Blog #680 Lower Your Blood Pressure – part I

Blood Pressure Month – part II

Yesterday I highlighted the CDC (Centers for Disease Controls) comments about Blood Pressure Month. Today we are going to look at ways to lower your pressure naturally.
-1 Walk and exercise regularly.
Walking just 30 minutes a day can help lower your blood pressure. More exercise helps reduce it even further. You need to be active. I joined the community recreation center (and senior center). It has an indoor track for cold, hot and rainy days. They also have treadmills, but I like the change in scenery.
-2 Lower your sodium intake
Salt (i.e. sodium) is a contributing factor to high blood pressure. I check all the nutrition panels on products I buy. Some items have 40% of the recommended daily amount for salt – and I try to avoid them. I have found canned tomatoes that have ‘no salt added’. I season many things with garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika. Read those nutrition panels and watch your salt

-3 Drink less alcohol
Drinking alcohol can raise blood pressure. In fact, alcohol is linked to 16% of high blood pressure cases around the world. While some research has suggested that low-to-moderate amounts of alcohol may protect the heart, those benefits may be offset by negative effects.
In the US, moderate alcohol consumption is defined as no more than one drink a day for women and two for men. If you drink more than that, cut back.
The last time I had a beer was three weeks ago – and then a small glass. I bought a six pack of beer five months ago and have consumed only two of them (and used one in some cooking).

-4 Eat more potassium-rich foods
Potassium helps rid your body of sodium and ease pressure on blood vessels. Unfortunately, most American diets have too much sodium and too little potassium.

Potassium-rich foods include:
-1 Vegetables, especially leafy greens, tomatoes, potatoes, and sweet potatoes
-2 Fruit, including melons, bananas, avocados, oranges, and apricots
-3 Dairy, such as milk and yogurt
-4 Tuna and salmon
-5 Nuts and seeds
-6 Beans
I try to eat one banana daily as well as oranges. I also like nuts (some people think I am ‘nuts’!!)

-5 Cut back on caffeine
Okay, I’m generally a failure on this – although I am trying more now.
Medical News Today says: If you’ve ever downed a cup of coffee before you’ve had your blood pressure taken, you’ll know that caffeine causes an instant boost. However, there’s not a lot of evidence to suggest that drinking caffeine regularly can cause a lasting increase.

In fact, people who drink caffeinated coffee and tea tend to have a lower risk of heart disease, including high blood pressure, than those who don’t.

Caffeine may have a stronger effect on people who don’t consume it regularly.

If you suspect you’re caffeine-sensitive, cut back to see if it lowers your blood pressure.

Overall caffeine can cause a short-term spike in blood pressure, although for many people it does not cause a lasting increase.

We will look at more ways tomorrow!!!
“See” you then!!!

Karen

Posted by Bruce White

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