If you’ve been diagnosed with high blood pressure, then you know it’s time for a lifestyle change. Generally, high blood pressure is defined as when the top number is 140 or higher, while the bottom number is 90 or higher. While medications can bring this number down, wouldn’t it be a wonderful feeling not to worry about prescriptions? Let’s look at some things you can change to avoid senseless doctor visits and get back on the road to better health.
First, it’s important to realize that blood pressure increases as your weight increases. The more weight that you work off in exercise, then the more you won’t need blood pressure medication. In general, women are at risk for high blood pressure if they have a waist line greater than 35 inches, while it is reduced to 32 inches for Asian women (according to Mayo Clinic.) In order to prevent this, exercise at least 30 minutes a day. Mix it up so you don’t get bored—maybe go for a walk one day and do squats or jumping jacks the following days.
In addition, eat healthy—all the time. In order to control what you’re eating, keep a food diary. This can be a simple 3×5 notebook you get at the dollar store. All you need to do is record what you eat at each meal. You’re going to be amazed at the patterns you find in your eating habits. Keeping this diary may even help you change the way you’re eating or avoid cravings. Also, consider cutting sodium and boosting potassium. Consider tracking how much salt in your diet, such as noting the nutrition label next to what to you eat. You might find you eat less processed foods as a result.
Furthermore, consider cutting your carbohydrates and sugars. Excess amounts of caffeinated beverages, and sugary treats have shown a direct link to high blood pressure. In turn, these choices often lead to high weight gain. If you are trying to not take blood pressure medications, then try to cut both of these out of your diet. You may also want to try cutting artificially-sweetened beverages. These often contain fake sugars that pack the pounds on you, which is one thing you want to stay away from for sur
Grass-fed dairy may also be the way to start eating. I realize this is not an overnight decision, but hear me out. Grass-fed dairy aids in hypertension because it has the essential vitamin K2. This vitamin protects against osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, cancer and many more diseases. This vitamin is also an essential way to ensure calcium is strengthening the bones. In essence, this keeps calcium from causing stiffness in the arteries, which leads to hypertension.
A big way to reduce your high blood pressure is to reduce your stress. Sure, that’s so easy, right? We all have jobs and people in our lives that stress us out. However, we have to take the high road and try to stay laid back. You won’t be able to eliminate all the stressors in your life, but the way you handle them is what matters. You may also consider buying a home blood pressure machine. If you’re prone to stress, this is going to be your life-saver. It’s going to tell you what your blood pressure is at all times. If it gets too high, however, please—go see a doctor.
On another note, consider drinking tea and decaf coffee. Studies at Duke University have shown that only 3 cups of coffee increases blood pressure. It tightens the blood vessels and causes stress, according to the researcher. This causes your heart to pump more blood, which, in turn, raises your blood pressure. In contrast, those that drink tea actually lower their blood pressure.
Scientists have also been looking at hibiscus tea which helps lower blood pressure as effectively as medication. The tea’s origins are from Africa and Asia where scientists tested it on animals, while it was soon tested on human patients. When this tea was given to the participants of the study, it was found to work as well as hypertension medication. This is due to the tea opening the arteries and allowing the release of hormones that constrict the blood vessels, according to the study.
It may seem obvious, but one of the best ways to avoid hypertension is to cut out tobacco and alcohol. While nicotine is not a direct link to hypertension, it’s often such things as alcohol and lack of exercise that lead up to it. It’s notable to mention, however, that each cigarette you smoke does increase your blood pressure for minutes after you smoke it. Smoking it and the second hand smoke you encounter both have an effect on your cardiovascular health, which could lead to a whole host of future health problems.
On a lighter note, indulging in dark chocolate may be a delightful way to decrease your blood pressure. It must be 1/2 ounce and at least 70% cocoa. Patients that eat dark chocolate often see their blood pressure decrease by 18 percent when they ate it every day. This equates to about only 30 calories, so that’s not too bad. As always, please do this in moderation.
Finally, eat at least one pound of fatty fish per week. Omega-3s are a good, healthy fat that is fantastic for your heart. Fish such as salmon are high in potassium, which will guard your body against high blood pressure. In addition, fish is a wonderful source of protein and vitamin D. Both of these have been shown to lower blood pressure.
One in three people have high blood pressure, and often it comes with no warning signs. If you follow these healthy lifestyle choices, however, you can be the 2 out of 3 that will never have to worry about it. These choices are especially important if you have a family history of heart disease, stroke or diabetes. Don’t fall victim to high blood pressure when it’s so easy to live without; get healthy today. It could be a life-saving decision that benefits you in the long run.