Even if you take drugs for blood pressure, adding these healthy steps can lower your blood pressure even farther – and allow you to get the most benefit from the lowest dose of medication possible.
Not currently taking medication? Great! Taking these great steps now can prevent you from needing medication in the future!
Make reduced-Sodium products your first choice
Cutting your sodium intake by just 300 mg (the amount of two slices of processed cheese) reduces systolic pressure by 2 to 4 points, and diastolic pressure by 1 to 2 points. Cut more sodium, and your pressure drops even lower. Processed foods, not a salt shaker, are the biggest source of excess sodium in our diets. Here are some other quick ideas:
Of course there are many reasons to not smoke or quit smoking, but here is another one. The nicotine in tobacco constricts blood vessels, immediately raising the pressure within them.
Have a banana, melon slice, or handful of dried apricots every day
All of these fruits are rich in potassium, nicknamed the “unsalt “ by experts because of its ability to keep blood pressure down. Other high-potassium foods include spinach, lima beans, sweet potatoes, and avocados.
Snack on Soy nuts
An ounce of crunchy roasted soybeans cut systolic blood pressure readings by 10 points in one study. Look for unsalted varieties in your supermarket or health food store.
Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseeds on your morning cereal
Then mix 2 tablespoons into your spaghetti sauce, yogurt, or sprinkle on a salad later in the day. This could lower systolic pressure significantly, one study found. The secret ingredient? Probably the omega-3 fatty acids in flax.
Take Tea tomorrow morning (and afternoon) instead of coffee
For every cup of tea you drink in a day (up to four) your systolic blood pressure could fall by 2 points and your diastolic pressure could drop by 1 point, an Australian study suggests.
Stroll four times a day
Exercise cut systolic pressure by 5 points and diastolic pressure by 3 points in a University of Illinois study of 21 women and men. But volunteers who took four brisk 10-minute walks a day kept blood pressure low for a whopping 11 hours, versus 7 hours for those who exercised for 40 continues minutes once a day. Frequent activity keeps artery walls more fit and flexible.
Avoid overuse of pain relievers
Cut back on nonsteroidal anti-flammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like ibuprofen. Studies show that these popular pain relievers can raise your blood pressure if you take them frequently.
Come back for Wednesday’s blog for some more great tips that you can do today to lower your high blood pressure and keep it there for good!
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