5 Ways to Lower Blood Pressure
Did you know 1 in 3 adults in the U.S. have high blood pressure? That's about 75 million people living with a higher risk for heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, dementia, and other health problems.
How's your blood pressure? There's a reason your blood pressure gets checked often. At the doctor's office, at a dentist appointment. You can even check your blood pressure at the pharmacy and most grocery stores. Your blood pressure is an important indicator of your heart health and overall health.
So what should you do if your blood pressure is 120/80 or higher? See your doctor. Medication is a good option for many people. But you can also lower your blood pressure in other ways. Here are five ways to lower your blood pressure without medication:
1. Lose weight
About 72 percent of all adults in the United States are overweight or obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That means there's a pretty good chance you could stand to lose a few pounds, or 10 or 20. Right? Being overweight places added stress on your heart. But it doesn't have to be that way. Losing even 5 to 10 percent of your body weight to start with, can begin to help lower blood pressure.
2. Limit sugary foods and refined carbs
It's not a big surprise the Mediterranean Diet made the top 5. During the PREDIMED study that looked at the health benefits of the Mediterranean Diet, researchers actually end. If you're trying to tip the scale in the right direction, you probably need to clean up your diet. For a lot of people, that's starts with cutting out sugary foods, sweet treats, cookies and desserts.The second step: limit the amount of refined carbohydrates you're consuming, usually in the form of crackers, cereal, pasta, breads.
3. Eat less sodium, more potassium
Sodium and potassium work together to regulate blood pressure. But you probably consume far too much sodium. The average adults consumes 3,500 mg of sodium per day. But health experts recommend 1,500 mg per day. Eat more potassium found in foods like dairy products, fish, and vegetables. .
4. Avoid or limit processed food
Wonder why so many people consume double the amount of sodium per day as recommended? Fast food like burgers, french fries, and fried foods are all high in sodium. So is processed food, which makes up the bulk of the typical American diet. Look for ways to eat more fresh, whole foods.
5. High protein foods
Here's another way to lower blood pressure by eating the right foods. In a study published in the American Journal of Hypertension, researchers found that people who ate 100 grams of protein per day, were 40 percent less likely to have high blood pressure. Foods high in protein include: fish, eggs poultry, beef, legumes, nuts and seeds, and dairy products.
Hungry for healthy and easy-to-make meals to manage your blood pressure? Check out the complete Portion-Control menu and pick your favorites.