“In minds crammed with thoughts, organs clogged with toxins, and bodies stiffened with neglect, there is just no space for anything else.” Alison Rose Levy
One out of every four Americans has high blood pressure. That’s about 60 million of us. This causes a lot of force on the arteries, taking a serious toll on them.
Think of a water balloon that is being pumped completely full. Too much pressure causes calamity. Likewise, when our blood pressure is too high it poses a serious health risk of heart attack, stroke, and kidney disease.
To lower your blood pressure:
Eating a diet that is rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products and skimps on saturated fat and cholesterol can lower your blood pressure
Reduce Salt in your diet
Even a small reduction in the salt, (sodium) in your diet can reduce blood pressure significantly. Most healthy adults need only between 1,500 and 2,400 milligrams (mg) of sodium a day. But if you have high blood pressure, aim for less than 1,500 mg of sodium a day.
To decrease sodium in your diet, consider the following:
Track how much salt is in your diet. Keep a food diary to estimate how much sodium is in what you eat and drink each day.
Read food labels. If possible, choose low-sodium alternatives of the foods and beverages you normally buy.
Eat fewer processed foods. Potato chips, frozen dinners, bacon and processed lunch meats are high in sodium.
Don’t add salt. Just 1 level teaspoon of salt has 2,300 mg of sodium. Use herbs or spices, rather than salt, to add more flavor to your foods.
Ease into it. If you don’t feel like you can drastically reduce the sodium in your diet suddenly, cut back gradually. Your palate will adjust over time.
Lose Some Weight
Lose extra pounds and watch your waistline. Blood pressure often increases as weight increases. Losing just 10 pounds can help reduce your blood pressure. In general, the more weight you lose, the lower your blood pressure. Losing weight also makes any blood pressure medications you’re taking more effective. You and your doctor can determine your target weight and the best way to achieve it.
Besides shedding pounds, you should also keep an eye on your waistline. Carrying too much weight around your waist can put you at greater risk of high blood pressure.
Regular physical activity — at least 30 minutes most days of the week — can lower your blood pressure more than any other way. And it doesn’t take long to see a difference. If you haven’t been active, increasing your exercise level can lower your blood pressure within just a few weeks.
As you keep your blood pressure in check, you are on your way to living a healthier, and happier life. You can do it!