Whenever you are first diagnosed with high blood pressure or you see various television stories talking about blood pressure, it seems they always speak of changing your lifestyle in order to better control the disease. But exactly what lifestyle changes will help? Do these changes actually make a big difference? As you might suspect, lifestyle changes can most definitely help in reducing high blood pressure levels. Let's take a look at some of the most helpful changes you can put into action.
Undoubtedly, changing your dietary habits will have one of the biggest effects on improving blood pressure levels.
- Eat more whole grains and cut down on white flour products.
- Eliminate saturated fats and use virgin olive oil. This tip alone has shown a reduced need for hypertension medications in a past study.
- Include more fresh fruits and vegetable in your diet. Foods like bananas, oranges, melons, carrots, celery, mushrooms, broccoli and others may help in lowering high blood pressure.
- Add more oily fish such as salmon into your diet. The omega-3 fatty acids that are contained in fish are very beneficial to good heart and cardiovascular health.
Reducing salt intake is another proven lifestyle change that lowers blood pressure. Did you know that we should consume less than one teaspoonful of salt each day? That is approximately 2,400 mg.
Many people will use a salt substitute at home and that's a great idea. The problem though is in the bigger picture. Roughly 75% of the salt intake in your typical American diet comes from foods eaten outside of the home, typically fast foods and processed foods. If you have doubts about this you can simply look at the sodium levels on the package labels. I'm not picking on McDonald's, but you have enough sodium in one quarter-pounder to last the entire day. And that's not even counting the salty fries!
This is a lifestyle change that can also go a long way in reducing high blood pressure levels. It's also one that is the most difficult changes to start.
There have even been studies that have shown moderate exercise to control hypertension to the point where high blood pressure medicines were no longer needed.
Smoking, Alcohol and Caffeine
By now I am sure everyone knows you should not smoke. Cigarette smoking and good health just don't mix. Reducing alcohol and caffeine consumption will also lower blood pressure levels as well as provide other health benefits for years to come.
With nearly one-third of American adults being overweight or obese, it's easy to see why high blood pressure is at record levels. Several studies have proven that by losing weight and reducing sodium intake many people with hypertension have been able to reduce or eliminate blood pressure medications.
These are only some of the major lifestyle changes that can help reduce high blood pressure. There are several others as well, but the important point is to asses where you currently are and begin making change in the areas you need to. By doing so you begin getting high blood pressure under control.
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