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Medical professional taking blood pressure reading

Help Maintain a Healthy Blood Pressure with Simple Lifestyle Changes

By Ben S. | 26th June 2017
Maintaining a healthy blood pressure can offer wonderful benefits for your body. By taking steps to help ensure your blood pressure remains at the optimal level, you can help promote all different areas of your health, supporting them with the nutrients they require on a day-to-day basis. 

However, keeping your blood pressure healthy may feel like a losing battle, especially when food manufacturers continue to produce food containing high levels of fat and sugar, as well as additives and preservatives to prolong the lifespan of food. Don’t worry though, here are few ways you may be able to support your body maintain a normal blood pressure.


Make sure you get the right kinds of fat

You’ll hear this piece of advice a lot when discussing how to help lower blood pressure in your body. Ensuring you incorporate the right kind of fats into your diet is a fantastic way of helping your blood pressure stay under control. The best place to start is with monosaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These two types of fats are commonly found in high quantities in fatty fish like sardines, mackerel and salmon as well as plant-based oils such as sunflower, grapeseed and peanut oil. 

Monosaturated and polyunsaturated fats are to be ingested in place of other unhealthier options in an effort to help maintain a normal blood pressure. Omega 3 fatty acids are especially beneficial to your health in helping to support your blood pressure, thanks to the presence of Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA). These acids are not produced naturally in your body and by incorporating them into your diet you may help to prevent blood clotting. It may sound obvious, but by preventing blood clotting, your blood vessels remain clear and efficient for nutrients and cells to move around the body uninterrupted. 

However, it’s important to remember that fats are still fats and saturated fats only remain good for you as long as they are ingested in moderation. Experts believe that no more than 7% of your daily calorie intake should come from saturated fats, and these need to be complemented with a variety of healthy foods, such as soluble fibres that help to maintain healthy digestion and limit the absorption of bad fats into the blood stream. We recommend that to best help support your blood pressure and health, you should choose leaner cuts of red meat that have a lower fat content, as well as purchase low-fat dairy products which can all add up to make a big difference. 

The types of fats you should avoid if you have high blood pressure are known as ‘trans’ and hydrogenated fats. These were artificially created to help extend the shelf life of processed foods, but unfortunately, do not provide positive health benefits. The prolonged consumption of products that use hydrogenated oils such as biscuits, cakes, chips and fried chicken may lead to a build-up of plaque in the blood vessels. Other ingredients like sugar don’t help the situation either, so it’s probably best that if you want to help support your blood pressure, you should try to limit the number of unhealthy fats in your diet.
 

blood pressure supplements

Supplementation

Following on from dietary recommendations, supplements make an excellent means of supporting your efforts to help promote your blood pressure with high quality, highly concentrated nutrients. Like we mentioned before, omega 3 fatty acids can be incredibly beneficial when trying to help your blood pressure, but you might find it difficult to incorporate enough fish into your diet. Supplements like Omega 3 1,000mg are designed to provide the beneficial nutrients found in fatty fish in a convenient capsule that can be taken anywhere, meaning you never miss out on nutrients that may support your health. 

Supplements, when combined with a healthy, well-balanced diet and a continuous exercise regime, may provide a comprehensive, powerful support system for you and your blood pressure. Depending on the manufacturer, supplements can contain incredibly high-quality extract ingredients that supply you with nothing but the purest nutrients that may help your health. We recommend omega 3 supplements because of the good content of EPA and DHA they can provide. Just like with fatty fish, these two acids may help to prevent blood clotting and additional build-up of plaque in your veins and arteries, promoting a healthy, regulated blood pressure. 

One of the big advantages supplements offer is convenience. Their size allows for easy storage and transportation, which is a great way of making sure that you have adequate circulation support whether you’re at home, at work or on the move. One of the most important parts of trying to help your blood pressure with supplements is persistence, sticking to a plan you have formulated that is best suited to your specific health requirements. We recommend speaking to your doctor, local GP or pharmacist before starting any supplement regime to check that it would be ideal for your health.
 

Shop for Omega 3 Supplements here.


Exercise efficiently

Staying active is a great way of helping to support your blood pressure, as well as promoting your overall health and well-being. Now if you consider yourself to be someone that doesn’t enjoy physical activity, and have done everything possible to avoid having to exercise more, we completely understand. It can be incredibly hard for people to go from a relatively inactive lifestyle to one that requires consistent and frequent hard work. Don’t worry though, because exercising efficiently to help your blood pressure isn’t about becoming an Olympic runner overnight, it’s all about small steps. 

Your heart is a muscle. A lot of people forget about that and it requires frequent training to help build strength. The advantage of a stronger heart is that it will require less effort to pump larger volumes of blood around your body, providing more efficient blood pressure and circulation that can do wonders for your health. The better condition you keep your heart in, the better suited your blood vessels will be to regulate pressure. 

The key to effective exercise to help your blood pressure is to first choose the right kind of exercise, to begin with. You don’t have to go out and purchase a membership with the best gym in town to get started. Try beginning with activities like: 
  • Cycling
  • Swimming
  • Dancing
  • Tennis
  • Walking

The key to these kinds of exercises is that they are aerobic. Aerobic exercise is all about pumping oxygen around the body to all the working muscles involved with the exercise. The required oxygen is transported around the body by your blood, so by exercising in this way, you may help to support and improve your blood pressure. Aerobic exercises are activities that get your breathing rate up, so even pushing a lawnmower around your garden or cleaning the floors of your house count as aerobic activity, depending on how strenuous it is. 

All of the aerobic exercises listed are great for people who are only just getting started with a new exercise routine, and they’re quite forgiving so you won’t be put off by the intensity they require. A 30-minute swim can do wonders to help your blood pressure, and even a ten-minute walk three times a day is beneficial too. Being able to fit regular exercise sessions into your day and sticking with the routine is the bit a lot of people can’t manage. But if it’s done correctly you may begin to see positive changes to your blood pressure over time. 

Another misconception you may have about exercising to help your blood pressure is that it requires a lot of weight lifting. Again, this doesn’t have to be the case. Strength training to build strong muscles can be a good way of helping to lower your blood pressure and promote your overall health, if, like every other exercise, it is done correctly. A big part of efficient weight training comes from proper technique, and if this isn’t maintained you may do more harm than good. For example, continuously holding your breath during weight lifting is widely believed to actually raise your blood pressure, so take it slow if you choose to go down this route. 

Before hitting the bench press hard, we’d suggest checking with your doctor that your blood pressure is low enough to begin this kind of exercise. Although it is good for your health, we think this is one category of exercise that’s probably best worked up to after a few weeks of more steady aerobic activity.

lower salt intake

Lower your salt intake

Salt is widely believed to be one of the most well-known causes of high blood pressure and could prove detrimental to your overall health and well-being.

A large majority of the salt you may intake throughout the day is from traditional table salt, which contains a high percentage of sodium. Sodium is used in the kidneys for a process called osmosis, which involves filtering water out of the blood. This process is incredibly delicate, requiring a very precise balance of potassium and sodium. By altering this balance through an increased intake of salt, water is more likely to be retained in the blood, which will increase your blood pressure. Different organs and systems throughout your body, especially your heart and kidneys, may then begin to suffer. If the heart has to work harder to pump blood at a higher pressure around your body, it may lead to more serious heart issues developing in the future.

One really easy lifestyle change you can make to help maintain a healthy blood pressure is to be a more conservative food shopper by reading the labels of food carefully. Processed foods are a particular menace when it comes to salt content because a lot of it has been added to help extend the shelf life of different foods. As a more cautious shopper, reading labels to ensure the food you buy is low in salt can have an immediate benefit on your blood pressure. 

Tackling salt in the digestive system before it gets into the bloodstream is a fantastic way of helping your body to maintain a healthy blood pressure. To do this you need plenty of fruits and vegetables as a source of soluble fibres. Like we mentioned before when discussing the kind of fats you need in your diet, soluble fibres work throughout the digestive system to absorb excess nutrients to form healthy stools that are then removed from the body. By improving the amount of soluble fibre you receive in your diet, you may be able to prevent large quantities of salt making their way into your body before they can affect your blood pressure. We recommend the following foods as good sources of fibre:
  • Any kind of fresh fruit or vegetable (in their absence, eat dried fruits)
  • Potato skins
  • Oats
  • Beans (runner, green, broad etc. Baked beans are to be eaten in moderation)
Changing diets can be a horrible process, especially if you consider yourself to be a fussy eater. You can, however, find some comfort in the fact that any small change to lower the amount of salt you eat is a good step towards helping and maintaining a healthy blood pressure. Whether this involves adding less to your fish and chips or substituting white bread for brown bread, every little bit is going to help in the long run.

With all this in mind, make sure that you still include some salt in your diet, because your body needs some to function properly. Like with most food, salt is best ingested in moderation, because that way you can help to maintain the natural balance required by your body to function efficiently. Salt helps the body maintain fluid balance throughout its many organs and systems, therefore completely eliminating it from your diet you may run the risk of more serious health issues. 

The first step to solving any problem is recognising that there is one

The suggestions listed above are just a few things you can be doing right now that may help support your blood pressure and keep it under control. Some strategies or methods may work better for some people than others, so the important thing is to find a treatment that works best for you and your health. Talking to your local doctor or GP is a great way of getting yourself on the right track to helping your blood pressure stay at a healthy level. Over time, with commitment and determination, you may begin to see serious positive changes far into the future.
 
Article by Ben S.

Ben Staff is a university trained journalist who specialises in writing and creating online content, with a specific interest in researching media coverage of health and nutritional topics. An outdoorsman at heart that enjoys hiking and mountaineering, he dreams of one day following in his heroes’ footsteps by climbing Mount Everest.

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