Reducing Blood Pressure Naturally

So you go in for a routine checkup and your doctor says you have high blood pressure.  Chances are you don't recall having any symptoms, and are thinking now what? According to the American Heart Association, 1 out of 3 people suffer from high blood pressure. It has been labeled the "silent killer" because most patients are asymptomatic when diagnosed, but left untreated can face heart disease, stroke and kidney failure.  Just like any other disease, early detection is key. Getting a handle on hypertension can start now by making changes to your lifestyle.

Say Yes To:  Including omega 3 fatty acids in your diet can reduce your risk of heart disease, and improve inflammation. These healthy fats can be found in supplement form, or in foods such as wild salmon, flaxseed oil, and nuts. 

Exercise.  30 minutes a day can help ward off obesity, and get your heart rate up. Find an aerobic activity you enjoy and make it a habit!

Eating dark chocolate. Yes you read that right!  A small square of dark chocolate contains flavonoids to help dilate blood vessels and lower blood pressure. Opt for dark varieties with a cacao content of at least 70%.

Potassium. The Centers For Disease Control recommend boosting potassium to combat excess sodium in the diet.  Reducing salt intake and consuming potassium building foods like bananas and potatoes can help balance things out.  Avoid highly processed foods and choose sea salt and herbs to control the sodium content in your food.

Limiting your caffeine.  Coffee and other caffeinated beverages cause a spike in blood pressure even in people without hypertension. Someone already diagnosed may want to cut back on their morning espresso to avoid further aggravation. 

Make regular screening a priority.  Practice prevention, and make routine appointments.

~Adriane Rosenberg