1. CUT BACK ON SUGAR AND REFINED CARBOHYDRATES
Many studies show that restricting sugar and refined carbohydrates can help you lose weight and lower your blood pressure.
Sugar, especially fructose, may increase your blood pressure more than salt. A 2020 study compared various popular diets found that people with low carb and low fat diets lowered their diastolic blood pressure by an average of about 5 mm Hg and their systolic blood pressure 3 mm Hg after 6 months.
Another benefit of a low carb, low sugar diet is that you feel fuller longer, because you are consuming more protein and fat.
2. EAT MORE POTASSIUM AND LESS SODIUM
Potassium is a double winner: it lessens the effects of salt in your system and eases tension in your blood vessels. However, diets rich in potassium may be harmful to people with kidney disease.
It’s easy to eat more potassium. So many foods are naturally high in potassium. Here are a few you can consider:
Yogurt, bananas, apricots, oranges, vegetables, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, greens and spinach are all good choices.
3. EAT LESS PROCESSED FOOD
More of the extra salt in your diet comes from processed foods and foods from restaurants , not your salt shaker at home believe it or not. Popular high salt items include:
Deli meat, canned soup, pizza, chips and other processed snacks. Foods labelled “low fat” are usually high in salt and sugar to compensate for the loss of fat. Fat is what gives food taste and makes you feel full.
Cutting down on processed food will help you eat less salt, less sugar, and fewer refined carbohydrates. All of this can result in lower blood pressure.
A great tip is to make it a practice to check nutrition labels/ According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a sodium listing of 5 percent or less on a food label is considered low, while 20 percent or more is considered high.
4. REDUCE EXCESS STRESS
We live in stressful times. Workplace and family demands, national and international politics- they all contribute to stress. Finding ways to reduce your own stress is important for your health and your blood pressure.
There are lots of ways t successfully relieve stress, so find what works for you. Practice deep breathing, take a walk, read a book, or watch a comedy.
Listening to music daily has also been shown to reduce systolic blood pressure. In addition, 20- year study showed that regular sauna use reduced death from heart-related events.
5. TRY THESE NATURAL HERBS
Herbal medicines have long been used in many culture to treat a variety of ailments. Some herbs have even been shown to possibly lower blood pressure. However, more research is needed to identify the doses and components in the herbs that are most useful.
Here’s a partial list of plants and herbs that are used by cultures throughout the world to lower blood pressure.
Black bean, cat’s claw, celery juice, ginger, Indian plantago, maritime pine bark, river lily. Hibiscus, Camellia, sesame oil and green tea.