Not only will this help keep your blood pressure in line, you’ll also diminish your risk of cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Smoking is main risk factor for atherosclerosis. Smoking injures blood vessel walls and speeds up the process of hardening of the arteries. So even though it does not cause high blood pressure, smoking is bad for anyone, especially those with high blood pressure. If you smoke, quit. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. Once you quit, your risk of having a heart attack is reduced after the first year. So you have a lot to gain by quitting.
Obese patients should lose weight. There’s a direct link between being overweight and having high blood pressure. The more overweight you are, the greater the risk. Start by making small changes. Cut 200 to 300 calories from your diet each day — about the equivalent of saying “no” to two chocolate chip cookies.
Decrease salt intake.
High salt intake is linked to high blood pressure. You should consume no more than 2,000 milligrams of sodium per day (about one teaspoon of salt). The average American consumes twice that, often through canned soups, frozen dinners, soy sauce, pickles, olives and processed cheeses, which are loaded with sodium. Read food labels and select reduced-sodium products. Try to select food with low salt.
Add more fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products to your plate. Eat one additional fruit or vegetable with every meal. Shrink the size of your daily meat intake to six ounces, and designate at least two dinners a week as meat-free. Fatty diets do not directly affect blood pressure. However, saturated fats and cholesterol in foods raise blood cholesterol, which increases the risk for heart disease. Foods high in fats also are high in calories, which must be reduced if you need to lose weight. Like smoking high cholesterol is also a major risk factor for atherosclerosis.
Limit alcohol consumption.
Drink no more than one 12-ounce beer, one 5-ounce glass of wine or one swallow (1.5 ounces) of 80-proof whiskey if you’re a woman. Men can double these amounts. Anything more elevates blood pressure. You can reduce your blood pressure by 5-10 mmHg by just restricting Alcohol intake.
First, get the green light from your physician. Then, slowly introduce aerobic exercise into your life, increasing the time and intensity at a pace that feels right, aiming for at least a 30-minute workout most days of the week. Young people should jog for 30 minutes three times per week and elderly patients should walk longer distances than usual.
Decrease Stress and Anxiety:
Yes stress and anxiety also play role in high blood pressure. If you want your blood pressure within normal limits, try yourself to get happy all times. Try extracurricular activities to make your mind stress free. Stress can make blood pressure go up for a while, and it has been thought to contribute to high blood pressure. But the long-term effects of stress are as yet unclear. Stress management techniques do not seem to prevent high blood pressure. However, such techniques may have other benefits, such as making you feel better or helping you to control over-eating.
Caffeine and Blood Pressure:
Caffeine in coffee as well as in other drinks, such as tea and sodas, only raises blood pressure temporarily. So you should be able to continue to have drinks that contain caffeine, unless you are sensitive to it or have heart disease and your doctor tells you not to have any.
Eat adequate amounts of potassium-rich foods. Potassium, another mineral essential to good health, works in concert with sodium to regulate blood pressure. Studies have shown that people who consume more potassium have lower blood pressures than those who consume less. Rich sources of potassium include many fruits, such as cantaloupe, bananas, watermelon, oranges and orange juice, as well as potatoes, spinach, and zucchini. (Important note: if taking medication for high blood pressure, such as diuretics, consult a doctor before using salt substitutes that contain high amounts of potassium.