High blood pressure has severe effects on your overall health. From causing pressure on your arteries to affecting the flow of blood to your brain and resulting in a risk for stroke, affecting your cognitive abilities, damaging the kidneys and more, you can experience a host of health complications if your blood pressure is not in control.
Contrary to what you may think, it is quite possible to maintain a healthy blood pressure level. All you need to do is make some smart and effective changes to your diet and lifestyle. Take a look now.
Diet And Lifestyle Changes To Manage Your Blood Pressure
1. Reduce Your Salt Intake
As a rule, limit your salt intake to not more than 1 tsp a day, and half a teaspoon in case of kids. Those who are suffering from diabetes, or have some problem with their kidney, or are over the age of 50 years should be especially mindful of their salt intake, and have less than 1 tsp a day. One of the easiest ways to make sure that you do not go high on your salt intake is to reduce your intake of processed foods, as these are often very high on their sodium content. You should also avoid eating chips and salted snacks.
2. Include More Magnesium In Your Diet
Magnesium has a controlling effect on your blood pressure, and helps to keep the levels in check. According to some studies, people who regularly include magnesium in their diet are less likely to have high blood pressure or suffer stroke or other heart ailments. Some foods that are high in their magnesium content include spinach, banana, figs, yogurt, almonds, avocado, pumpkin seeds, dried coriander, flaxseed, dates, oatmeal and more.
3. Reduce Or Quit Smoking And Alcohol Consumption
Every time you smoke a cigarette or sip on that glass of alcohol, you increase your chances of a hike in your blood pressure levels, as well as a risk of hypertension and weight gain. All these factors can potentially be disastrous in terms of the blood pressure count. If you are used to smoking and drinking, go slow on yourself and slowly reduce the amount. Once your body adapts to the change, try and cut down completely.
4. Expose Yourself To Some Sun Each Day
Going out in the sunlight each day can be exceptionally beneficial for your overall blood pressure levels. Exposure to sunlight will help your body produce more of nitric oxide, which can prevent the arteries from getting stretched. Vitamin D from sunshine will also help to lower your levels of blood pressure if they are already high and will also put you at a lower risk of stroke or other heart related diseases.
5. Reduce Your Caffeine Intake
Caffeine can shoot up your blood pressure levels instantly, putting you at a high risk of increased levels and higher risk of stroke. If you are addicted to caffeine, reduce the quantity slowly to let your body adjust to the change, then try and quit completely.
6. Stay Away From Stress
Stress is a known deterrent to healthy levels of blood pressure and can cause a jump if you don’t take the necessary steps to beat it. From mood swings to lethargy and depression, wrong eating habits and disturbed sleep, stress can cause a lot of behavioural changes that can affect your blood pressure levels.
7. Manage Your Weight
An increasing waist line is one of the first signs of high blood pressure levels. It is important to maintain a healthy BMI index so that your weight is proportional to your height. Make sure you get a proper BMI test done to ascertain the same.