Lowering blood pressure naturally is possible. The key is to change your eating habits and to eat healthy foods.
What you eat affects your chances of developing high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. Research shows that high blood pressure can be prevented and even lowered by following the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan. That diet regime emphasizes cutting back on added sodium and substituting healthier foods.
Lowering Blood Pressure Naturally by Following the DASH Diet
According to the Mayo Clinic, the DASH diet is a healthy way of eating that offers health benefits besides just lowering blood pressure. The DASH diet is also in line with dietary recommendations to prevent osteoporosis, cancer, heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
High blood pressure is blood pressure higher than 140/90 mmHg. Prehypertension, which is a risk factor for hypertension, is blood pressure between 120/80 and 139/89 mmHg.
High blood pressure is dangerous because it makes your heart work too hard, hardens the walls of your arteries, and can cause the brain to hemorrhage or the kidneys to function poorly or not at all. If high blood pressure is not controlled, it can lead to heart and kidney disease, stroke, and blindness.
Preventing and Lowering High Blood Pressure with Healthy Eating
But high blood pressure can be prevented and lowered with these steps:
• Follow a healthy eating plan, such as DASH, that includes foods lower in sodium.
• Maintain a healthy weight.
• Be moderately physically active for at least 2 hours and 30 minutes per week.
• If you drink alcoholic beverages, do so in moderation.
• If you already have high blood pressure and your doctor has prescribed medicine, take your medicine as directed.
Lowering Blood Pressure Naturally with the DASH Eating Plan
The DASH eating plan is rich in fruits, vegetables, fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products, whole grains, fish, poultry, beans, seeds, and nuts. It also contains less sodium. Cut down on sweets, added sugars, and sugary beverages. Also, eat less red meat.
This heart-healthy way of eating is lower in saturated fat, trans-fat, and cholesterol and rich in nutrients that are associated with lowering blood pressure. Those nutrients include potassium, magnesium, calcium, protein, and fiber.
Following the DASH Diet is Easy
The DASH eating plan requires no special foods and has no hard-to-follow recipes. It simply calls for a certain number of daily servings from various food groups.
The number of servings depends on the number of calories you need each day. Your calorie level depends on your age and how active you are.
Lowering Your Blood Pressure Naturally by Making Gradual Changes
Here’s a practical way of lowering your blood pressure naturally by gradually changing your food habits:
• Add a serving of vegetables at lunch one day and dinner the next, and add fruit at one meal or as a snack.
• Increase your use of fat-free and low-fat milk products to three servings a day.
• Limit lean meats to 6 ounces a day—3 ounces a meal, which is about the size of a deck of cards.
• If you usually eat large portions of meats, cut them back over a couple of days—by half or a third at each meal.
• Include two or more vegetarian-style, or meatless, meals each week.
Click here to read to full recommendations on lowering your blood pressure naturally by eating healthy foods and following the DASH Diet.