Four Foods That Lower Blood Pressure

Eating right and making sure you have the right nutrients every day is one of the smartest and easiest ways to lower blood pressure without the use of medications. Everyone should be including these foods in their diet on a regular basis but if you have risk factors for high blood pressure, such as a family history of hypertension, then you definitely need these foods.

1.) Dark chocolate – I know, I know. Most people automatically think chocolate and diet are oxymorons (opposites) but they are not as long as you make it dark chocolate. Eating just half an ounce of dark chocolate each day has been reported to lower hypertension without causing weight gain.

2.) Baked potato – Potatoes are rich in potassium, a nutrient which helps to reduce the pressure in your blood by maintaining the correct sodium levels in the blood. It is best to eat the potatoes baked, rather than mashed, due to much of the nutrient is in the skin of the potato. Even boiling the potatoes with the skin on is not as good because the potassium leaches out into the water and is lost when the potatoes are drained.

3.) Skim milk – Two of the most important nutrients in milk are calcium and vitamin D. These two nutrients work in conjunction to lower the pressure in your blood by as much as 10%. Skim milk does not have the fat content that whole or reduced fat milks do so it’s also great for weight loss or maintenance.

4.) Spinach – Popeye probably had great blood pressure! This leafy green is chock full of magnesium, a mineral which helps to lower and maintain the proper level of pressure. A side benefit is that spinach also is a good source of potassium. Spinach is also high in fiber, especially when eaten raw in a salad.

There are many more foods that lower blood pressure but these four will get you started.

What Are the Causes High Blood Pressure?

Many people ask this question but unfortunately, according to the American Heart Association, the cause of high blood pressure is unknown in 90% to 95% of the cases. While science has yet to determine the exact causes of most cases, they have identified a number of factors to contribute to our blood pressure (BP) rising. The good news is that most of these risk factors are preventable once you know about them.

One of the highest risk factors is being overweight. Because more blood is needed to supply oxygen and nutrients throughout the body, the pressure on your arterial walls is greater due to the increased volume. The second highest risk factor tends to go along with being overweight and that is not being active. When you are inactive, it causes an increased heart rate which increases the pressure on your blood vessels. Losing weight and increasing your daily exercise will go a long way towards reducing your BP.

Lack of certain nutrients can increase BP. Potassium balances the sodium in your blood and if you don’t get enough potassium, the sodium level can rise and cause higher blood pressure. Studies have indicated that vitamin D affects a kidney enzyme that influences blood pressure so lack of vitamin D may lead to higher blood pressure levels.

Some substances can contribute to BP issues by their use or overindulgence. Salt is one of those things that your body needs to survive yet if you have too much sodium in your diet, it can cause fluid retention which in turn can raise BP. Smoking raises your BP immediately but it doesn’t last long. However, long term smoking damages the artery walls causing them to constrict which increases the pressure from blood flow.

As you can see there is a variety of factors that can result in high blood pressure but many of them are easily controlled by proper diet and exercise. Know these blood pressure causes and learn to avoid them!

Blood Pressure Causes – What Makes it Go Up Or Down?

Your blood pressure does not remain static. That is, the measurement will not be the exact same thing every time you take it, no matter what. Instead, your blood pressure (BP) is affected by a huge range of things that can raise or lower it at any given time. Even standing up can change your (BP) reading, which is why you are almost always seated when a nurse or doctor takes your (BP).

Smoking a cigarette will have an immediate affect on your hypertensive state – it will raise for about ten to fifteen minutes right after you smoke it. Long term tobacco use can damage the walls of the blood vessels resulting in a restricted blood flow which will raise the pressure all the time.

Stress can cause hypertension to go up. Normally once you relax, your levels would go back to normal but it’s never a good thing to be under constant stress. If you have a tendency towards hypertension due to other factors already, you really need to find a way to either deal with or avoid stress as much as you can.

Medications can often affect the pressure in your blood and not just the ones that are supposed to. Some medications, such as coumadin, that thin the blood can lower your blood pressure which is why it is important to monitor the pressure levels of your blood regularly when you are on this type of medication.

Fluid retention can cause a hypertensive state. Often this is caused by too much salt in the diet. When the sodium levels in your blood go up, that causes the body to retain fluid. Anyone who is worried about their risk of hypertension would do well to watch their sodium intake.

These are just a few blood pressure causes that can make your level be abnormally high or low.

The Do’s and Do Not’s of Living With Hypertension

You have to be aware of the critical complications that you can encounter due to living with high blood pressure. Therefore, there are simple guidelines of things you should do and not do when living with hypertension. In this article I am going to cover a couple of things you should and should not do when living with HBP.

First and foremost, DO monitor your blood pressure (BP). You need to monitor your levels daily. These are several inexpensive monitors that you can buy and use anytime to check your pressure. When monitoring your levels, be sure to maintain a record of the readings to see if there any trends going on.

DO maintain enough medicine on hand that is used to control and lower the pressure in your blood. Be sure to take your medications as directed and be sure to fill your prescriptions on time. Do not wait till you have one pill left. Pharmacies can be notorious for taking more than a day to fill a simple prescription. Don’t leave your life up to pharmacies.

DO have a doctor check up on a regular basis. Take the readings you have taken so he/she can have a look at them. Also, take your monitor so he can see that it is accurate at taking your blood pressure. By taking your readings to him, you wont fall prey to the white coat syndrome. This syndrome is when your BP rises above normal levels when the doctor is checking it. It happens because you are under pressure, duress of wanting to know if you have HBP or not.

DO Eat right. Eating right does not mean eating tasteless food. You can cook healthy, great tasting food at your house. You don’t have to spend a fortune either. When I say to eat healthy, I specifically mean to eat less sodium (salt) and increase your potassium intake. You also reduce the amount of processed foods that you consume. These are known to have high amounts of salt. So if you can eat healthier, you can lower your hypertension naturally.

DO exercise regularly. It is recommended that you exercise 30 minutes a day. While exercise itself increases BP, in the long run, it will cause your BP to lower down to normal levels. This is directly related to the weight loss and fat loss that will occur. Your blood vessels will have more room to expand and wont have much pressure on them.

DON’T sleep less. Sleep the right amount of hours. The right amount of hours to sleep is 8 hours. Don’t oversleep as well. Setup an alarm clock. Lack of sleep increases your stress levels which directly affects the pressure in your blood. Sleep deprivation also has other nasty side effects so make sure to get 8 hours of sleep, no less, no more.

DON’T drink and smoke. Don’t drink alcohol, don’t smoke cigarettes. These causes the pressure in your blood to go up. While it may be hard to give up either one, there are several cessation programs available that you can join to help yourself quit these addictions.

These do’s and do not’s should be followed if you want to control hypertension and keep it as close to normal levels as possible.

5 Ways to Naturally Lower Your Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is one of the leading diseases in the United States today. A major factor that contributes to this is the fact that most of us a high blood pressure overweight. Dozens of medications have been made to control the pressure in your blood but as with any medication, they have side effects. In this article I am going to share with you 5 ways that you can naturally control hypertension.

1) Start a regular exercise program. You would think that exercise would work against you lowering the pressure in your blood. Fact has it, exercise helps lower your pressure over time.

2) Red grapefruits are great to help you reach your goal of naturally lowering your blood pressure. The reason these work is because they have a very high content of anti-oxidants. They have a high number than other color grapefruits. So try taking red grapefruits to reach your goal of controlling your HBP.

3) Cut the amount of salt you eat. You already know it is bad for you, controlling your HBP is another reason for you to lower your salt intake. If you must use salt, I suggest you become aware of salt substitutes. These substitutes taste just like salt but don’t have sodium. Sodium is what’s bad for you so try avoiding foods that have a high sodium content.

4) Breathe. Learn to breathe properly. There are very good breathing exercises that you can do that relax your blood vessels and allow blood to flow freely with less pressure. The reduced pressure from better breathing will indeed lower the pressure in your blood.

5) Medication combined with exercise. Yes I know I said exercise above but combine the two. Sign up for a yoga class or buy a yoga DVD and pop it into your DVD player at home and follow along in the yoga classes. The yoga will cause stress to leave your body and you will enter a relaxed mode. This relaxed mode will allow for optimum breathing and relaxation of your blood vessels, which of course leads to the lowering and controlling of hypertension.

Lowering hypertension is something you should prioritize in your life. Thousands die each year from heart attacks or strokes caused by untreated high blood pressure. There is absolutely no reason that you should negate the fact that treating HBP is important. Many people blame genetics but using genetics is just an excuse to not seek treatment. You also don’t have to resort to doctor prescribed medications. These medications have serious side effects and some embarrassing ones as well like constant urinating.