High blood pressure has become an epidemic. The American Heart Association published a Statistical Fact Sheet in 2013 stating that 1 out of 3 people suffer from hypertension (the medical term for high blood pressure), over 78 million Americans. If it’s left untreated, high blood pressure can increase your risk for heart attacks and strokes, among other things.
While some people have a genetic predisposition to high blood pressure, many people who suffer from this condition can take steps to control it. High blood pressure is sometimes referred to as a disease of civilization, meaning that the way we live can contribute to it. Here are 12 things you can do to lower your blood pressure.
#1: Get More Exercise
One of the best ways to lower your blood pressure is to get moving. Getting even a small amount of daily exercise can help decrease your blood pressure, especially if you’ve been leading a sedentary life. A study from 2013 found that adults with high blood pressure who exercised experienced significant decreases in both their diastolic and systolic blood pressure.
#2: Cut Back on Your Sugar Intake
The average American diet contains far more sugar than is healthy. Sugar has an inflammatory effect on the body and that includes the veins and arteries. Over time, inflammation can lead to high blood pressure. It can also contribute to diabetes and other diseases. Research has shown that eating a diet that’s low in sugar does a better job of lowering blood pressure than combining a low-fat diet with anti-hypertension medication.
#3: Cut Back on Processed Foods
Highly-processed foods, including packaged, canned, and frozen food, tend to be high in sugar, fat, and food additives that can contribute to high blood pressure. The majority of the food you eat should come from the perimeter of the supermarket and include plenty of fresh produce, lean meats, and dairy products.
#4: Take Herbal Supplements
Some herbal supplements may help to lower blood pressure. More study is needed since supplements are not as closely regulated as prescription medications. However some of the drugs that have traditionally been used to lower blood pressure include ginger, green tea, hawthorn, and tomato extract.
#5: Lose Weight
Losing weight if you are overweight or obese is one of the best ways to lower your blood pressure. A review of 8 studies found that overweight people who lost weight experienced a concurrent reduction in their blood pressure.
#6: Reduce Your Sodium Intake and Increase Your Potassium Intake
For some people, sodium can contribute to high blood pressure. The FDA recommends reducing your sodium intake to lower your blood pressure.
Likewise, upping your potassium intake may be beneficial for some people. A Korean study found that lowering sodium and increasing potassium lowered blood pressure for some people. However, it’s important to note that food high in potassium is not recommended for those with kidney disease.
#7: Reduce Stress
There’s a strong link between stress and high blood pressure and engaging in stress-relieving activities every day can help reduce your blood pressure. One study found that simply listening to music every day was enough to decrease blood pressure. Have you tried Anxiety Hack? Check it out here>>>
#8: Quit Smoking
Giving up cigarettes is essential if you want to lower your blood pressure. The nicotine in cigarettes affects your adrenal system and that can increase your blood pressure. Studies have found a correlation between smoking and high blood pressure, although it’s important to note that alcohol consumption is often a contributing factor, too.
#9: Get Enough Sleep
Sleep deprivation is a big problem that affects millions of people around the world. Studies have shown that a lack of sleep can lead to hypertension. Most adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night to be healthy. Creating a sleep schedule can help. Have you tried Sleep Hack? Learn more here>>>
#10: Eat More Garlic
Garlic is widely used as an herbal remedy for an array of ailments, and it may be useful for lowering blood pressure. While eating raw garlic may be helpful, studies suggest that that taking garlic powder may be your best bet.
#11: Cut Back on Alcohol
Studies have shown that drinking even moderate amounts of alcohol can increase your blood pressure. If you typically have more than one drink per day, consider cutting back to lower your blood pressure.
#12: Cut Back on Caffeine
Like nicotine, caffeine affects your adrenal system. That’s why it makes you feel more awake after you drink coffee or tea. The effect of coffee consumption is small, but studies show that it may be significant for people who already have high blood pressure. Drinking decaf coffee can help.
High blood pressure can be dangerous – and if your blood pressure is too high, then it’s important to take steps to lower it. The 12 methods we’ve outlined here can help you get your blood pressure under control and reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke.