Simple Ways To Lower Blood Pressure

By Carolina Cuartas - October 4, 2019

Paying attention to blood impression is crucial. About one in three U.S. adults has high blood pressure and the diseases linked to it are one of the leading causes of death in the US. High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a major risk for heart disease and stroke. 
"Systolic blood pressure. The top number represents the pressure in your blood vessels when your heart beats.Diastolic blood pressure. The bottom number represents the pressure in your blood vessels between beats, when your heart is resting." (Source)

Blood pressure lower than 120/80 mm Hg is considered normal. Blood pressure that’s 130/80 mm Hg or more is considered high. If your numbers are above normal but under 130/80 mm Hg, you fall into the category of elevated blood pressure. This means that you’re at risk for developing high blood pressure.

High blood pressure is considered the ‘silent killer’ since there are no symptoms of it. Simply put, the narrower your arteries are, the higher your blood pressure is. Managing blood pressure varies between person to person, but it’s extremely important we pay attention to how we manage it. Good news is that just a few lifestyle changes can help manage it and those changes also improve your overall quality of life.

Exercise more
As you regularly increase your heart and breathing rates, over time your heart gets stronger and pumps with less effort. This puts less pressure on your arteries and lowers your blood pressure.

If you’re overweight, losing even 5 to 10 pounds can reduce your blood pressure. Plus, you’ll lower your risk for other medical problems.

Cut back on sugar and refined carbohydrates
Many scientific studies show that restricting sugar and refined carbohydrates can help you lose weight and lower your blood pressure. Huge plus is that eating healthy can make you happier as well!

 Click here to check out some more low carb recipes and tips. 

Eat more potassium and less sodium
Something as simple as cutting back on salt and increasing potassium intake can work wonders for lowering your blood pressure. In addition, cutting back on processed foods, which are typically high in sodium, can help reduce your salt intake as well.
"Potassium is a double winner: It lessens the effects of salt in your system, and also eases tension in your blood vessels. However, diets rich in potassium may be harmful to individuals with kidney disease, so talk to your doctor before increasing your potassium intake." (Source)

Examples of high potassium/low sodium foods:
  • Low sodium and low carb foods
  • fruits (bananas, apricots, avocados, and oranges)
  • Vegetables (sweet potatoes, potatoes, tomatoes, greens, and spinach)
  • Low-fat dairy (milk and yogurt)
  • Whole grains
  • Fish
  • Poultry
  • Beans
Eat some dark chocolate
Chocolate lovers, this one's for you! Dark chocolate has been shown to lower blood pressure. Eating one or two squares of 60 to 70 percent cacao dark chocolate per day may help lower the risk of heart disease by lowering blood pressure and inflammation. This is because flavonoids, that are present in chocolate, help dilate and widen your blood vessels. 

Stop smoking
Smoking causes an immediate but temporary increase in your blood pressure and an increase in your heart rate.In the long term, the chemicals in tobacco can increase your blood pressure by damaging your blood vessel walls, causing inflammation, and narrowing your arteries. The hardened arteries cause higher blood pressure.

Smoking causes an immediate but temporary increase in your blood pressure and an increase in your heart rate. In the long term, the chemicals in tobacco can damage your blood vessel walls, which can increase your blood pressure, and increases inflammation. It can also narrow and harden your arteries which cause higher blood pressure.

Reduce excess stress
Your body produces a surge of hormones when you're in a stressful situation. These hormones temporarily increase your blood pressure by causing your heart to beat faster and your blood vessels to narrow.

Need help reducing stress? Massage therapy and yoga is a great way to reduce stress and lower blood pressure.
“Both massage therapy and yoga reduce cortisol and norepinephrine, two hormones that are produced when someone experiences stress. Chronic stress lead to increased risks for a number of health conditions including anxiety, depression, weight fluctuation, heart disease, sleep issues, memory impairment, and digestive problems.” (Source)

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