Hypertension, or high blood pressure, affects one in three American adults. Hypertension is strongly related to heart disease, kidney disorders, atherosclerosis, heart attack, and stroke. Though the dangers can be frightening, the good news is that, once detected, hypertension can be treated through lifestyle changes in diet in exercise. If your blood pressure is 140 over 90 or higher, keep in mind the following diet strategies.
- Salt. One of the number one recommended diet changes is lowering sodium intake. Sodium causes the body to retain water and put a greater strain on the circulatory system which can raise blood pressure. Avoid sauces like soy sauce, steak sauce, salad dressing, and catsup. Soups, meats, salted snacks, and pickled foods are also high in sodium.
- Frozen or ready-to-eat foods. Not only are foods like instant noodles, boxed rice and potato mixtures, and frozen pizza lacking in significant nutritional value, but most have sodium contents that are through the roof!
- Meat. Again, meat is a sodium disaster. But you don't have to completely scrap your favorite cut. Instead, increase the portions of your side dishes, like vegetables, dry beans, or rice. Try to incorporate at least two vegetarian meals into your weekly plan.
- Alcohol. Alcohol encourages your body to retain water, which can put a larger strain on your blood vessels.Eat More- Skim milk. Though some dairy cheeses can be high in sodium, a diet that includes healthy dairy can positively impact blood pressure. Switch from whole milk to skim in both eating and baking or cooking.- Chili, ginger, or lemon juice. Instead of relying heavily on salt to season dishes, explore other seasoning and cooking options to add flavor and pizazz.- Whole grains. A diet high in magnesium also improves blood pressure. High-magnesium foods include whole grains, nuts, seeds, leafy greens (like kale or spinach), lemons, yellow corn, and grapefruit.- Fruits and vegetables. Aside from being low-calorie and low-sodium, many fruits and vegetables are high in potassium, an essential for lowing blood pressure. Incorporate more cataloupe, banana, kiwi, watermelon, spinach, and zucchini to up your intake.More tips and tricks- Exercise regularly. Even walking for fifteen minutes a day can make a different in your health.- Quit smoking. Though a generally good piece of advice when it comes to health, it's of particular importance for those with hypertension.- Take a deep breath. Practice relaxation techniques to learn to manage stress (a known adversary of healthy blood pressure).- Keep in touch with your doctor. Monitoring your progress is essential to wellness.