Foods To Eat To Lower Blood Pressure
Its estimated that 2 of 3 people with diabetes have high blood pressure. When blood pressure is elevated, your heart works harder to pump blood throughout your body. High blood pressure increases your risk of a heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, and eye problems.
You have already heard about how added salt can increase blood pressure, but did you know that certain foods can help to lower blood pressure? Foods that are high in potassium, magnesium, and calcium can help to regulate blood pressure. Taking these minerals as supplements doesnt have the same effect as eating foods that contain these. Try eating some of the following foods to boost your intake of nutrients that can lower blood pressure naturally.
Nuts are a good source of plant protein and contain the amino acid L-arginine which makes nitric oxide and helps blood vessels relax. While all nuts are a healthy choice, both almonds and pistachios contain the trifecta of potassium, magnesium, and calcium. Nuts are low in carbohydrates and eating nuts has been linked to improved glucose levels.
Beets contain nitrates, which are converted to nitric oxide which helps to control blood pressure. Beetroot juice contains higher amounts of nitrates than cooked beetroot. Beetroots contain potassium. For added calcium and magnesium, eat the beet greens as well.
What Is Low Blood Pressure
Generally speaking, low blood pressure is regarded as a sign of good health. It is most likely a reflection of genetic factors and suggests that your risk of heart disease is lower than average. Ideal blood pressure is considered anything lower than 120/80 the top number represents the amount of pressure the heart generates when it fully contracts, while the lower number refers to the amount of pressure in the arteries when the heart fully relaxes between beats. Low blood pressure is often defined as consistent readings below 90/60 but it can also include cases where only one of the numbers is in that range or lower.
How To Stock Your Kitchen Healthily:
Download our free FoodSwitch app. It can help you make healthier choices when shopping. By scanning the barcode of a product the app will tell you how much salt, sugar and fat it contains and find similar but healthier alternatives.
Find out more about the foods that are high in salt, sugar and fat and the healthier options available.
Get more ideas for healthy eating from our meal plan in Positive Pressure, our members magazine.
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Making The Exercise Habit Stick
Despite our best intentions, many of us struggle ditching our sedentary lifestyle. But there are steps you can take to make exercise less intimidating and more fun.
Start small and build momentum. If exercising for 30 minutes a day, 5 times a week sounds overwhelming, set a smaller goal and gradually build up as you gain self-confidence and momentum.
Reward yourself. Once it becomes a regular habit, exercise will reward you with more energy, better sleep, a greater sense of well-being, and improved cardiovascular health. When youre starting out, though, give yourself a simple reward for successfully completing a workout, such as having a hot bath or a favorite cup of coffee.
Choose activities you enjoy. Youre more likely to stick with a workout you find pleasurable. If you hate running but like yoga or dancing, for example, dont force yourself onto the treadmill every day. Pick activities that fit your lifestyle, abilities, and taste.
See How to Start Exercising and Stick to It to learn more.
The effects on your blood pressure
- 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise, such as walking, for five days of the week can reduce your reading by 4 to 11 mm Hg.
How To Lower Blood Pressure Naturally
The term lifestyle changes implies you will need to change your habits to bring your blood pressure down. Broadly speaking, these modifications are natural non-pharmaceutical ways of lowering blood pressure. Six methods have been proven effective in clinical studies, and two others are recommended:
Medicines For High Blood Pressure
Several types of medicine can be used to help control high blood pressure.
Many people need to take a combination of different medicines.
- if you’re under 55 years of age you’ll usually be offered an ACE inhibitor or an angiotensin-2 receptor blocker
- if you’re aged 55 or older, or you’re any age and of African or Caribbean origin you’ll usually be offered a calcium channel blocker
You may need to take blood pressure medicine for the rest of your life. But your doctor might be able to reduce or stop your treatment if your blood pressure stays under control for several years.
It’s really important to take your medicine as directed. If you miss doses, it will not work as well.
The medicine will not necessarily make you feel any different, but this does not mean it’s not working.
Medicines used to treat high blood pressure can have side effects, but most people do not get any.
If you do get side effects, do not stop taking your medicine. Talk to your doctor, who may advise changing your medicine.
Increase Potassium Intake With Healthy Foods
- Fruits like bananas, dried apricots, and pomegranates
- Vegetables like Brussels sprouts, beets, and acorn squash
- Dairy products, including fat-free or low-fat milk
- Coconut water
If youre looking for meal ideas with more potassium, the AHA offers the following recipes that have at least two potassium-rich ingredients:
Every Kitchen Cupboard Needs:
Wholegrain varieties of pasta, breakfast cereals and rice. Eating more wholegrains will help to lower your risk of heart disease, and they contain fibre which keeps you feeling full and aids digestion. Brown rice, wholewheat pasta and wholegrain cereals are good choices.
Nuts and seeds. These are a great source of minerals, nutrients and fibre. As they can also be high in fat, a good rule of thumb is to eat no more than handful a day. Avoid the roasted and salted types, the added salt will raise your blood pressure.
Canned fish, fruit, vegetables and beans. Canned products can be just as good as fresh or frozen. Choose options in water or their own juice and avoid foods tinned in oil, brine or syrup, or with added salt or sugar.
/6one Exercise To Lower Blood Pressure
While one has to consult a doctor and take medication to lower their blood pressure, there are many other things that can be done to keep blood pressure in control. In fact, there is one exercise that can help lower blood pressure instantly. As per a report, isometric handgrip strengtheners can lower down blood pressure quickly. Yes, it’s that simple.
Simply sitting down and squeezing one can be enough for your body to reduce the systolic pressure, say experts. If done regularly for eight weeks, it can reduce the blood pressure by 8 to 10 mmHg. But one must consult their doctor before making the exercise a part of the routine to avoid hypertensive crisis, a condition characterised by the rapid rise in the blood pressure to very high levels.
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Think About Lowering Your Sodium Or Salt Intakes
You might be thinking, Wait! Wasnt salt + blood pressure just a myth?! Uh, no. What were learning is that some individuals are salt/sodium sensitive meaning they do experience an increase in blood pressure when they consume salt. This doesnt happen to everyone, which is part of the reason why we see conflicting evidence with some of the research findings. How do you know if youre salt sensitive? You really dont know unless you and your doctor test you for it specifically, which can be challenging. Thats why we recommend that everyone consider reducing their salt intakes just to be safe.
Lifestyle Steps To Lower Your High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is when the blood circulating in your body puts too much pressure on the walls of your arteries. This causes damage to those arteries and over time increases your risk of heart disease and stroke. Another term for high blood pressure is hypertension.
Making healthy lifestyle choices can help lower your blood pressure and improve your health. Below is a list of some of the most important changes you can make in your day-to-day life to help lower your blood pressure.
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How Is High Blood Pressure Diagnosed
High blood pressure usually has no symptoms. So the only way to find out if you have it is to get regular blood pressure checks from your health care provider. Your provider will use a gauge, a stethoscope or electronic sensor, and a blood pressure cuff. He or she will take two or more readings at separate appointments before making a diagnosis.
|Blood Pressure Category
|120 or higher
For children and teens, the health care provider compares the blood pressure reading to what is normal for other kids who are the same age, height, and gender.
Drink Plenty Of Water
Dehydration can sometimes lead to low blood pressure. Some people may have hypotension even with mild dehydration.
You can also get dehydrated by losing water too quickly. This can happen through vomiting, severe diarrhea, fever, strenuous exercise, and excess sweating. Medications such as diuretics may also cause dehydration.
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Blood Pressure And The Heart
Theres a reason why your blood pressure is taken every time you visit a doctors office or hospital, regardless of the complaint that brought you there. High blood pressure is rightly known as the silent killer. It often carries no symptoms or warning signs but can drastically increase your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. The higher the number, the harder your heart is having to work to pump blood around your body and the more likely it is that damage is being done to the heart muscle. Since all parts of your body rely on circulation, though, its not just your heart that high blood pressure can impact. If blood doesnt flow easily, it can harm your arteries as well as vital organs such as the kidneys, eyes, and brain.
High blood pressure has been shown to damage the tiny blood vessels in the parts of your brain responsible for cognition and memory, greatly increasing your risk of developing Alzheimers disease or another dementia. Being diagnosed with cardiovascular disease can also take an emotional toll, affecting your outlook and making you more susceptible to anxiety and depression. And just as blood pressure may have an impact your mood, the reverse can also be true:
/6five Ways To Prevent Hypertension
Most people suffering from the condition are usually unaware of it initially. Here are some simple tips to prevent hypertension.
Get your blood pressure checked regularly to get the diagnosis and treatment as soon as it kicks in.
Lower the amount of salt in your daily diet. Do not add extra salt to your food and try to consume a low-salt diet. You can add other spices and herbs to make up for low salt in your food.
Maintaining healthy body weight is the first step towards staying healthy. Exercise, maintain your weight and cholesterol levels to maintain normal blood pressure.
Keep yourself physically active. Working out regularly reduces the risk of hypertension and keeps your heart healthy. If not much, including at least a 30-minute workout in your daily routine.
Avoid processed and oily food
Fatty foods, smoking, lack of physical activity, and processed foods can increase your risk of high blood pressure.
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Indulge In Dark Chocolate
The sweet is rich in flavanols, which relax blood vessels and boost blood flow, and research suggests that regular dark chocolate consumption could lower your blood pressure. Experts havent determined an ideal percentage of cocoa, says Vivian Mo, M.D., clinical associate professor of medicine at the University of Southern California, but the higher you go, the more benefits youll get. Chocolate cant be your main strategy for managing blood pressure, Mo saysbut when youre craving a treat, its a healthy choice.
Consider Cutting Back On Caffeine
Caffeine raises your blood pressure, but the effect is temporary. It lasts 45 to 60 minutes and the reaction varies from individual to individual .
Some people may be more sensitive to caffeine than others. If youre caffeine-sensitive, you may want to cut back on your coffee consumption, or try .
Research on caffeine, including its health benefits, is in the news a lot. The choice of whether to cut back depends on many individual factors.
One older study indicated that caffeines effect on raising blood pressure is greater if your blood pressure is already high. This same study, however, called for more research on the subject .
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What Are Low Blood Pressure Symptoms
If symptoms occur at all, the most common ones are dizziness and lightheadedness, or fainting. When low blood pressure stems from an underlying medical problems, symptoms may include lack of concentration blurred vision nausea cold, clammy, pale skin rapid, shallow breathing fatigue, depression and thirst.
/6one Exercise To Lower High Blood Pressure Instantly
High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is a common health problem. It happens when there is an excessive long-term force of blood applied to the artery walls leading to heart diseases. The more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your arteries are, the higher the pressure will be. Initially, high blood pressure has no noticeable symptoms and thus often goes undiagnosed. If left untreated for a long time, it can lead to the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
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How To Lower Your Blood Pressure And Triglycerides Quickly
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As we age, our blood pressure tends to increase. There are a number of reasons for why this happens:
- We tend to become more sedentary as we get older
- Our diets arent as varied
- We are often heavier
- Stress levels may go up
And all of these things increase blood pressure. But lets say someone is superhuman and does everything right as they get older: they dont gain any weight, actually increase their exercise, and continue to eat nutritious, balanced meals and so on. Even under these optimal conditions, their blood pressure will likely still go up. This is because, as we age, our arteries just dont function as well as they should.
Get Physically Active And Move More With Or Without A Gym
I always recommend that people find something that they enjoy doing to stay in shape. For example, line dancing, walking outside, and riding a bike are all good ways to get active, says Scott Parker, a health and fitness trainer and a national spokesperson for #GoRedGetFit an online fitness challenge for women hosted by the AHA and Macys. Its also important to find other people you like doing the activity with, because that helps you stick with it.
Other exercise options that dont require a gym membership include body weight exercises, like pushups, squats, and jumping jacks. These exercises can be done at home or outside. For people who like going to the gym or running, these can be good ways to build community, notes Parker. Apps like Fitbit and MapMyRun can be helpful if you like keeping track of your steps, calories burned, weight, or number of miles run.
If youre interested in working with a personal trainer but are concerned about the cost, Parker notes that trainers dont have to be expensive. Some trainers offer group sessions that are cheaper than individual training sessions. College students getting degrees in kinesiology, the study of human movement or physical activity, also train people at reduced cost.
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Every Bread Bin Needs:
Low-salt or no-salt bread. Bread is an important part of our diet because its high in carbohydrates and fibre and a good source of energy, but low in fat. Unfortunately, most manufactured bread you buy in bakers or supermarkets contains salt. Salt acts to raise your blood pressure.
Bread available in bakers or supermarkets can contain large amounts of salt which will raise your blood pressure. The amounts vary, so check the labels and compare options, and choose brown or wholemeal breads instead of white.
You can also make your own bread without any salt.
How Can I Prevent High Blood Pressure
You can help prevent high blood pressure by having a healthy lifestyle. This means
If you already have high blood pressure, it is important to prevent it from getting worse or causing complications. You should get regular medical care and follow your prescribed treatment plan. Your plan will include healthy lifestyle habit recommendations and possibly medicines.
NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
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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 .