Reduce Your Salt Intake
Sodium is the major cause of over half of diagnosed high blood pressure cases. Although our bodies do need some salt, we actually require only about 1/4 teaspoon of salt each day to maintain healthy nerve and muscle function. Try the following suggestions to help limit daily salt intake.
Read Food Labels
Look for foods that say “very low sodium” These foods must contain no more than 35 mg of sodium per serving, while “low sodium” can contain up to 140 mg per serving. But keep in mind that serving sizes are sometimes smaller than we think, so a portion larger than what the label says also means more salt intake.
Be Creative With Herbs and Spices
Use things such as lime juice, lemon juice, fresh and dried herbs for flavor instead os salt. Flavored oils and vinegars are also good alternatives.
Change Your Eating Habits
Because high blood cholesterol levels put you at higher risk for high blood pressure, it is important to maintain a low fat, high fiber diet. Choosing foods like whole grains, whole wheat pastas, vegetables and most fruits instead of red meats and dairy foods will help to keep your blood pressure levels lower. Other dietary considerations are added calcium and potassium. Studies show that hypertensive people who ate a diet rich in calcium and potassium maintained lower blood pressure levels, but their levels rose significantly when their diets were changed.
* Bananas, broccoli, tomatoes, orange juice and potatoes are all high in potassium. .
* Sardines, yogurt, cheese and low fat milk are all good choices for calcium
Learn To Relax
Anger and stress both play major parts in high blood pressure as well as heart disease. Streamlining your life a little can go a long way in maintaining a healthy blood pressure level.
* Do not take on more than you can handle. Feeling overwhelmed can leave you stressed. .
* Learn to meditate or join a yoga class. .
* Take some time each day and do something for yourself. Read, take a nap or a relaxing bath.
Lose Some Weight
Blood pressure drops considerably when excess weight is lost. Adopting a simple Exercise routine in addition to healthier eating habits could be all it takes to keeping high blood pressure under control without medication. Exercise does not have to be strenuous.
* Walk for 30 minutes a day 3-4 times a week. .
* Take the stairs instead of the elevator. .
* Join a fitness class. .
* Take up swimming. .
* Walk your dog.
Get Rid of Butts and Booze
Cigarettes and alcohol both raise blood pressure, and although a drink or two may actually lower blood pressure, excessive amounts can make it skyrocket. Smoking one cigarette can elevate blood pressure for up to an hour, so it stands to reason that a heavy smoker`s blood pressure is always higher. Smoking also raises LDL or bad cholesterol levels. When bad cholesterol levels build in the arteries it makes them more narrow, so if a clot builds in the artery it can easily result in a stroke or heart attack..
* Try to quit smoking, or at least cut back. .
* Limit your alcohol intake
* Remember that alcohol is also full of calories.