Blood Pressure Home > How to Lower Blood Pressure
Minimizing Your Salt Intake
To lower blood pressure, you may need to change what you put into your body. Salt and high blood pressure go hand in hand, because salt can make your blood vessels and body tissues swell and fill with fluid. This puts an extra strain on your heart and can increase blood pressure.
Your doctor will let you know how much sodium is too much. Also, there are many different herbs and spices you can experiment with to flavor your meals, and many restaurants offer low-sodium selections. Prepackaged foods, such as TV dinners and many canned soups, are usually processed with high amounts of sodium. When attempting to lower high blood pressure naturally, it's generally better to eat fresh foods.
(Click Salt and High Blood Pressure for more information.)
Cutting Back on Alcohol
If you consume more than one to two alcoholic drinks a day, it may be wise to cut back on how much alcohol you drink. A person with high blood pressure can usually drink once in a while. However, your doctor can tell you specifically how much alcohol is dangerous for your condition. Drinking alcohol may be one of the most common causes of high blood pressure. You may find that you have a decreased blood pressure as you reduce the amount of alcohol you drink.
(Click Alcohol and High Blood Pressure to learn more.)
Adopting a Healthy Eating Plan
Hypertension research scientists have not found a specific food that can make blood pressure lower; however, they have developed a combination of foods that can decrease it. This combination of foods is part of an eating plan called the DASH diet.
Research has shown that following the DASH high blood pressure diet can both reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure and lower an already elevated blood pressure. It has been shown that by following the DASH eating plan and reducing intake of salt, blood pressure can be reduced by an amount similar to that seen with blood pressure medicine.
(Click High Blood Pressure Diet to learn more about foods for high blood pressure. Click DASH Diet to learn more about this eating plan.)