You can lower blood pressure by making lifestyle and dietary changes. Luke Luffin, M.D. of the Cleveland Clinic, shared what needs to be done to improve performance without medication.
Reducing salt intake is an important way to lower your blood pressure. A low sodium diet has been found to have the same effect as taking medication for high blood pressure, Luffin shared.
Avoiding sodium is difficult because it is hidden in a lot of foods. The best way is to minimize meals outside the home, prepare meals yourself, and eliminate processed foods.
An overabundance of fast food, convenience foods, carbohydrates, potatoes and meats increases blood pressure. Instead, the expert recommended increasing your daily potassium intake (3,000 to 3,500 mg) by including bananas, tomatoes, and other vegetables in your diet.
The main principles of the DASH diet, designed specifically to lower blood pressure: a balanced diet, an emphasis on fiber, a minimum of fat, adding foods high in magnesium, potassium and calcium to the menu, eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products. Research on this diet has shown that it has beneficial effects.
Limit alcohol intake
Alcoholic drinks have a negative effect on many body systems, including blood pressure. Therefore, it is better to reduce alcohol consumption for both men and women. Reducing alcohol consumption can lower blood pressure readings by 4-5 mmHg.
Physical activity, especially aerobic activity, is very effective for hypertension. Aerobic exercise causes blood vessels to expand and contract, which keeps them flexible, Luffin said. Two and a half hours of aerobic activity per week can lower your blood pressure by 5-8 mmHg.