Lifestyle changes can prevent and lower high blood pressure. With this knowledge and a lot of self control, changes in your daily life can help manage this condition. Low sodium, low fat diet along with maintaining a healthy weight and exercising help control blood pressure.
Another important aspect in controlling high blood pressure is stress management such as meditation, yoga or engaging in a hobby. This topic is near and dear to my heart, and I will dedicate an entire blog about it in the future, for now lets focus on diet and blood pressure.
DASH: The dietary approach to stop hypertension was a study that showed a diet of fruit and vegetable and low in fat helped prevent and reduce high blood pressure. The study also showed a vegetarian diet is most effective.
Reducing meat may influence your bloods viscosity, especially red meats. This is likely due to the saturated fats increase blood pressure, while polyunsaturated fats such as tuna, salmon, olive oil and avocados prevent high blood pressure. Replacing animal proteins with soy and plant proteins is another healthy alternative.
Eating vegetables and fruits high in potassium help reduce hypertension and stroke risks. These include: banana, sweet potatoes, pears, tomatoes, raisins, prunes, Brussels sprouts and oranges. Fresh fruits and vegetables are also naturally low in salt.
Eliminating processed and canned foods helps reduce salt in the diet and thus lowering blood pressure. Salt is also hidden in most snack foods and dairy products. Avoiding adding salt during food preparation is also key in lowering blood pressure.
Limiting alcohol intake can also help reduce blood pressure. While alcohol may cause higher blood pressure, dark chocolate (3 ounces a day) has been shown to lower blood pressure.
Vitamins and minerals to consider: Folic acid, Vitamin C, Vitamin D and magnesium all help reduce blood pressure.