There are a lot of people who have strong family history of hypertension, which is also known as elevated blood pressure. As a result of this, every person with such history has to keep a close eye to his/her own blood pressure. With only gaining 5 pounds, the number on the machine starts creeping up.
What is actually critical for optimal health and wellness is maintaining a healthy blood pressure. Unbelievably, one out of three Americans has high blood pressure, which actually increases the risk of heart diseases, stroke, as well as kidney failure. The ideal blood pressure for every person is less than or equal to 120 over 80.
The JNC or Joint National Committee, which publishes some recommendations on how best to manage elevated blood pressure levels, recommends that the first step for controlling the blood pressure of a patient is to adjust his/her diet and lifestyle.
Here, we are going to present you 5 steps for lowering your blood pressure, and by following them, you can lower it by 10 points or more. Here they are:
1. Follow the dash diet
This is actually a whole foods type of diet, which is low in processed foods, as well as sugar and it is high in fiber and phytonutrients. The phytonutrients are amazing compounds which actually come from plant foods. We recommend you that you should eat eight servings in a rainbow of plant foods every day. Some great plant foods which are rich in phytonutrients are: spinach, peppers, squash, blueberries, mushrooms, strawberries and onions as well.
2. Improve your sodium — potassium ratio
Probably every person has heard that too much sodium in our diet can raise our blood pressure levels. But, this saying is only partly true. First of all, only some person are salt – sensitive, which means that only some people’s blood pressure will increase when they will eat too much salt. The second more important thing is to focus on the sodium – potassium ratio in our diet. The standard American diet is actually high in sodium and low in potassium. But, this is actually the opposite of what we want.
What we should actually focus on is increasing the intake of fruits and vegetables, and in that way we will also increase the potassium intake. We should also avoid consuming processed foods and in that way we will naturally lower the sodium intake.
3. Lose excessive weight
We can lower our blood pressure by three points for every 5% loss of excess weight. This means that if a person is 40 pounds overweight, and he/she loses 2 of those pounds, he/she can expect to see his/her blood pressure decreased by three points. Isn’t it amazing to see how much of a difference can 2 pounds actually make for a person?
A lot of people don’t even need to be at their ideal weight, in order to have their blood pressure normal. We should focus on taking just a few small steps at a time for weight loss, and the results will amaze us for sure.
4. Move your body
Every person should add at least 40 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity, three or maybe four times during the week, so they will have their blood pressure lowered by two to five points. There are a lot of people who do not do some daily activities, as well as enough movement. But, what we should remember is that working on this can also produce a lot of other health benefits.
5. Breathe and engage your diaphragm
Herbert Benson, who is a Harvard physician, was actually the first one to popularize the mind-body connection and show that 15 minutes of deep breathing daily can actually lower the blood pressure of an individual. Herbert developed the RESPeRATE, which is a kind of device that guides the person to engage their diaphragm through slow deep breaths that is FDA-approved to lower blood pressure. Deep breathing can calm our entire body and it can also improve our well-being, and lower our blood pressure levels. Every person should add this to their daily routine and they will never again be disappointed.