Ways to Control High Blood Pressure

The American Heart Association reports that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, killing about 2,600 people every day. This means one person dies of cardiovascular disease in every 33 seconds.

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension often leads to heart disease. If you are unable to detect hypertension or do not properly control it, it can result in heart failure, heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, or even premature death. Because many symptoms of high blood pressure do not manifest early, many people are not aware that they have it. Here are 10 ways to control high blood pressure.

1. Lose weight. Get your body mass index (BMI) between 18.5 and 24.9. It will do your heart and blood pressure good. Put it this way: The extra weight you carry is similar to bricks in your backpack, putting pressure on different parts of your body.

2. Exercise. You can control your blood pressure through regular exercise. Many studies have demonstrated that sedentary lifestyles can elevate blood pressure, whereas exercise can reduce it. Exercising for at least half an hour everyday can reduce blood pressure significantly.

3. Eat fruits and vegetables. Try to have at least 8-10 servings of different colorful fruits and vegetables. Eating lots of fruits and vegetables will ensure that you have all the vitamins, minerals, fibers, and healthy antioxidants you need.

4. Eat whole grains. Try to have 7-8 servings of grains and grain products (whole grain, breakfast cereal, pasta, rice, etc.) every day. This will lower your blood pressure.

5. Dairy up. One way to control high blood pressure is to consume 2-3 daily servings of nonfat or low-fat dairy products. In addition to the hearts benefits, this will also help you build stronger teeth and bones, and also lose weight.

6. Go nuts. Manage your blood pressure by incorporating 4-5 servings of legumes, seeds, and nuts into your diet every week. They provide a lot of healthy fats and protein, which are very good for your heart.

7. Limit meat, poultry, and fish consumption. You should limit your intake of meat, poultry, and fish to two servings daily. Replace meat from time to time with grains and produce. But of course, there are times when you are really craving for meat. When you want to have meats, poultry, and fish on your plate, always choose the lean varieties.

8. Hold the salt. Stay away from foods that have a lot of sodium. Many studies have shown that consuming foods high in sodium elevates your blood pressure. Therefore, you have to moderate your salt intake to around 2,400 milligrams everyday. This means that you have to avoid processed and canned foods, and eat more fresh foods.

9. Limit oils and fat consumption. If you want to have a healthy heart and lower your blood pressure, you have to limit oil and fat intake to 2-3 servings daily. Since fats are a concentrated source of calories, limiting your consumption of them will enable you to control your weight.

10. Moderate drinking and quit smoking. You should drink in moderation. But if you must drink, limit it to two drinks daily. You can also improve your cardiovascular health by quitting smoking.