Fruits and vegetables
Consumption of fruits and vegetables is encouraged regardless of health status. These are all nutrient-rich, unprocessed, natural products suitable for anyone, unless precluded by individual allergies. As shown by research, broccoli, carrots, tofu, soybeans, raisins, or apples at 4 or more servings per day can contribute to reducing the cardiovascular risk associated with elevated blood pressure .
Aerobic exercise at moderate intensity for at least 30 minutes is recommended as a daily routine in addition to resistance exercises on 2-3 days/week. Regular exercising helps reduce the risk for developing cardiovascular disease and does wonders for the prevention, treatment, and control of hypertension.
Reducing mental stress
Whenever possible, we should aim to retain a good work-life balance. Job strain, overcommitment and occupational stress can all stimulate blood pressure spikes and ultimately lead to development of hypertension. Apart from experiencing stressful situations, simply thinking about them can already be an obstacle for blood pressure to normalize.
Meditation is one of the methods for stress relief that contributes to maintaining optimal blood pressure. Non-transcendental meditation interventions, like mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) and breathing awareness meditation, can be applied for controlling blood pressure. Studies suggest that these methods of meditation can bring about a subtle decrease in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure .
Owning a pet
If you own a dog or a cat, you may be in luck. Some studies exist where authors claim there could be a link between living with a pet and having a lower blood pressure. However, only one of these studies was a randomized study (results presented in a conference communication ), and hence, more data is needed on this phenomenon. Other than that, dog ownership was shown to reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and promote physical fitness [3,4].
Monitor your health
Home blood pressure management lowers blood pressure. It is not just a matter of maintaining a peace of mind. Measuring blood pressure regularly may help diagnose hypertension at an early stage, when it is much easier to act against. The incidence of elevated blood pressure in low-income countries, where self-monitoring is unaffordable, shows much higher figures compared to the societies where patients have easy access to blood pressure monitors.
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