Blood Pressure Tips – How to Lower Your Blood Pressure Without Prescription Medications
During your annual physical exam your doctor will check your blood pressure and if you’re like many Americans, you may receive some disturbing news. Your blood pressure is elevated, and your doctor may want to start you on a medication or medications that can help lower your blood pressure numbers. But before your doctor reaches for the prescription pad you may want to ask if you can try some alternative approaches to lowering your blood pressure by changing some of your habits.
Here are Easy Things you Can Do to Lower Your Blood Pressure:
1. Get more exercise, and slim your waistline: Even a modest weight loss and especially getting rid of that spare tire around your middle can help reduce your blood pressure. So get off the couch and start moving!
Foods to Lower your Blood Pressure:
2. Spinach – Not only is spinach low in calories, (it contains only 7 calories in one cup), it contains loads of good for you nutrients including antioxidants, folate and magnesium. Folate is important in the body because it can convert a substance called homocysteine which may lead to heart attacks or strokes into a non harmful substance. And Magnesium has many health benefits not the least of which is the ability to assist in lowering blood pressure. A blood pressure study consisting of over 30,000 health care professionals found that they had lower levels of hypertension (high blood pressure) if their diet had increased levels of potassium, magnesium and dietary fiber. Magnesium has also been shown to help in regulating blood sugar.
3. Sunflower seeds – Another great way to add some magnesium to your diet is to consume sunflower seeds. Now make sure to get the unsalted or unflavored variety otherwise you could negate the benefit of having sunflower seeds with extra salt. And salt is something you want to minimize if you have high blood pressure.
4. Variety of Beans – There are many types of beans that you can consume including lentils, navy, pinto, split peas, lima and kidney beans. Eating beans will help because beans are a good source of both potassium and magnesium. The potassium actually helps the body “shed” sodium, and of course, the magnesium is an extra bonus.
5. Bananas – High in potassium and a good source of fiber, bananas are a nutritious snack and can help you with energy and they taste great as well. The next time a craving hits for a high fat milkshake, add 1/2 a banana to a blender, combine with some almond breeze vanilla unsweetened soymilk, about one cup, along with some sugar free chocolate syrup, and some ice, and you’ll have a delicious, nutritious treat that is helping your blood pressure, while not adding inches to your waistline.
6. Eat more Soy – You can enjoy soy in many different ways. There are healthy soy burgers that can replace high fat hamburger meat. The isoflavones in soy products can help both in reducing blood pressure, and managing cholesterol.
Other Tips for Lowering Blood Pressure
7. Calcium – Adding products high in calcium such as skim or fat free milk packs a punch with regards to both lowering your blood pressure and helping protect your bones, and immune system.
8. Adding Vitamin D to your diet in combination with calcium, can reduce your blood pressure by 3 to 10 percent. Although this may seem like a small number, by adding calcium and vitamin D to your diet, you may reduce your overall risk for cardiovascular disease by up to 15 percent.
9. Dark Chocolate – Chocolate lovers rejoice, there is a reason to eat chocolate and it can be a good thing for your health. According to a study done in the July 4, 2007 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), eating 30 calories of dark chocolate, which is less than 1/2 of an ounce, can be useful in lowering blood pressure and as long as the calories were kept to about 30 per day, does not increase to weight gain or other non-desireable effects. Note: it is important to get the darkest chocolate you can find, leave the milk chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate in the store. Fill your cart with chocolate that contains the darkest chocolate and least amount of sugar that you can find. World Market in my area stocks a Supreme Dark Chocolate made by Lindt, that is 90% cocoa that takes away the chocolate craving, and helps the heart.
10. Relax and Laugh – Lowering your Stress and just enjoying your life can help not only lower your blood pressure, but increase you overall health. So after you’re finished with your exercise program for the day, and have eaten your small piece of dark chocolate, you may want to find a way to have a laugh or two before going to bed.
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