Healthy habits to lower blood pressure
High blood pressure is one of the many risk factors for heart disease or having a stroke. If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, you’ll want to be sure to keep it well controlled with healthy lifestyle habits and with medication, if it has been prescribed by your doctor.
A recent study found that having lower systolic blood pressure readings – that’s the top number – resulted in better health outcomes.
Researchers evaluated the systolic blood pressure of 45,000 people from 19 medical trials. These folks were at risk for health issues.
The result? The lower the systolic blood pressure reading the better. When there was intensive blood pressure treatment and systolic blood pressure was less than140, there was a lower risk of having a heart attack, stroke and retinopathy (eye problems).
There were even more health benefits for those folks who already had heart disease, kidney disease and diabetes. This is a great reminder to work with your doctor to keep blood pressure well-controlled.
High blood pressure is called the silent killer for a reason. You cannot go by how you feel to know if your blood pressure is elevated. You will need to have it periodically checked.
So, things you can control for good blood pressure readings:
- Include daily activity or exercise
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Manage daily stressors
- Enjoy a plant-based diet with limited processed and salty foods
- Limit alcohol intake
- Quit smoking
These healthy habits will benefit all areas of your health.
About the Author
Rita Smith is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator. She's been working in the field of nutrition and disease prevention for more than 35 years and currently works at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville, Va. Each week, Rita provides nutrition counseling to clients who have a variety of disorders or diseases including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, gastroparesis and weight management. For these clients, food choices can help them manage their health problems.