Okay, I hate to be the wet blanket but high blood pressure, or Hypertension, is a serious medical condition. They call hypertension the “silent killer” because even though it is often asymptomatic, it can lead to heart disease, heart attack and stroke. Hypertension is partially related to lifestyle and partially genetic. So, what are some quick and easy things that you can do to reduce your likelihood of developing hypertension or to lower your blood pressure if you already have hypertension?
1). Reduce salt intake
I know this is a hard one, I love salt just as much as the next person, but the sodium in salt can elevate blood pressure. So, how much salt should you eat? People with hypertension should eat no more than 2,300 mg of sodium a day. If blood pressure remains elevated, total sodium intake should be reduced to no more than 1,600 mg a day. Some salt substitutes to consider include:
- Ms. Dash or other seasoned salts
- Black pepper
- Lemon peel
- Onion powder
- Rubbed sage.
2). Eat the right foods (celery, fresh fruits and salads)
There are foods that are well known for reducing blood pressure, these include:
- Celery: Celery contains phthalides which relax blood vessels reducing blood pressure. As few as four stalks per day will do the trick
- Fresh fruits and salads: Being high in fiber and water content while low in sodium means that fresh fruits and salads do a phenomenal job reducing blood pressure.
- Bananas: Are also low in sodium and also high in potassium, both play an important role in lowering blood pressure.
3). Drink the right things (coconut water)
Coconut water is another good source of potassium and in case you haven’t figured it out yet, potassium is key to lowering blood pressure.
4). Use the right seasonings (garlic, celery, cinnamon, oregano)
- Garlic contains allicin, a substance that lowers blood pressure and relaxes blood vessels.
- Cinnamon both lowers blood pressure and blood sugar. As little as 1/2-1 tsp of cinnamon will do the trick.
- Oregano contains carvacrol, a substance well known for lowering blood pressure.
5). Exercise and then relax
- Exercise does a host of great things for your body including lowering your blood pressure, helping with weight reduction and maintenance, lowering blood sugar and helping with anxiety and depression.
- Relaxation does a body good as well. Nothing lowers your blood pressure like taking some “you time” to just chillax. Take at least an hour a week to go to the spa, get a massage or maybe try yoga.
Don’t forget to checkout our primers on Hypertension and Heart Disease: