Good habits to naturally decrease your blood pressure

Mild hypertension does not always have to be treated pharmacologically. Instead, you can try some of the everyday life habits that are known as favorable for reducing blood pressure.

Incorporate these foods into your diet

Various types of natural foods turn out to be beneficial for regulating blood pressure and maintaining good health. Those that were attributed the most health-promoting power include: citrus fruits, fish, chard, pumpkin seeds, beans and lentils, berries, grains of amaranth, pistachios, carrots, celery, tomatoes, broccoli, Greek yogurt, herbs and spices, chia and flax seeds, beetroot greens and juice, and spinach.

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Take up a sport or a physical activity

Low-intensity physical effort performed during your office hours for as short as 6 minutes per hour can significantly lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Something as little sophisticated as walking 2 miles per hour will do [1].

As for regular sports activities, the ones that entail moderate physical training are particularly encouraged. These include golf, cycling or swimming. Anything that requires movement but at the same time does not put excessive strain on your heart and blood vessels. An increase in your blood pressure will occur during recreational activities, but only temporarily. In a longer run, exercise is a good way to keep your blood pressure under control.

Do not get salty

Some people need to taste salt to fully enjoy their meal. Not just the natural content of salt that is present in a variety of popular dietary products, like ham, olives, eggs, celery or artichokes. We talk a lot of supplemented salt, the excess of which is directly responsible for elevated blood pressure. Extra 5 g of salt per day entails a 17% greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease, and in particular a 23% greater risk of stroke [2].

Instead, try experimenting with other flavors you may develop a preference for. Make your foods less bland with the use of herbal spices like paprika, ginger, cayenne pepper, turmeric or saffron. These could be game changers for your culinary taste as well as for your blood pressure.

Take probiotics

Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts administered orally. Consuming these living cells should not put you off. In fact, an average human body consists of approximately 30 trillion human cells and as many as 39 trillion bacteria [3]. The role of probiotic microorganisms is to compete with their pathogenic counterparts, thus helping with your digestion process. Bacteria like Lactobacillus and yeasts like Saccharomyces boulardii are therefore required to maintain internal balance in your guts. As a source of probiotics, reach for fermented milk, Greek yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut or pickles.

As indicated by recent research, administration of probiotics could reduce systolic blood pressure (SBP) by 3 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure by 1.5 mmHg in hypertensive patients [4]. Although the effect was reported to last only for up to 10 weeks, probiotic therapy gives you enough time to start implementing other habits that may be beneficial for your health.

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