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High blood pressure

is extremely common. According to the Center for Disease control, 75 million Americans or 29% of the U.S. population have high blood pressure. This means that 1 in 3 American adults struggles with high blood pressure and any related conditions. The great news is that research has shown, that high blood pressure can be treated and even reversed with lifestyle and diet interventions. Below are four steps that can help those struggling with high blood pressure, to lower it naturally.

Reduce Sodium.

Excess salt in the diet is one of the most known and common culprits of high blood pressure. How does this happen? Well, there’s more sodium in your food than you think, especially if you are eating fast food, out at restaurants regularly, or not reading labels at the grocery store. The best way to control your sodium content is to prepare your own meals, use salt-free seasonings and herbs to add flavor to your food, and read your labels. When you do eat out, it’s important to look for and ask for low sodium options. If you have high blood pressure, it’s recommended that you consume less than 1500 mg of sodium per day.

Reduce Stress.

In addition to diet, the amount of stress from work, family, and your environment can have a profound effect on blood pressure. Although sometimes there are many life events outside of our control, we can control how we respond, and how we prepare for stress. To equip ourselves and lower our stress levels it’s important to incorporate daily and weekly mindfulness activities that help us set the tone for the day. Yoga, meditation, prayer, forest bathing, meditative walks, and journaling are just a few techniques you can use to help you get centered.

Eat a Plant-Based Diet.

Research has proven that eliminating meat from the diet can be a lifestyle change that works as well as medications to lower blood pressure. There are a few options for this and modifications based on your preference. If you cannot live without meat, eating plant-based and incorporating cold water fish is an option, or vegetarian which includes eggs and dairy, or vegan which removes all animal products. Whichever you choose, it’s ideal to continue with your diet change for one to two months to get results. Eliminated processed meats is key, as most are very high in sodium.

Exercise Regularly.

Exercise is one of the best health remedies for optimal health. The stress on the heart that happens due to exercise is positive and improves cardiovascular health, while the stress of high blood pressure has a negative effect on the bodies’ functioning. The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week to improve cardiovascular health. When working to lower blood pressure or cholesterol the recommendation is 40 minutes of vigorous exercise three to four times per week in order to prevent heart attack or stroke.
 

References:

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Yokoyama Y, Nishimura K, Barnard ND, Takegami M, Watanabe M, Sekikawa A,
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