By Dr. Shikha Sharma
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7 Ways to Control High Blood Pressure

There are many things one can do to naturally lower the blood pressure instead of relying on drugs. One can try to follow the following tips in daily routine to keep the blood pressure in check.

  1. Eliminate Sugar and Simple Carbohydrates
    Avoid simple carbohydrates such as potatoes, bread, pizza, pasta and white rice which are all starches that are quickly converted into sugar in the body. Sugar leads to weight gain and raises blood pressure.
  2. Maintain an Ideal Body Weight
    Weight gain can cause high blood pressure. With added weight, extra fat tissue needs oxygen and nutrients which call for the blood vessels to circulate more blood to that tissue. The heart has to work harder to pump more blood through additional blood vessels, which in turn causes more pressure on the artery walls, which increases blood pressure.
  3. Quit Smoking
    The nicotine in cigarette smoke causes the arteries to stiffen and makes them narrow, which raises the blood pressure.
  4. Exercise Regularly
    Regular physical activity keeps the heart strong so that it can keep pumping blood effectively. When the heart has to work harder to pump and causes more force on arteries, it increases the blood pressure.
  5. Keep Stress to Minimum
    Stressful situations can cause the blood pressure to spike. During stress, the body produces hormones which temporarily increase it by causing the heart to beat faster and makes the blood vessels narrow.
  6. Slow, deep breathing and meditation
    The mindful inhales and exhales positively affects the central nervous system by relaxing the blood vessels, making it easier for blood to flow and helping BP levels drop.
  7. Avoid Trans Fatty Acids
    Processed food products, salad dressings, margarine, doughnuts, cookies, crackers, chips, fried foods, and muffins are reasons that can increase the blood pressure. Avoid excessive salt intake [3-6 g/day], limit alcohol, caffeine and tobacco., smoked, cured or salt-preserved foods such as salted fish, olives. Avoid salted snacks, popcorn, nuts and crackers, seasoning such as onion salt, garlic salt and celery salt because of more sodium. Limit the intake of pickles and papads as these contain more sodium and cause the rise.

Include vegetables like broccoli, green beans, pumpkin, capsicum, onion, lady finger, cauliflower, asparagus, artichoke, cabbage, lettuce, fenugreek, coriander. Include fruits like apricot, papaya, orange, peach, prune, strawberries, papaya, guava, pears, apple, and pomegranate. Limit your salt intake and do not sprinkle salt over salads.

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