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1. Get moving
Every morning, take a brisk 15 minute walk.Amazingly, you dont need a lot of exercise to make a difference to your blood pressure. When Japanese researchers asked 168 inactive volunteers with high blood pressure to exercise at a health club for different amounts of time each week for eight weeks, blood pressure levels dropped almost as much in those who exercised for 30 to 90 minutes a week as in those who exercised for more than 90 minutes a week.
2. Monitor your blood pressure regularly
Buy a home blood pressure kit.A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that home blood pressure testing can provide a better overall picture of blood pressure levels than readings in a doctors surgery. In the study, surgery readings failed to identify 13 percent of patients who had high blood pressure only when measured in the surgery (white-coat hypertension), and 9 percent who had high blood pressure at home but not in the surgery. In addition, a study presented at the 2004 European Society of Hypertension meeting found that people who monitored their blood pressure at home had lower overall blood pressure than those who had their pressure taken only at the doctors surgery.
3. Munch on nutritious snacks
Dip tortilla chips in guacamole.Why Avocados have more blood-pressure-lowering potassium than any other fruit or vegetable, including bananas. Canadian men and women should get 4,700 mg of potassium every day, but many get just half this amount.Eat a handful of dried apricots every afternoon.Like bananas, apricots are a particularly good source of potassium. Plus they have lots of fibre, iron and beta carotene. The drying process actually increases the concentration of these nutrients, which are all good for your circulatory system. And as a snack, dried apricots are low in calories roughly eight total just 100 calories. Look out for an unsulphured brand. Snack on roasted soybeans for a crunchy, nutrient-packed munch.Studies show that people with high blood pressure can lower their systolic readings by an average of 10 points by eating 30 g of roasted soybeans (also called soy nuts) a day for two weeks. The beans are available at some supermarkets and health-food stores. Make sure you buy them unsalted.
4. Add flaxseeds to food
Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of flaxseeds on your yogurt in the morning and mix 2 tablespoons into your ice cream, soup, spaghetti sauce or other food later in the day. One small study found that adding 4 tablespoons of the seeds significantly lowered systolic blood pressure (the top number) in postmenopausal women with a history of heart disease. Flaxseeds are rich in many nutrients and in fibre.
5. Choose a better beverage
Drink tea instead of coffee.An Australian study found that each one cup increase in daily tea consumption decreased systolic blood pressure by 2 points and diastolic pressure by 1 point. But the benefits ended after 4 cups. 8. Drink a glass of orange juice every morning and another at night. One U.S. study found that this lowered systolic blood pressure by an average of 7 percent and diastolic blood pressure by an average of 4.6 percentthanks to the high levels of potassium in orange juice.
6. Nibble dark chocolate
Turn to dark chocolate when your sweet tooth asserts itself.Unlike milk chocolate, dark chocolate is rich in flavonoids that keep your arteries flexible, preventing the increase in pressure that come with stiffer blood vessels. Thats thought to be one reason for the normal blood pressure of a tribe of indigenous Panamanians who eat a high-salt diet but also consume massive amounts of cocoa. In addition, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that 85 g of dark chocolate a day helped to lower blood pressure in older people with isolated systolic hypertension (when only the upper number of a pressure reading is high). Other good sources of flavonoids include tea and wine, as well as many fruits and vegetables.
7. Add some spice
Flavour food with lots of pepper.Pepper is a strong, dominant flavour that can help you to reduce your taste for salt. Without salt, meals may seem bland for a couple of days, but your taste buds can easily be retrained. Add more pepper and, if that doesnt appeal, try garlic, lemon, ginger, basil or other spicy flavours you enjoy. After a week, old favourite foods will taste extremely oversalted and your blood pressure will be singing your praises.
8. Get a better nights sleep
Sleep with earplugs in tonight.Studies suggest that being exposed to noise while youre sleeping may increase your blood pressure as well as your heart rate, so block out any noise.Think about your sleep.Are you waking up tired? Is your partner complaining that you snore a lot? Talk to your doctor. You may have sleep apnea. Studies find that half the people who have the condition, in which you stop breathing dozens or hundreds of times during the night, also have hypertension.
9. Cut back on salt
Find (and eliminate) at least one hidden source of salt a day.For instance, did you know what many breakfast cereals contain salt? Who needs salt in their cereal? Find a brand thats salt-free. Take these supplements daily garlic, fish oil, calcium, CoQ10.All have blood-pressure-lowering properties. Just check with your doctor first.
10. Focus On Including Protein At Breakfast
If youre only going to do one thing, then make sure to eat some protein at breakfast every morning. Aim for at least 10 gms. If youre in a rush, then a low-glycemic shake with protein, such as the Superfood Protein Blend is a good start. When you get protein first thing in the morning, it sets you up for normal blood sugar for the rest of the day.Some other ideas for a protein breakfast include eggs (poached, scrambled, fried or in an omelette), a nut milk smoothie with berries and hemp seeds, fish, sprouted bread with nut butter, grilled tempeh, and leafy greens - sauteed or in a smoothie.
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