Getting high blood pressure is the easy part. But lowering it back down again doesn’t have to be tricky either. Talk to your doctor and see if trying some of these ideas throghout the day can get you back on track.
The Science: A 2010 study by Greek researchers finds that drinking two to three cups of java daily reduces your risk of heart disease by 21 percent and lowers your blood pressure by up to 10 percent. The coffee only works by releasing flavonoids and cafestol, which increases your heart’s ability to stretch to accommodate more blood flow, said Christina Chrysohoou, study author and cardiologist with the First Cardiology Clinic University in Athens. Keep in mind though, that this kind of coffee can raise your serum cholesterol. Talk to your doctor if this is an issue for you.
Make it work for you: Although the coffee from each country may be of a different caffeine level, yours may also do the trick.
II. In the office: Hold your head up.
The Science: There’s a link between your neck muscles and the area of your brain that regulates your blood pressure and posture. Standing up straight can actually lower yourBP.
Make it work for you: If you’re sitting in front of a desk all day, you need to make sure it’s at the right height for your posture.
III. On the ride home: Get rid of the noise.
The Science: European researchers have found that your blood pressure rises when you hear ambient noise – even if you’re sleeping and don’t think you’re noticing the sounds. It’s especially bad for anyone living near an airport or highway. Dr. Alexandros Haralabidis stated that “noise is considered an environmental stressor. Like other stressors, it may affec the autonomic nervous system and our stress hormones by interfering with our activities, relaxation and sleep.”
Make it work for you: Haralabidis suggests wearing earplugs when you sleep or are driving with your windows open, [or close the windows of the car and turn soft music on. Not hard rock or anything of that sort.]
IV. For dinner: Eat lean protein.
The Science: Eating a diet in which a quarter of your calories come from lean rotein reduces your blood pressure, bad cholesterol levels and triglycerides [is an ester derived from glycerol and three fatty acids.There are many triglycerides, depending on the oil source, some are highly unsaturated, some less so. They are the main constituents of vegetable oil(typically more unsaturated) and animal fats (typically more saturated).In humans, triglycerides are a mechanism for storing unused calories, and their high concentrations in blood correlates with the consumption of starchy and fatty foods. ]
Make it work for you: All meals should contain about 30 grams of protein, while all snacks should have about 20 grams. One ounce of animal protein contains 7 grms of protein, so you should aim for 3 to 4 ounces of lean protein, such as turkey, tofu, or salmon per meal or snack. [You should check a diet web site to gain more information as to the amount of protein contained in other meats.]
V. For Dessert: Nibble on dark chocolate.
The Science: Eating 3.5 ounces (98 grams) of dark chocolate daily for two weeks can lower you systolic blood pressure by 4.5 points, and your diastolic blood pressure by 4.2 points, according to a 2008 study out of Italy. Your can thank the flavonoids – or the antioxidant compounds – in the dark chocolate for that sweet treat. Do this every day for five years, and you could lower your cardiovascular risks by 20 percent.
Make it work for you: Stick to dark chocolate containing at least 65 percent cacao, says Dr. Prediman Shah, director of cardiology at Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute in Los Angeles. The higher the cacao content, the more antioxidants the chocolate will contain.
VI. At the bar: Skip the soda and sugary mixers.
The Science: This year, a study by researchers from Imperial College in London found that middle-aged people who drank more than one soda a day had higher blood pressure that those who skipped the drink, and their blood pressure continued to rise the more they drank. Soda contains salt, and if more than 2 grams of sodium are ingested, it can contribute to higher blood pressure. Also, high fructose corn syrup – which is found in most sodas – increases oxidant stress which will also hurt your blood pressure.
Make it work for you: If you can’t kick your soda habit, stick to diet soda with low or no-sodium.
VII. Before bed: Tune in to your tunes.
The Science: Listening to music with a steady beat for 30 minutes daily when combined with slow breathing exercises can lower your systolic blood pressure by 4 points in just three months, according to a recent study out of Italy. It works by connecting you emotionally with the music while slowing down your breathing and calming your body, says Dr. Randall Zusman, director of the hypertension division at the Massachusetts kGeneral Hospital heart center, and associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.
Make it work for you: As long as it has a steady beat – anything from Lady Gaga to FranzJoseph Haydn – listen to it while breathing in and out with an inhale-exhale ration of 1-to-2. Make sure it’s music that you enjoy, or else it won’t be able to calm your mind.
If you have any questions about the above, contact your doctor to make sure the answer is for you. Good Luck.
- Does Chocolate Lower Blood Pressure? (everydayhealth.com)
- Eat chocolate shove away blood pressure (freshnewsdaily.org)
- Cutting down the salt intake in your diet (bupa.com.au)
- Boost Your Blood, Not Blood Pressure (everydayhealth.com)
- High Blood Pressure May Lead To Missed Emotional Cues(medicalnewstoday.com)
- Blood Pressure Meds At Bedtime Rather Than The Morning Reduces Risks(medicalnewstoday.com)
- Take your blood pressure meds before bed (medicalxpress.com)
- High blood pressure robs sufferers of ’emotional understanding’(news.bioscholar.com)