Amy McGorry: One in three Americans has high blood pressure which boosts your risk for leading killers such as heart attack and stroke, not to mention aneurysms, cognitive decline and kidney failure. Luckily, most people with elevated blood pressure can lower it without medications. Here are a few simple tricks to try.
First, get your blood pressure checked. 28% of American have high blood pressure and don't know it. If you haven't had yours checked recently the first thing you need to do is get an accurate reading and assess your risk.
Many drug stores and grocery store pharmacy areas including the Kroger Family of Pharmacies now offer free blood pressure testing so there is no excuse to skip this important screening.
You also want to limit your salt intake. Studies have shown that decreasing salt consumption is a good of lowering high blood pressure. Decreasing your sodium intake to the recommended 2300 milligrams per day, which is about 1 teaspoon isn't just about laying off the salt checker. Most of the Sodium in your diet comes from processed foods. In addition to seasoning food with spices, herb, lemon and salt free seasoning blends, make sure to read food labels, choose fresh whole foods when possible and select reduced Sodium varieties of packaged foods when available.
You might also want to consider supplements. Researches have found that Coenzyme Q10, the antioxidant found in meat, chicken and fish helps neutralize free radicals and can help keep blood pressures at a healthy level. It's hard to consume the levels used in studies from diet alone, so talk with your doctor about the supplement.
Omega-3s have also been found to assist with stabilizing the heart's electrical system, lowering blood pressure and triglycerides, slowing arterial plaque buildup and easing systemic inflammation. Most Americans don't consume nearly enough and because the benefits of Omega-3s are so great, many experts recommend that you take fish oil supplements daily, even if you are a fish eater. If you are not crazy about the after taste of fish oil pills, try a Krill Oil supplement.
Drinking tea is also a great way to help regulate blood pressure. Study participants who sip three cups of Hibiscus tea daily lowered systolic blood pressure by seven points in six weeks on average results on part with many prescription medications/The vital chemicals in Hibiscus are probably responsible for the large reduction in high blood pressure. Many herbal teas contain Hibiscus, so look for blends that listed you at the top of the chart of ingredients, which indicates a higher concentration per serving.
Remember, it's also important to maintain a healthy weight, not smoke and manage your stress level and those are just a few quick tips to help lower your blood pressure naturally.