Did you know that 75 million Americans live with high blood pressure? That amounts to 1 in every 3 adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Unfortunately, many people don’t even know they have it, because it usually comes with limited signs or symptoms.
But high blood pressure isn’t just a problem in itself – it can increase your risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes, arterial damage, vision loss, ruptured blood vessels and even loss of cognitive function if it goes untreated.
Resorting to medication to reduce blood pressure levels may seem like the easy way out, but it’s not the healthiest, nor your only option. For those seeking a more natural approach to reducing blood pressure, read on:
1. Maintain a Healthy Weight
A spike in blood pressure levels is often the result of gained weight. That’s why we recommend getting rid of those extra pounds as one of the easiest lifestyle choices that contribute to controlled blood pressure. According to the Mayo Clinic, men are at risk if their waist measures greater than 40 inches, and women are at risk if their waist measures more than 35 inches. Losing pounds and maintaining a healthy weight can be as simple as exercising more often and changing your eating habits – following a diet that eliminates preservatives, added sugars, refined grains, and saturated fats is key.
Maintaining a healthy weight can drastically reduce your blood pressure.
2. Exercise Regularly
Exercise isn’t only great for keeping your body in top shape. It can also strengthen your heart, reduce your stress levels and control your blood pressure, according to the American Heart Association. If you’re new to exercise, don’t feel obligated to throw it into your everyday schedule right off the bat. Implementing moderate level physical activity, such as brisk walking or biking every once in a while, is a simple way to get started. At some point, you should reach 150 minutes of moderately intense activity per week, with two days focused on strengthening exercises.
3. Follow a Wholesome Diet
Eliminating saturated fats, sodium and cholesterol is the first step to controlling your blood pressure, but incorporating healthier options is even more important. Following a primarily raw, plant-based diet that focuses on fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, legume and whole grains can lower your blood pressure and contribute to overall health and longevity. A handful of raw, unsalted almonds a day may help to reduce blood pressure. Make it a priority to eliminate processed foods, preservatives, and non-natural products from your pantry. Instead, follow a primarily raw, plant-based diet that prioritizes your health and leads to nothing but a long and fulfilling life.