscles and enhance balance, making them suitable for adults aged 18-64 years and should be done for at least 30 minutes five times weekly.
Exercise regularly, your blood vessels dilate or expand. This allows blood vessels to open up more easily and decrease how much flows through arteries; over time this will lower both systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure.
Before beginning an exercise program, always consult your physician first. Be sure to discuss any health-related concerns or medical conditions that could impede movement such as arthritis or recent surgery with them.
As with most forms of exercise, it’s wise to begin slowly with low intensity routines before gradually increasing intensity as your body adapts. Perhaps start by performing 5- or 10-minute sessions most days for several weeks before gradually increasing length over time.
If you don’t have time for an extensive exercise program, try taking short walks on most days or doing light gardening tasks, like raking leaves. Yoga, walking your pet or other simple exercises could also be effective options.
Lifestyle and diet changes can help to lower your risk of hypertension and other serious medical conditions, and prevent other serious medical problems from emerging. Making these adjustments and starting on the path toward better health are never too late!
Reduce Your Salt Intake
Too much salt is essential to good body function, yet too much sodium can increase blood pressure and cause health issues like high blood pressure (hypertension), heart disease, kidney disease, stroke and osteoporosis.
Diet and lifestyle modifications can help lower the risk of hypertension. One effective method for doing this is cutting back on salt consumption.
Salt can increase blood pressure as well as damage heart and blood vessel tissue, as well as cause irritation to kidneys that may result in stones and other kidney problems. Furthermore, too much salt increases your risk for osteoporosis and dementia – two serious health conditions.
Start by reading food labels and avoiding items containing high levels of sodium. Opt for fresh, whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, fish, meat, unsalted nuts and grains as your main sources of nutrition to reduce salt intake.
When purchasing salty snacks, be sure to choose low-sodium options and don’t consume large quantities at one sitting. Also try cooking meals from home so that you have full control of how much salt goes in, suggests Dr. Michael Zumpano of UVA Medical Center’s Center for Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease external link.
Another simple and effective way to reduce sodium consumption is switching out your usual pizza, ketchup or breakfast cereal for something with lower salt. Doing this is an effortless way of altering your diet and dramatically lowering daily sodium consumption.
Checking nutrition labels of products purchased at supermarkets or grocery stores to learn how much salt they contain may surprise you; often hidden salt is found within food, so being aware of what you consume is key in making smart choices and being health conscious.
Numerous randomized trials have demonstrated the association between modest reduction in salt intake and lower BP readings, and reduced mortality from stroke and coronary heart disease; and an estimated 6 g/day decrease in diet salt intake; estimates by experts indicate this could prevent an estimated 35 000 deaths per year in the UK alone and 2.5 million globally.
If you are a smoker, quitting may be your best bet for reducing blood pressure. Smoking increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and other serious illnesses while rendering any medications you take to reduce hypertension less effective.
At Smokefreelife we provide assistance in various forms: counseling, medication and quitline coaching are all viable solutions to assist you with quitting smoking. Speak with your physician about finding the most effective approach for you.
Recognizing your triggers may help lower your urges to smoke. For instance, if you tend to light up in your car on the way home from work, try taking an alternate route this time and seeing how that goes.
Find alternatives to smoking as a way of managing cravings: solving puzzles on your phone, playing computer games or reading a book can all provide great alternatives to smoking.
Once you’ve decided to stop smoking, setting an exact date and sticking with it are both key parts of success. Inform family and friends so that they can provide support as you embark on this journey.
As soon as you stop smoking, your body begins to experience numerous physiological benefits which will help lower blood pressure and increase circulation. Within twenty to sixty minutes to an hour after quitting smoking, both blood pressure and heart rate usually return to their regular levels.
Your body’s carbon monoxide levels will return to normal, helping boost oxygen levels. This is important as inhaling large amounts of carbon monoxide quickly can lead to suffocation.
Quitting smoking can not only lower your blood pressure but can save money as well – no longer will you need to purchase cigarettes or pay the associated health care costs associated with their use, freeing up more of your budget for healthier foods and experiences such as going out to eat or buying new wardrobe items.
Your body may experience withdrawal symptoms such as headaches or sleeplessness; these are normal as your body starts healing itself and adapts to living without nicotine. With patience and persistence, you can eventually stop smoking permanently.