Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally!

According to the American Heart Association, about one-third of U.S. adults have high blood pressure. High blood pressure, or hypertension,  increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. With high blood pressure, the arteries may have an increased resistance against the flow of blood, causing the heart to pump harder to circulate the blood. Today, we are looking at remedies to help you lower high blood pressure naturally.

Lose extra pounds. Weight loss is one of the most effective lifestyle changes to lower blood pressure as it reduces the strain on the heart. Even a small weight loss of five to ten pounds can provide health benefits!

Quit smoking. While smoking has not been conclusively proven to cause high blood pressure, each cigarette you smoke temporarily increases your blood pressure for many minutes after you finish. Many studies show that smoking is a major cause of coronary heart disease, which leads to heart attack.

Reduce stress. Try techniques such as yoga, tai chi or even breathing deeply to lower stress hormones, which elevate renin, a kidney enzyme that raises blood pressure. Change your diet. Choose foods low in sodium (salt), calories and fat. Eat a diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products.

Take a walk. Lack of physical activity increases your risk for heart attack and stroke. Regular physical activity helps to reduce blood pressure, control weight and reduce stress. Aim for 40 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity 3 to 4 times per week.

Reduce sodium in your diet. The effect of sodium intake on blood pressure varies among different groups of people. In general, limit sodium to less than 2,300 milligrams (mg) a day or less. A lower sodium intake, such as 1,500 mg, is appropriate for people with greater salt sensitivity.

Reduce or omit alcohol. Alcohol can potentially lower your blood pressure in small amounts. However, that protective effect is lost if you drink too much. If you drink, limit your alcohol consumption to no more than two drinks per day for men and no more than one drink per day for women.