If you have been told you have high blood pressure, with the top number (systolic) of 140 or above, or the bottom number (diastolic) of 90 or above, you might be worried, and for good reason. High blood pressure means you have a higher risk of heart attack or stroke.
Your doctor may have talked to you about taking medication to bring your numbers down. I’m here to tell you that might not necessarily be the best solution. If your numbers are low enough, you might be able to control your blood pressure by adjusting your lifestyle. If you successfully control your blood pressure with a healthy lifestyle, you may avoid, delay or reduce the need for medication.
That being said, do not stop taking, or make any adjustments to your medication unless you talk to your doctor first. In fact, you should probably talk to your doctor before making drastic changes to your diet.
Here are 10 lifestyle changes you can make to lower your blood pressure and keep it down:
The DASH Diet
- Lose extra pounds and watch your waistline
- Exercise regularly
- Eat a healthy diet
- Reduce sodium in your diet
- Limit the amount of alcohol you drink
- Avoid tobacco products and secondhand smoke
- Cut back on caffeine
- Reduce your stress
- Monitor your blood pressure at home and make regular doctor’s appointments
- Get support from family and friends
You are what you eat-or so they say. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables can be particularly important when it comes to controlling your blood pressure. What you choose to eat-and just as importantly, what you choose not to eat-may allow you to keep your blood pressure within safe limits.
Today you will learn about a proven diet for blood pressure control: The DASH diet.