Do you have high blood pressure? This article is for you

Do you have high blood pressure? This article is for you

- in Health, Lifestyle

Do you have high blood pressure, or at risk of having high blood pressure? Well, you’re not alone. One of every three American adults suffer from high blood pressure. That’s an astonishing 70 million people. Here are 21 simple things you can do that might help your high blood pressure stay under control.

1. Eat Dark Chocolate

Eat Dark Chocolate

Yes, you read that right! Believe it or not, according to a Harvard study, flavanols, which are in dark chocolate, help make blood vessels more elastic.

It’s no miracle cure, but one study showed that 18% of patients who ate dark chocolate every day saw blood pressure decrease. Have ½ ounce daily (make sure it contains at least 70% cocoa).

2. Switch to Decaf Coffee

Switch to Decaf Coffee

Caffeinated drinks such as strong coffees or sodas can cause your blood pressure to increase. The reason for this is unclear. Some believe that caffeine causes an increase in adrenaline, which causes your blood pressure to increase.

Others believe that caffeine blocks a hormone that widens your arteries, so your arteries narrow when consuming caffeine. In any case, try to consume less caffeine.

3. Quit Smoking

Quit Smoking

If you’re a smoker, you should do your best to quit. Not only does smoking increase your risk of developing cancer, but the nicotine in cigarette smoke also tends to raise your blood pressure and your heart rate.

Even if you’re not a smoker, but you spend a lot of time with people who do smoke, you are at risk, as second-hand smoke carries similar risks. Bottom line: smoking is really bad for your health.

4. Listen to Music (and Sing Along!)

Listen to Music (and Sing Along!)

Relaxing to your favorite music can help reduce stress and lower your blood pressure. Better yet, sing along to your favorite songs.

A study in Japan showed that singing along raises your dopamine levels, which, in turn, can lower your blood pressure.

5. Consume Less Salt

Consume Less Salt

Sodium works on your kidneys to make your body hold more water. This increase in water causes your blood pressure to rise.

Common foods that are high in salt are bacon, instant soups, pickles, french fries and potato chips.

6. Consume Foods with Potassium

Consume Foods with Potassium

You can actually counter the effects of sodium by consuming potassium-rich foods such as bananas and leafy green vegetables.

And, in general, eating foods rich in potassium is better than taking supplements.

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