Hot Ginger Lemon Water
Have a cup of this when you wake up and watch your day get energized!
- Fresh ginger
- 3 dashes of crushed red pepper flakes
Add These 20 Foods To Your Diet To Lower Blood Pressure
A staggering 108 million Americans thats nearly half of the population are struggling with high blood pressure, the CDC says, which means they are at an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and other life-altering health consequences along the way.
Skipping the salt and squeezing in some regular workouts can help keep your blood pressure from reaching dangerous levels, but it takes a more proactive approach to keep your blood pressure under control in the long run.
High Blood Pressure Myth Buster
Close to fifty percent of all adults in the United States have high blood pressure. Chances are you know someone with hypertension. Along with that often comes ideas from anecdotal evidence and spreads common misconceptions.
You may have heard that if high blood pressure runs in your family, it’s inevitable that you will develop it at some point in your life as well. While there is a higher risk for those individuals with a family history of hypertension, your diet and lifestyle choices can drastically reduce your likelihood of developing it.
Another common misconception is that if you don’t symptoms such as feeling flushed, nervous, or sweating you don’t have high blood pressure. This is also false because many people have no symptoms at all.
An important myth to bust is that if you were put on blood pressure medicine and your numbers start to go down that you can stop taking your medication. This can be very dangerous. You should always consult with your doctor before making any modifications to your blood pressure medication.
As a blanket recommendation, when in doubt check with your doctor! If you have risks factors for high blood pressure and don’t see a doctor on a regular basis, utilize free resources like the blood pressure station at your local pharmacy or visit a free clinic for a routine health screening.
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Diagnosing High Blood Pressure
Diagnosing hypertension is as simple as taking a blood pressure reading. Most doctors offices check blood pressure as part of a routine visit. If you dont receive a blood pressure reading at your next appointment, request one.
If your blood pressure is elevated, your doctor may request you have more readings over the course of a few days or weeks. A hypertension diagnosis is rarely given after just one reading. Your doctor needs to see evidence of a sustained problem. Thats because your environment can contribute to increased blood pressure, such as the stress you may feel by being at the doctors office. Also, blood pressure levels change throughout the day.
If your blood pressure remains high, your doctor will likely conduct more tests to rule out underlying conditions. These tests can include:
- cholesterol screening and other blood tests
- test of your hearts electrical activity with an electrocardiogram
- ultrasound of your heart or kidneys
These tests can help your doctor identify any secondary issues causing your elevated blood pressure. They can also look at the effects high blood pressure may have had on your organs.
During this time, your doctor may begin treating your hypertension. Early treatment may reduce your risk of lasting damage.
Two numbers create a blood pressure reading:
Five categories define blood pressure readings for adults:
What Are The Best Foods For High Blood Pressure
Food has such a major impact on blood pressure that an entire diet was created for people with or at risk for hypertension to follow called the DASH diet .
The DASH diet generally includes healthy eating principles with a focus on many of the choices discussed here, especially fruits, vegetables, fish, and low-fat dairy. It also minimizes choices that increase blood pressure such as salt and saturated fats.
The DASH diet is widely recommended by healthcare authorities including the AHA and mayo clinic .
Eating the right amount in order to achieve and maintain a healthy weight is also important for blood pressure control and overall health.
Bottom Line: A healthy diet and regular exercise can often lead to effective blood pressure control without the need to be dependent on medications.
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What Is The Dash Diet
The DASH diet, which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, is one of the most effective dietary ways to lower your blood pressure. The DASH diet is low in sodium , high in fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and low in foods that are high in saturated fats. has been ranked the healthiest overall diet by a panel of experts from U.S. News and World Reports, says Jeff Landsman, MD, primary care provider at Mercy Personal Physicians in Lutherville, Maryland.
Fish, chicken, and vegetable protein are highlighted as great choices, with an emphasis on the whole grains that provide so many of the unique dietary fibers that we need, says , Ph.D., emeritus professor of nutrition at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota.
This diet for high blood pressure, which has been studied for almost 30 years, is proven to both lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of nearly all chronic diseases. In fact, in a recent meta-analysis that involved over 900,000 subjects, The DASH dietary pattern was associated with a nearly 20% decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, says Jones.
Whats more, many people have success following the DASH eating plan because it contains the foods theyre used to, and it follows familiar eating patterns, which greatly improves their chance of long-term success.
When To See A Doctor About High Blood Pressure Symptoms
High blood pressure often does not cause any symptoms. So, if you are at the dentist or physicians office and are told that your blood pressure is high, it is important for you to check your blood pressure regularly while not at a doctors office. When blood pressure is very high, it can cause headache, dizziness, unsteadiness, visual disturbances, shortness of breath, and chest pain. Chronic elevated blood pressure causes decreased blood flow to vital organs. Over time this may cause dementia, blindness, heart failure, and kidney failure. When these occur in someone with high blood pressure, it is important to see your doctor, says Dr. Li. Its always best to catch it before these symptoms develop, so have your blood pressure checked regularly as part of an annual exam.
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What Teas To Drink To Lower High Blood Pressure
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One Last Tip Not A Popular Thing To Say
I know its not popular to say this, but having fatty blood from highly fatty foods is really, really hard on blood pressure. Im mainly talking about large amounts and fried foods, but the American diet is full of excess. If I hadnt conducted my own experiment I wouldnt believe it either, but theres really something to it.
I reduced the fat in my diet only to find that within three days I wanted to faint. Everything dropped way too much. I actually did this because a friend was having her gallbladder removed and she couldnt eat fat. She felt so much better that I tried it, too. A doctors appointment around that time showed a drastic reduction in blood pressure . After this three day experiment, however, I noticed immediately that I could breathe easier and felt energetic. The sluggishness that nagged me all through young adulthood and beyond dissipated and I keep my energy levels high with greens, fruits, and vegetables as a large portion of my meals.
This is not to say that fat is bad! But Ive also been in hospital rooms of people who ate a bite of pizza and I watched their blood pressure skyrocket within five minutes. At the very least, try not to mix fats with refined carbohydrates and other sugars.
If you rely on dietary fat, you will want to completely eliminate the heart-damaging canola oil and switch to coconut oil, avocado oil, nuts, olive oil, grass-fed beef, bug-fed free-range chickens and wild caught salmon.
Secondary Hypertension Treatment Options
If your doctor discovers an underlying issue causing your hypertension, treatment will focus on that other condition. For example, if a medicine youve started taking is causing increased blood pressure, your doctor will try other medicines that dont have this side effect.
Sometimes, hypertension is persistent despite treatment for the underlying cause. In this case, your doctor may work with you to develop lifestyle changes and prescribe medications to help reduce your blood pressure.
Treatment plans for hypertension often evolve. What worked at first may become less useful over time. Your doctor will continue to work with you to refine your treatment.
Many people go through a trial-and-error phase with blood pressure medications. You may need to try different medicines until you find one or a combination of medications that work for you.
Some of the medications used to treat hypertension include:
Healthy lifestyle changes can help you control the factors that cause hypertension. Here are some of the most common home remedies.
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Try Meditation Or Yoga
Mindfulness and meditation, including transcendental meditation, have long been used and studied as methods to reduce stress. A 2012 study notes that one university program in Massachusetts has had more than 19,000 people participate in a meditation and mindfulness program to reduce stress .
Yoga, which commonly involves breathing control, posture, and meditation techniques, can also be effective in reducing stress and blood pressure.
A 2013 review on yoga and blood pressure found an average blood pressure decrease of 3.62 mm Hg diastolic and 4.17 mm Hg systolic when compared to those who didnt exercise. Studies of yoga practices that included breath control, postures, and meditation were nearly twice as effective as yoga practices that didnt include all three of these elements .
Five Whole Foods For Lower Blood Pressure
Weve all heard it before: An apple a day keeps the doctor away. But it turns out, the old saying might be more true than you think. Fruit is one of the best choices for reducing blood pressure. Find out what foods are the most effective at reducing blood pressure according to researchers.
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Comparison Of Sodium In Foods
Meats, poultry, fish, and shellfish
Food: Milligrams sodium
Fresh meat, 3 oz. cooked: Less than 90 mg
Shellfish, 3 oz: 100 to 325 mg
Tuna, canned, 3 oz: 300 mg
Lean ham, 3 oz.: 1,025 mg
*Whole milk, 1 cup: 120 mg
Skim or 1% milk, 1 cup: 125 mg
*Buttermilk , 1 cup: 260 mg
*Swiss cheese, 1 oz: 75 mg
*Cheddar cheese, 1 oz : 175 mg
Low-fat cheese, 1 oz.: 150 mg
*Cottage cheese , 1/2 cup: 455 mg
Food: Milligrams sodium
Fresh or frozen vegetables, and no-salt-added canned , 1/2 cup: Less than 70 mg
Vegetables canned or frozen , 1/2 cup: 55-470 mg
Tomato juice, canned, 3/4 cup: 660 mg
Breads, cereals, rice and pasta
Food: Milligrams sodium
Bread, 1 slice: 110-175 mg
English muffin : 130 mg
Ready-to-eat, shredded wheat, 3/4 cup: Less than 5 mg
Cooked cereal , 1/2 cup: Less than 5 mg
Instant cooked cereal, 1 packet: 180 mg
Canned soups, 1 cup: 600-1,300 mg
Food: Milligrams sodium
Canned and frozen main dishes, 8 oz: 500-1,570 mg
*These can also be high in saturated fat, unless low-fat or reduced fat options are purchased.
*High in saturated fat.
Limit Your Alcohol Intake
Regularly drinking too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure over time.
Staying within the recommended levels is the best way to reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure:
- men and women are advised not to regularly drink more than 14 units a week
- spread your drinking over 3 days or more if you drink as much as 14 units a week
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Best Foods To Lower Cholesterol And Blood Pressure
One of the major reasons for high cholesterol and elevated blood pressure is unhealthy eating. There are many foods which can cause elevated cholesterol levels and can increase your blood pressure. Good thing is you can lower cholesterol and blood pressure by eating the right foods. LDL is the bad cholesterol. It can clog the blood vessels and is harmful for your body. To control your cholesterol levels cut back on the foods containing high amounts of LDL.
Potassium And Your Diet
The recommended potassium intake for an average adult is 4,700 milligrams per day.
Many of the elements of the DASH diet fruits, vegetables, fat-free or low-fat dairy foods and fish are good natural sources of potassium. For example, a medium banana has about 420 mg of potassium and half a cup of plain mashed sweet potatoes has 475 mg.
Other potassium-rich foods include:
- Fat-free or low-fat milk
- Fat-free yogurt
- Grapefruit and grapefruit juice
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Eat More Potassium And Less Sodium
Increasing your potassium intake and cutting back on salt can also lower your blood pressure .
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.
Its easy to eat more potassium so many foods are naturally high in potassium. Here are a few:
17 ). Popular high-salt items include deli meats, canned soup, pizza, chips, and other processed snacks.
Foods labeled low-fat are usually high in salt and sugar to compensate for the loss of fat. Fat is what gives food taste and makes you feel full.
Cutting down on or even better, cutting out processed food will help you eat less salt, less sugar, and fewer refined carbohydrates. All of this can result in lower blood pressure.
Make it a practice to check labels. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration , a sodium listing of 5 percent or less on a food label is considered low, while 20 percent or more is considered high (