Simple lifestyle changes can make a big impact in lowering blood pressure for improved overall heart health.
High blood pressure is one of the first indicators of potential heart disease and stroke, but fortunately, targeted lifestyle choices combined with recommendations from your doctor can significantly improve blood pressure. Here are 14 ways to naturally reduce blood pressure in your daily life.
- Walk and exercise. Exercise is a key pillar of good health. As little as 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise each week can make a real impact on blood pressure.
- Reduce sodium intake. Although genetic factors impact how everyone processes sodium, high intake has been linked with high blood pressure in many studies. For guidance on how to cut down on sodium, check out this guide.
- Drink less alcohol. Alcohol is linked to 16 percent of global high blood pressure cases. The moderate alcohol consumption deemed safe by most doctors is one drink per day for women and two for men.
- Eat more potassium. Potassium helps your body process sodium and eases pressure on blood vessels. Some great sources include leafy greens, bananas, nuts, and beans.
- Reduce caffeine intake. Don’t worry, a cup or two of coffee each day is actually good for your heart health. However, if you’re consuming more than that, it may be time to cut back.
- Manage stress. Stress is a major driver of high blood pressure. Fortunately, we have many guides on reducing stress in your professional and personal life.
- Eat dark chocolate. One goodie that you can indulge in for heart health is a little bit of dark chocolate. Dark chocolate and cocoa powder contain plant compounds that help relax blood vessels.
- Quit smoking. Smoking damages blood vessels and raises the risk of heart disease.
- Cut down on added sugar and refined carbohydrates. A healthy, balanced diet is part of overall health. Reducing sugar and refined carbohydrates, even by small amounts, has been linked to lowered blood pressure.
- Eat berries. Another delicious recommendation, berries contain polyphenols, natural plant compounds that are good for your heart.
- Try meditation. Both meditation and just deep breathing activate the parasympathetic nervous system which slows your heart rate and lowers blood pressure.
- Eat calcium-rich foods. Calcium deficiency and high blood pressure have been linked so be sure to eat plenty of calcium-rich foods like dairy, beans, tuna, and collard greens.
- Take natural supplements. Supplements like aged garlic extract, whey protein, fish oil, and hibiscus have all been linked to lowered blood pressure. Be sure to check with your doctor before adding supplements to your diet.
- Get enough magnesium. Magnesium is another nutrient that helps relax blood vessels. Legumes and whole grains are both high in magnesium.
High blood pressure is an incredibly common health condition, but simple lifestyle changes can make a big impact in lowering blood pressure for improved overall heart health.