It is important to eat heart healthy food to lower your blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease such as heart attack, stroke, and other disease. Lifestyle plays an important role in keeping the blood pressure under control. Even if you already have a high blood pressure, making certain healthy changes in your lifestyle and eating habits can bring down your blood pressure levels.
Eating more of fruit and vegetables
Eating more fruits and vegetables helps in lowering blood pressure to a large extent. Adults should eat at least five portions of fruits and vegetables each day. A portion is equivalent to 80 grams or roughly the size of your fist. You should include different varieties of fruits and vegetables in your meal plan. Dried, frozen and tin fruits are also fine as long as you are careful about the sugar, fat and salt contents.
Eating less salt
Too much salt is a sure recipe to high blood pressure. So make it a point to eat as little as possible. Ironically many high blood pressure patients can avoid blood pressure medicines by cutting down their salt intake. In many cases controlling your salt intake is not in your hands. For example – much of the salt that we eat is not what we add to the food but what comes along with prepared food such as bread, breakfast cereals and ready meals. It is wise to always check the label for salt, sugar and fat content while you are shopping for food.
Drinking less alcohol
Drinking too much of alcohol will raise your blood pressure over time. It is recommended that you limit your alcohol intake to 21 units per week. A unit is equivalent to a small glass of wine or a single pub measure of sprite. Maintaining the recommended alcohol limits will help you keep your blood pressure down.
Stick to healthy weight
Lose weight if you have to. Consult your doctor and know your BMI (Body Mass Index) if you are not sure. Reducing your weight will help you lower your blood pressure and reduce the risk of health problem. The best way you can lose your weight in a healthy way is by sticking to low-fat food and maintaining a military discipline for physical activities. But then set for yourself realistic goals that you can follow religiously each day. Even a small change in your eating habit and activity levels that you can keep to for life would take you a long way in maintaining a healthy life with lower blood pressure. In fact losing weight can help you get rid of many health diseases apart from the problem of high blood pressure.
By just being moderately active for 30 minutes a day for five times a week can keep your heart healthy, lower your blood pressure and also keep you in good shape. If you find it difficult to squeeze out even 30 minutes of your time, start with even small amount but remain committed to whatever you decide for yourself. The activity that you choose for yourself should be such that leaves you feeling warm and slightly out of breath.