9 Tips for Healthy Blood Pressure

9. Monitor your sodium intake

High sodium levels can cause the kidneys to fail to extract all excess fluid in the body. This extra fluid stays in the bloodstream and leads to strain on the circulatory system, including high blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, limit your sodium intake to avoid stress on your kidneys and water retention. For those with low blood pressure, you may consider adding more sodium to your diet.

8. Eat a healthy diet

You are what you eat. Cliche, but true. Processed foods are packed with sodium and other ingredients that put a strain on your body. Try to limit processed foods and stick to a diet of complex carbs, lean protein, fruits, and vegetables. Avoid saturated fat and high cholesterol foods, but remember it is ok to have a treat once in a while!

7. Limit alcohol consumption

Alcohol can cause your blood pressure to increase until the alcohol is processed out of your system. If you already have high blood pressure, this can cause a dangerous spike. For those who are already taking blood pressure medication, alcohol can cause an interaction amplifying intoxication, drowsiness, and a chance of an accident.

6. Eat a banana

Potassium counters the effects of excessive sodium and helps to ease the tension in your blood vessel walls. This makes potassium a great tool in your blood pressure arsenal. For adults with blood pressure over 120/80, who are otherwise healthy, an increased potassium diet is recommended to help control blood pressure.

5. Get some sun

Low vitamin D levels and poor diet can be responsible for high blood pressure. Your body needs sunlight to make Vitamin D, so get outside for 5 to 15 minutes a day, at least 2-3 times a week to help your body maintain healthy levels. If you aren’t able to get sunshine, be sure to find a quality vitamin D supplement to take its place.

4. Treat yourself

Dark chocolate, consumed in moderation, may help reduce blood pressure levels. Most dark chocolate is high in flavonoids that are associated with a lower risk of heart disease, so eat up! Look for bars that are 70-85% cacao and enjoy a piece as a treat.

3. Stop Smoking

You’ve heard it a million times, and you’ll hear it at least a few more. The best thing you can do for your health is to stop smoking. Nicotine spikes blood pressure and increases the risk for plaque buildup inside the arteries. When you stop smoking, you will feel better and exponentially improve your health.

2. Go for regular checkups

Regular visits to your doctor are incredibly important to your overall health and wellbeing. Rely on your doctor to guide you to changes that can improve your quality of life. Follow guidelines and keep track of your blood pressure levels and other lifestyle choices. You may find surprising connections when you look at your blood pressure spikes.

1. Manage stress levels

Stress plays a huge role in high blood pressure. Beyond the direct effect, stress also can cause other unhealthy lifestyle choices like poor diet and exercise routines. When the “fight or flight” reaction begins to creep in, and you feel your blood pressure rising, try to focus on a mindfulness activity or other de-stressing technique of your choice. Managing stress is key to your health. Speaking with a therapist is a perfect way to gain stress management skills and start feeling better and more control of your life and health.

Leave a Reply

Scroll to Top
%d bloggers like this: