Approximately 1/3 of all North Americans suffer from hypertension, which is best described as abnormally high blood pressure. Even worse, about 66% of North Americans over the age of 60 have high blood pressure. And often times there are no symptoms until the individual suffers from a stroke or heart attack.
Below we discuss 5 natural ways to lower your blood pressure. And we aren’t talking about the generic advice of cutting back on salt, getting exercise, or quitting smoking. These nuggets of wisdom are easy to follow and very cost effective.
1. Switch to Low Fat, Low Sugar Yogurt
Low fat, low sugar yogurt keeps blood sugar levels down yet tastes great. One study showed that individuals who consumed at least one six-ounce serving over a period of 14 years were about 1/3 less likely than their non-yogurt eating peers to develop high blood pressure.
2. Engage in Strength Training
Yes ladies this means you. A lot of women are reticent to pick up the weights because they are afraid of bulking up. The fact of the matter is, women do not have the testosterone to bulk up from strength training. Rather, it helps them lose fat and build lean muscle. In addition, studies show that women who pump iron get an added benefit of lowered blood pressure.
3. Drink Non-Alcoholic Red Wine
A recent study found that non-alcoholic, or faux, red wine lowered blood pressure after approximately four weeks. Why? Red wine is rich in antioxidants and flavonoids proven to be effective at battling high blood pressure and hypertension. No so much into fake red wine? Experts say other antioxidant rich foods or beverages are effective too.
4. Get Some Sun
With people spending so much time indoors, it’s no wonder the majority of people are vitamin-d deficient. Experts say that getting outside in the sun for about 15 minutes 3-4 times per week helps people get back up to normal vitamin-d levels. And when that occurs, experts found that people’s blood pressure levels decreased nearly 5 points. So what do you do if it’s winter or you live in some remote village of Antarctica? Talk to your health care provider about a quality vitamin-d supplement.
5. Get a Life – A Social Life That Is
Researchers found that lonely individuals experienced a rise in blood pressure by an average of three points a year. This is just one more piece of evidence showing how much our emotions and mental health affect our physical health.
So if you’re suffering from feelings of isolation or loneliness, talk to your health care provider to see if you may be suffering from depression. Also, be sure to engage in social activities with other people on a regular basis at least once per week.
The Health Local Staff is a team of writers and experts dedicated to bringing you the latest health, nutrition and lifestyle information at www.healthlocal.ca.