- Balance your Sodium and Potassium Intake: Studies have shown that reducing the amount of sodium in one’s diet and increasing the amount of potassium can support healthy blood pressure. Our tip: Many foods already come packed with enough sodium for any diet, especially processed foods. Try to avoid these foods where possible, and take one step further towards lower sodium consumption by leaving the salt shaker off of the dinner table.
- Put Down the Pack: Smoking one cigarette raises blood pressure by as much as 10 mm Hg for up to an hour, meaning that if you’re a habitual smoker, your blood pressure never really has an opportunity to come down. Our tip: Quit altogether. Higher blood pressure is just one of a multitude of reasons you should kick any cigarette habit.
- Drink in Moderation: While small amounts of alcohol have been shown to reduce blood pressure, drinking has the opposite effect when not done in moderation. Our tip: Limit your alcohol consumption to no more than 1 drink per day, if you drink at all.
- Indulge in a Little Dark Chocolate: Studies have found that antioxidants present in dark chocolate called flavonoids may help lower blood pressure. Our tip: While the snack may be beneficial, its high calorie content means that it should be consumed in moderation. Top off your dinner with a one-ounce portion of delicious dark chocolate.
- Raise Your Omega-3 Index: Omega-3 fatty acids, found naturally in cold-water fish, krill fish, and seaweed, have been shown to support a healthy heart and brain, as well as maintain healthy blood pressure. Our tip: Add a MegaRed Omega-3 Krill Oil supplement to your diet to get your daily dose of Omega-3 fatty acids.
- Try a New Kind of Fry: Sweet potatoes aren't just delicious; they’re also high in potassium, which can help to reduce blood pressure as part of a balanced diet. Our tip: Peel a couple of sweet potatoes and cut them into wedges. Toss with a tablespoon of olive oil and bake at 450° until soft (about a half-hour). Top with fresh rosemary, serve, and enjoy a French fry alternative that’s healthy and delicious.
- Take a Deep Breath: Regular practice of meditation or breathing exercises like those prevalent in yoga have been shown to relieve stress as well as reduce blood pressure. Our tip: Even it’s just 5 or 10 minutes a day, find time to sit comfortably, close your eyes, and focus on nothing more than breathing deeply and easily. It’s a simple way to ditch any stress, leaving you feeling rejuvenated.
- Get Some Sun—And Then Some: Studies have shown that those who are deficient in Vitamin D are more likely to have high blood pressure. This can be caused by inadequate exposure to sunlight or an improper diet. Our tip: Ask your doctor if you are getting enough Vitamin D every day and whether a supplement containing Vitamin D is right for you.
- Unpeel a Banana: Bananas are another food high in potassium that can counteract the presence of sodium in the diet and work to lower blood pressure. Our tip: Throw a banana in the blender as part of a smoothie that includes your other favorite fruits for a delicious and heart-healthy snack.
- Move it and Lose it: Add regular exercise to your lifestyle, and you can see significant drops in your blood pressure. The American Heart Association recommends that you get at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise over the course of 5 days per week to promote a healthy cardiovascular system. Our Tip: You don’t need to do your exercise all in one long session. Find ways to fit multiple 5 to 10 minute sessions into your day if you struggle to find enough time for working out.
Exercise and Cardiovascular Health
Learn the importance of exercise for cardiovascular health and how you can fit it into your schedule with these tips from MegaRed.