Easy steps that may reduce your blood pressure

If you have high blood pressure, you're in good company: according the World Health Organization, one in three adults has high blood pressure, a key trigger of heart disease. Yet, a few lifestyle changes can help get your situation under control, and even delay or reduce the need for medication, experts say.

On December 19, MyHealthNewsDaily offered a few tips for lowering blood pressure, including avoiding fructose -- a 2010 study in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology found that people who consumed 74 grams of fructose or more each day had a 77 percent higher risk of high blood pressure.

Also eat your bananas -- eating foods rich in potassium has been shown to be as effective as cutting your salt intake in half, says MyHealthNewsDaily. Other foods containing potassium include raisins, prunes, apricots, strawberries, dates, spinach, and tomatoes.

Meanwhile, the Mayo Clinic in the US suggests losing weight if you need to and exercising regularly. Losing just 10 pounds, or 4.5 kilograms, of excess weight can lessen your hypertension. Aim for 30 to 60 minutes of exercise most days of the week.

Also eat a healthy diet and reduce your sodium intake to 2,300 milligrams a day or less. For people 51 years or older, a level of 1,500 mg a day or less is ideal, according to Mayo Clinic. To help keep tabs on your sodium levels, you can keep a salt journal or use a salt-tracking app such as Sodium One or Sodium Tracker.

Be sure to limit the amount of alcohol you drink. Aim for no more than one a day if you're a women or a man over 65, or two a day for men age 65 and younger. Track your drinking patterns, suggests Mayo Clinic, to get a true picture of what you're really drinking, and never binge drink -- imbibing four or more drinks in a row -- which can cause sudden increases in blood pressure.

Sources: http://www.myhealthnewsdaily.com/3384-lowering-blood-pressure.html
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/high-blood-pressure/HI00027

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