Today’s Solutions: April 19, 2024

People who suffer from high blood pressure typically show no signs or symptoms, earning it the not-so-cheerful nickname of the “silent killer.” It’s also extremely common: about 75 million adults in the US are affected by high blood pressure.  That’s around 1 in 3 adults. So, how do you combat high blood pressure?

According to Dr. Michael Greger of NutritionFacts.org, high cholesterol, which is typically caused by eating meat, dairy, and eggs, is the primary cause of high blood pressure, although feeling stressed, smoking tobacco, and having high-stress levels can also play a role. Therefore, the most effective way to naturally lower high blood pressure is by changing up your diet and lifestyle. 

Eating more plant-based meals and focusing on “whole foods” that are free from processing can drastically improve your blood pressure. Whole foods (not the store) include fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and beans.

Reducing sodium intake is another thing you should do if you want to lower blood pressure. When you eat too much salt, it can cause the muscles of your artery walls to become stronger and thicker, meaning there is less space in the arteries, therefore further raising your blood pressure. 

Beyond diet, regular physical activity for 30 minutes most days of the week can significantly lower your blood pressure. Not only that, but exercising (especially combined with a healthy plant-based diet) can also help you lose weight, which can also help lower blood pressure.

Lastly, cut back a bit on alcohol, caffeine, and cigarettes—all of which are known to significantly raise blood pressure levels.

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