5 Tips to Lower Your Blood Pressure

Known as the “silent killer” because there are no symptoms, high blood pressure is a cause for concern when it comes to your health. Millions of Americans have high blood pressure and don’t realize it, so it’s essential to have your blood pressure checked regularly, as Dr. Rogers Walker and the team at Walker Family Care recommend for all their patients.

In Little River, South Carolina and the greater Myrtle Beach area, patients of all ages rely on Dr. Walker’s expertise for managing high blood pressure and other chronic health conditions. Often through lifestyle changes, you can successfully lower your blood pressure as naturally as possible. Dr. Walker shares five tips to lower your blood pressure so you can take control of this potentially life-threatening disease.

Eat a healthier, low-salt diet

Fruits, vegetables, foods that are rich in whole grains, and anything that isn’t highly processed and pre-packaged for convenience are best. Low-fat dairy products can also help lower your blood pressure.

Additionally, if you follow a Mediterranean-style diet that includes foods rich in healthy omega-3 fatty acids (like olive oil, wild-caught salmon, and flax seeds), you may be able to lower blood pressure naturally. Mediterranean diets also promote eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, which is good for heart health and overall wellness.

Also, when making dietary changes, keep in mind that when you consume too much sodium (salt) it raises your blood pressure, so it’s best to avoid high-sodium foods. Read the labels—especially on processed foods that use sodium as a preservativeand avoid adding salt to your meals. Use spices and herbs, like pepper and oregano, to add flavor instead.

Love dark chocolate and garlic? When it comes to lowering your blood pressure, they’re good for you, too.

Drink less alcohol

While a glass of wine or an occasional beer (one per day for women; two per day for men) can potentially lower your blood pressure, moderate to excessive amounts of alcohol may have the opposite effect. If you drink more than the maximum quantity on a regular basis, it could be contributing to high blood pressure. Consider cutting back for the most health benefits.

Load up on potassium

Potassium-rich fruits and vegetables are ideal for lowering your blood pressure naturally. Think one banana a day is enough? Think again. Foods like sweet potatoes, tomatoes, oranges, kidney beans, and melons are also high in potassium, and when you’re trying to lower your blood pressure, you need to incorporate them into every meal. Other potassium-rich foods include dried fruits, peas, and orange juice.

Quit smoking

There are so many reasons why smoking is bad for your health, but perhaps you didn’t realize that each time you smoke a cigarette, your blood pressure increases and stays increased for several minutes after you stop.

When you quit smoking, you help your blood pressure return to its normal level, reduce your risk of heart disease, and improve your overall health and wellness. Even if you’ve been a smoker for several years, you may still live longer if you quit now than if you continue to smoke.

Reduce your stress level

Lowering stress levels can go a long way in lowering your blood pressure. Both occasional stress and chronic stress may contribute to high blood pressure, especially if you consume more alcohol, smoke more, and eat unhealthy foods when you’re feeling stressed.

Even if you can’t eliminate all the stress in your life, it’s important to take steps to manage it effectively so it doesn’t adversely affect your physical health.

Make time to relax each day or participate in activities you enjoy. Sometimes, taking a long walk, breathing deeply for 10 minutes in the middle of your day, or expressing gratitude toward others is all you need to change your frame of mind from one of high-stress to low-stress.

When you practice exercises that help relieve stress each day, whether they’re physical exercises or mental exercises, you’ll notice the mental, emotional, and physical benefits over time.

Ultimately, you may be able to make significant changes to your blood pressure when you take little steps each day to adopt a healthier lifestyle. Even if you need to take medication to lower your blood pressure initially, lifestyle changes are an effective way to manage it long term.

For more information about lowering your blood pressure, or if it’s been a while since you’ve had it checked, call our office in Little River, South Carolina, or schedule an appointment online.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Is Winter Too Late for a Flu Shot?

People have started getting the flu shots this year, but millions of people still haven’t gotten around to it. If you haven’t gotten around to getting the vaccine yet, when is too late for the shot? Read on to find out.

Understanding Your Glucose Test Results

Blood sugar, or blood glucose, is a necessary fuel for the body, but too much of it in your bloodstream can be dangerous, so glucose tests are vital for your health. Read on to find out what the results of this test mean for your health.

4 Common Signs of Strep Throat

Strep throat is a common condition that affects children and adults alike, and to distinguish it from other causes of pharyngitis you should know what the signs are. Read on to find out more about strep throat symptoms.

Avoid These Foods If You Have High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure can go undiagnosed in millions of people and lead to many complications that can affect your health. Dietary changes can help control blood pressure, and there are foods you should avoid to stay healthy.

I Have Diabetes. Now What?

Diabetes is a chronic illness that affects your blood sugar and can lead to dangerous complications, if not treated properly. If you have diabetes, proper management is key to living with it and ensuring it doesn’t get worse.

What Happens at a Physical?

The physical examination is a routine part of doctor visits, and most people get them at least once a year. If you haven’t had one, you might wonder what happens during a physical? What is the experience like? Read on to find out more.