High blood pressure is a contributing factor to cardiovascular disease, the #1 killer in the U.S.—and the world—today. But the truth is that it’s not too hard to keep your blood pressure low. It will require a few lifestyle, diet, and daily habit changes, but it will be fairly simple to manage your blood pressure. Here’s what we recommend:
Exercise is one of the best ways to reduce high blood pressure, and it can keep your blood vessels elastic and flexible. You should shoot for at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise per day, or no less than 150 minutes per week. With a bit more exercise, you’ll keep your heart healthy and strong.
Easier said than done, I know! However, it’s imperative if you want to keep your blood pressure manageable. Lowering your BMI to healthy levels is an important step in managing high blood pressure, and will translate into health boosts in literally every other aspect of your life!
Reduce Salt Intake
Sodium is one of the primary contributors to high blood pressure, as it causes your body to retain more water than it should. To cut back on sodium, reduce the amount of salt in your cooking, and try to avoid any flavorings that are very salty or sodium-rich. Read food labels to see which of your foods (snacks, canned goods, sauces, etc.) are providing too much sodium, and eliminate them from your diet.
Get More Probiotics
Probiotics—like kefir, probiotic yoghurt, sauerkraut, and kimchi—can all have a positive effect on your blood pressure levels. Studies have proven that consuming probiotics regularly can reduce both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
As much as possible, consume foods that are raw: nuts, seeds, veggies, fruits, and legumes. Limit your intake of grains, and try to reduce trans fat consumption. Focus on the healthier, more natural foods, and you’ll do your cardiovascular system a huge favor.
Smoking can be bad for more than just your lungs—it will also raise your blood pressure and increase the strain on your blood vessels. It may be tough, but it’s time to kick your smoking habit. You’ll end up with a much healthier body overall as a result!
Avoid Processed Foods
Processed food tends to be high in calories, sodium, and trans fats, but it doesn’t contain a whole lot in the way of quality nutrients. In fact, most processed food contains 75% more sodium than is necessary, thanks to the manufacturer’s desire to add flavor and preserve the food for longer. A good rule of thumb should be “if you don’t cook it yourself, don’t eat it.”
Stress can be one of your primary risk factors in high blood pressure. Cortisol, the stress hormone, can raise your blood pressure significantly, and chronically high cortisol production (the result of chronic stress) can stop your body from down-regulating blood pressure. Time to find ways to relax, enjoy life, laugh, meditate, and reduce the stress in your day. You’ll be marked improvement in your health in no time!
Watch Out With Stimulants
Coffee and energy drinks can both raise your blood pressure, and regular consumption of these caffeinated beverage may have negative consequences for your cardiovascular system. Caffeine can cause spikes in your blood pressure and lead to irregular heart rhythms. The same is true for the stimulants in energy drinks and energy booster shots. Try to cut these stimulants from your life—or, at the very least, reduce your intake drastically!