High blood pressure affects an estimated 68 million Americans. The effects of high blood pressure affect the heart and kidneys, greatly increasing the risk of heart disease, strokes, and diabetes. Obesity tends to increase the odds of becoming hypertensive, as it forces the body to pump blood to the tissues at a faster rate.
Here are a few tips to help control and prevent hypertension:
- Reduce dietary sodium intake to less than 2,000 milligrams of sodium (Na) per day to prevent high blood pressure. If you already have high blood pressure aim for less than 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day
- Consume plenty of potassium from vegetables, fruit, and legumes. Potassium can help counter excess sodium.
- Exercise at least 30 minutes per day, including walking, stretching, or any type of movement. Check with your doctor before you start any exercise program
- Maintain a healthy body weight by following a low-glycemic, low animal fat, high-fiber diet. A personalized weight loss program works best
- Use herbs and spices in your cooking, such as garlic, rosemary, to help help lower blood pressure. Use a good fish oil (omega-3) supplement
- Lower inflammation – get tested to identify the source(s) of inflammation and treat the cause(s).
For more information about healthy lifestyle changes to help reduce or prevent high blood pressure, schedule an appointment.
- Wexler R, Pleister A, Raman SV, Borchers JR. Therapeuticlifestyle changes for cardiovascular disease. Phys Sportsmed. 2012;40(1):109-115.
- Gardener H, Rundek T, Wright CB, Elkind MS, Sacco RL.
- Dietary sodium and risk of stroke in the northern Manhattan study. Stroke.