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Ten best ways to keep blood pressure under control

Ten best ways to keep blood pressure under control

Last Reviewed : 12/22/2020
Ten best ways to keep blood pressure under control


1. Maintain a healthy weight. Overweight/obesity is a major modifiable risk factor for hypertension. By reducing weight alone, prescriptions may be avoided.

 

a) Keep a diary. Weight reduction is a gradual process and needs commitment, so keeping a record of it might be helpful in the process.

b) BMI measurement. Body mass index is an important indicator of obesity. Keep a check on your BMI by taking the help of your clinician.

c) Keep an eye on your waistline. Waistline is associated with increased risk. A measurement above 40 inches in males and 35 inches in females is at greater risk.

2. Exercise regularly. Regular exercise helps in reducing blood pressure both in pre-hypertensive and hypertensive patients. Even a brisk walk for 30 minutes daily has some profound effects on blood pressure. Any form of exercise is helpful to control blood pressure.

3. A well balanced healthy diet. Cut down on fats to reduce cholesterol levels in the body. Eat a healthy diet rich in fiber and proteins. Add fruits and vegetables to your diet.

a) DASH diet. Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet includes whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, fish, poultry, low-fat dairy products, nuts etc.

b) Eliminate junk food. Avoid burgers, pizzas, French fries and other fast foods.

4. Reduce alcohol intake. Alcohol should be consumed moderately. Limit the consumption to one drink per day for women and two drinks for men.

5. Smoking. Smoking is another major modifiable risk factor for high blood pressure, so quitting it helps in reducing blood pressure. To know immediate adverse effects of smoking, consider checking your blood pressure and heart rate before and after smoking few cigarettes.

6. Avoid sodium in your diet. Sodium intake is associated with high blood pressure in selected individuals like African-Americans, old people above 50 years and in people diagnosed with hypertension, chronic kidney diseases. They are called salt sensitive.

a) Cut down salt. As salt contains high amount of sodium, replace it with adding flavors from fresh herbs and spices.

b) Processed and prepared foods. Avoid them as much as you can because they have high sodium levels, rather eat fresh foods.

c) Read the food labels. Be a smart shopper and read the ingredients before adding it to your cart.

7. Manage stress. Stay away from stress, spend time with your loved ones, take a break from your work and go on a vacation. Regular meditation, yoga, exercises help in reducing stress. Deep breathing, music are also helpful.

8. Add Potassium. It has an antagonist effect on sodium and helps in reducing sodium levels and high blood pressure. Potassium can be taken as a supplement or in the form of natural foods like banana, avocado, potato, tomato, yogurt, fish, beans and nuts.

9. Take your medications regularly. Failure to do so may land a patient in some serious complications like stroke. Visit your doctor once a month or six months or yearly depending on your needs. Get support from your family and friends.

10. Other strategies.

a) Cut down you caffeine consumption.

b) Eat magnesium rich foods like chicken, whole grains, vegetables, dairy products.

c) Add calcium rich foods to your meal plan.

d) Natural supplements like Whey protein, Hibiscus, Fish oils also help in reducing blood pressure.

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