There are many options available for you when you’ve been diagnosed with high blood pressure. Many doctors prescribe a combination of medication and dietary/lifestyle modifications so let’s take a look at some of those lifestyle changes.
-Eat a more healthy diet.
One of the most important areas of your diet that you should try to manage is your sodium intake. Sodium is needed for regulation of fluid balance, contraction of muscles, and conduction of nerve impulses, but too much sodium can lead to many health problems, high blood pressure being one of them. Adults need 500 to 1000 milligrams of sodium, and yet most have a sodium intake of more than 2500 milligrams. The best ways to reduce your sodium intake are to pay close attention to labels and to cut down on processed foods. It is best to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, along with fat-free and low-fat dairy products.
-Manage your weight.
The National Institutes of Health have reported that carrying around extra weight can play a role in an increase in blood pressure. Studies have shown that even a 10-pound weight loss can begin to cut down on high blood pressure. Following a healthy eating plan, like the one discussed above, can significantly decrease body weight. Also, along with a plethora of other health benefits, drinking 64 oz. of water a day can aid tremendously in weight loss. A healthy amount of weight loss per week, after the first week, is 1/2 to 2 pounds losing more than this in a quick “fad” diet almost always leads to a re-gain. Slow and steady is the way to go.
-Increase your physical activity.
Physical inactivity is a risk factor for heart disease. An inactive lifestyle also tends to contribute to obesity, a risk factor for both high blood pressure and heart disease. Working together with a healthy diet, an increase in physical activity, even a moderate increase, can cause a lowering of blood pressure. The best option is to attempt to incorporate some type of daily exercise into your routine. Even something simple, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator or taking a short walk around the block after dinner, gives a boost to your body.
If you’ve been diagnosed with high blood pressure and your doctor has prescribed some form of medication, be sure and follow his or her directions exactly. Along with that, however, a change is your diet and lifestyle may be able to cut down on your need for medication, reduce your blood pressure and save your life!
There has been a long-standing belief in natural medicine that there are certain foods that provide more than just dietary value and are believed to have disease-fighting and healing properties. One of these foods that has been proven to be a way to fill up on antioxidants is the blueberry. In recent USDA studies blueberries been shown to be number one in antioxidant activity, as compared to 40 other fruits and vegetables and makes this humble fruit the ideal health supplement.