Many people don’t realize how dangerous and damaging high blood pressure can be to their heart and overall health. Studies show that high blood pressure affects one in three people in the United States and one billion people worldwide. Rarely do people think about their blood pressure. But high blood pressure, if left uncontrolled, increases your risk of life-threatening conditions, like stroke and heart disease. The good news is that you can adopt several lifestyle changes to manage your blood pressure without medication.
Reduce your Sodium Intake
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that, Americans consume more than 3,400 milligrams of sodium per day. Studies have linked high salt intake with high blood pressure and heart problems. It’s important that you lower your sodium intake as it puts more pressure on your blood vessels. The American Heart Association lists sandwiches, chicken, soup, pizza, cold cuts and cured meats, breads and rolls as the ‘Salty Six’ foods that you should avoid or rather beware of as they can add high levels of sodium to your diet. You should consume less than 2,300 mg of sodium per day, according to the US Department of Agriculture. Consider swapping out processed foods with fresh and healthy food options.
Increase Potassium Intake with Healthy Foods
Potassium is one of the essential minerals your body needs to ease pressure on your blood vessels. Potassium-rich foods include nuts and seeds, leafy greens, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, beans, tuna and salmon, milk and yogurt, and fruits. Fruits include apricots, avocados, bananas, melons, and oranges. Focus on eating more fresh, whole foods. Potassium has been shown to slow the effects of sodium.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
If you’re overweight, it may be time to get active and adopt healthy eating habits so you can lose weight. Studies show that losing 5 percent of your body mass can significantly reduce your blood pressure. Maintaining a healthy weight makes it easier for your heart to pump blood since your blood vessels can expand and contract with ease. Watching what you eat and staying physically active is a must if you want to lose weight.
Get Physically Active and Move More
There’s that one thing that you enjoy doing to stay in shape. Whether it’s cycling, dancing, swimming, strolling outside, line dancing, or getting to the gym, you should make effort to get physically active. Performing physical activity will make your heart stronger and more efficient when it comes to plumbing blood. As a result, the blood pressure in the arteries will reduce. Performing aerobic activity for just 30 minutes every day can help lower your blood pressure.
Cut Added Sugar and Refined Carbs
How much processed sugar do you consume per day? Processed sugars and refined carbs have been shown to raise blood pressure. Refined carbohydrates, such as pasta and white bread, when eaten, are quickly broken down into sugar, thereby raising the blood pressure. Studies show that low-carb diets can help lower blood pressure.
While medication is one way to manage and treat high blood pressure, there are many natural ways that can help. Lowering your blood pressure will help you reduce your risk of cardiovascular diseases.…