Blood Pressure Home > Lower Blood Pressure
Cutting Down on Salt Intake
Lowering blood pressure may require changing what you put into your body. One such ingredient is salt. 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 blood pressure, it's generally better to eat fresh foods.
(Click Salt and High Blood Pressure for more information.)
Eating a Healthy Diet
Research scientists have not found a specific food that can lower blood pressure; however, they have developed a combination of foods that can help reduce 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. In fact, it has been shown that by following the DASH eating plan and reducing intake of salt (sodium), blood pressure can be reduced by an amount similar to that seen with 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.)