High blood pressure affects millions—check out these surprising ways to elevate your health and lower your BP.
Don’t be fooled into thinking you can live with “just a touch” of high blood pressure. It can quietly damage your body for years, ultimately eroding your quality of life and limiting your lifespan. A reading of 140/90 and higher signifies high blood pressure. This puts you at greater risk for heart attack, heart failure, stroke, kidney failure, peripheral artery disease, eye damage, dementia, and aneurysms.
GET A JUMP START ON BETTER HEALTH DURING THE HOLIDAYS
Why wait until January 1st to adopt a fresh new attitude about your health? Get your blood pressure checked. If it’s high, take medication as prescribed by your physician and look for other ways to help lower your numbers. Limit alcohol, reduce your salt intake, stay active and exercise, and start shedding those extra pounds you’ve been meaning to lose. Also, follow a diet using DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) to lower blood pressure without medication. Visit DashDiet.org for more information.
SEVEN OUT-OF-THE-BOX WAYS TO LOWER BLOOD PRESSURE NATURALLY
Looking for more ideas on how to beat high blood pressure? Some of these unconventional methods may be the ticket.
1. Just Beet It. Beets are rich in nitrates, which are thought to relax blood vessels and improve blood flow. Research suggests one to two cups of beet juice daily can lower blood pressure within an hour of consumption.
2. Go off the Cellular Grid. Turn your cell phone off or put it on silent. According to Italian research presented at the 2013 meeting of the American Society of Hypertension, a ringing cell phone can cause your blood pressure to jump as much as seven points.
3. Hang with the Animals. A Japanese study found that people who visited a zoo dropped their systolic blood pressure (the top number) by 6 percent, and their diastolic (the bottom number) decreased by 8 percent.
4. Pinkies Up. Researchers from Tufts University found that people who sipped three cups of hibiscus tea daily lowered systolic blood pressure by seven points in six weeks, on average. (Always check with your doctor before using any type of herbal remedy, including teas or supplements.)
5. Hug your Spouse/Partner. Research appearing in the journal of Biological Psychology concludes that more frequent spouse/partner hugs are linked to lower blood pressure and heart rate in premenopausal women.
6. Lend a Hand. A Carnegie Mellon University study found that adults who volunteer at least 200 hours a year—around 4 hours per week—are less likely to develop high blood pressure than non-volunteers.
7. Download Mozart. Italian researchers found that people who listened to Mozart had lower blood pressure than those who sat in silence.
By Annette Brooks