We try to eat right, but we still find our blood pressure elevated. To make matters worse, the standards for normal blood pressure numbers change.
At one time 140/80 was considered healthy, now it's below 120/79. If you have a blood pressure reading of 130/80 or higher you have high blood pressure.
The following is the new standard for blood pressure numbers according to the American Heart Association:
High blood pressure or even borderline high blood pressure?
You have options:
- One is to take medications. This may be your only option if you have tried everything else or if your blood pressure is dangerously high. Your doctor will know if medication is required. Take your medication if it decided that you need it. This doesn't mean you will be on it forever. You can use option Two at the same time.
- Two is to try make lifestyle changes that will lower your blood pressure. You can try this by itself if your blood pressure is borderline or slightly elevated, otherwise try this along with your prescribed medication.
Lifestyle Changes can be:
- Walk and Exercise Regularly: 150 minutes of moderate per week or 75 minutes of vigorous per week
- Reduce sodium: We get sodium from a lot of our foods - canned, some frozen, and even some raw. We don't really need to add salt to our food. Try to get used to unsalted food. It has two benefits: You may reduce your blood pressure and you will learn to love the real flavor of your food and not the salted version.
- Drink less alcohol: Always good advice.
- Eat Potassium Rich Foods: bananas, leafy greens, sweet potatoes, potatoes, tomatoes, melons, avocados, oranges, apricots, just to name a few.
- Consume Milk and Yogurt.
- Eat Tuna and Salmon.
- Eat nuts and seeds.
- Add beans to your diet.
- Cut back on caffeine.
- Manage stress: Use breathing exercises, yoga, meditation.
- Consume a little Dark Chocolate and Cocoa.
- Lose Weight.
- Stop smoking.
- Eliminate added sugars and refined carbs.
- Eat berries: Strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, just to name a few.
- Eat Calcium Rich Foods.
- Take Supplements (natural when possible, but any kind is better than nothing):
Berberine - a chemical found in several plants such as barberry, goldenseal, goldthread, Oregon grape, phellodendron, tree tumeric, etc., taken by mouth for diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.
Fish Oil - preferably wild caught sources, krill, salmon - but any fish oil is better than none.
Hibiscus in the form of a tea.
Magnesium as capsule or powder added to drinks or water.
As with all medications, be sure to check out the side effects of supplements and medications before you start taking them. Also, check with your doctor especially if you take medications, some supplements interact poorly with certain medications.
If you are concerned about your blood pressure or if you have higher than normal readings, after you check with your doctor, try these suggestions.
Hopefully, you can lower your high blood pressure.
Do you have high blood pressure and want to lower it without medications? Have you ever tried these ideas and if so, did they help? Do you control your high blood pressure using these or any combination of these suggestions? Do you have any suggestions or comments about the information in this article?