How to Improve Your Blood Pressure: Is it Really Worth the Effort?

If you’re wondering how to improve your blood pressure, you probably discovered that you have high blood pressure during a routine doctor’s visit. This is a likely assumption because low blood pressure is not a health risk unless it is extremely low or is causing symptoms, such as dizziness or fainting. Because low blood pressure is not usually dangerous, this article will focus on high blood pressure, also called hypertension.

When you found out you have high blood pressure, your doctor probably gave you advice on how to improve your blood pressure. Though your doctor may have given you some tips or even given you a brochure, it might not have been clear enough. You need more information. You need to know how to improve your blood pressure easily and relatively quickly.

You’ve come to the right place. We have the answers you’re looking for, and we’re so glad you’re even asking this question. So many people don’t ask about their blood pressure. They typically don’t read articles titled, “How to improve your blood pressure.” This question never even crosses their minds.

Why Many People Don’t Read Anything Titled, “How to Improve Your Blood Pressure”

The reason why many — actually most — people don’t read anything titled.” How to Improve Your Blood Pressure,” is that they think they don’t need this information. They don’t think there is anything wrong with their blood pressure.

High blood pressure usually has no symptoms. For this reason, it is called the “silent killer” because so many people don’t know they have it. The first time many people know they have high blood pressure is when they’ve had a heart attack or stroke or some other illness. Others never know they had high blood pressure because the physical problem it creates kills them.

And high blood pressure is not a minor nor a rare problem. According to the Centers for Disease Control, approximately 75 million adults in the U.S. have high blood pressure. That is one in every 3 adults in America.

What is High Blood Pressure?

Blood pressure is the force blood applies to artery walls during the contraction and relaxation of the heart muscle as it circulates throughout your body. Your blood pressure does not stay the same all the time; it varies throughout the day. But if your blood pressure remains elevated for a long time, it can cause many serious health problems.

High blood pressure is diagnosed with a simple blood pressure monitor. Almost every doctor’s visit — regardless of the type of doctor — will include a blood pressure test. This is because of the importance of catching high blood pressure early so that the patient has an opportunity to lower their blood pressure before it damages their health.

A blood pressure reading includes two numbers: systolic and diastolic.

  • Systolic: The top number of the reading is the peak pressure when the heart is pumping blood out.

  • Diastolic: The bottom number of the reading is the pressure when your heart rests between beats when it is filling with blood.

A diagnosis of high blood pressure is usually based on several blood pressure readings. That’s because blood pressure levels can vary so much that one high blood pressure reading is not enough to accurately diagnose the condition. Many people also are nervous when they visit the doctor, which tends to raise their blood pressure.

According to the American Heart Association, here are the blood pressure stages.

Blood Pressure Stages

Normal Blood Pressure: Less than 120 on the top and less than 80 on bottom

Elevated Blood Pressure: 120-129 on the top and less than 80 on the bottom

High Blood Pressure (Stage 1): 130-139 on the top or 80 to 89 on the bottom

High Blood Pressure (Stage 2): 140 or higher on the top or 90 or higher on the bottom

Hypertensive Crisis: Higher than 180 on the top and/or higher than 120 on bottom

(Go to ER!!!)

Knowing How to Improve Your Blood Pressure Can Save Your Life: Health Risks of High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure can contribute to many dangerous health conditions. That’s because blood pressure affects blood circulation, which impacts many organs of the body. This damage, however, does not happen suddenly. It takes place over time. If left uncontrolled, high blood pressure can lead to the following conditions:

Heart Failure: With high blood pressure, the heart has to work harder to pump blood throughout the body. After a while, this can cause an enlarged heart that cannot supply an adequate supply of blood to the body.

Heart Attack: Continual pressure on the arteries from high blood pressure eventually damages these arteries. This can eventually lead to arterial blockages, preventing blood flow to the heart. The result is a heart attack.

Stroke: High blood pressure can have a similar effect on the blood vessels in the brain, causing a blockage preventing blood to travel throughout the brain. It can also cause blood vessels to burst. In either case, a stroke is an inevitable result.

Blindness: High blood pressure also puts pressure on the blood vessels of the eyes. Over time, this can cause vision and eye damage, which can eventually lead to blindness.

Kidney Failure: Blood pressure affects all arteries in the body, including those surrounding the kidneys. If it damages the arteries around the kidneys, it can cause the kidneys not to function properly. They will not be able to filter blood effectively, leading to kidney disease or failure.

Sexual Dysfunction: High blood pressure can lead to erectile dysfunction in men or lowered sexual desire in women. This is due to its effect on the blood vessels in the genital region.

Want to Know How to Improve Your Blood Pressure? Learn your Risk Factors

As you can see, the health effects of high blood pressure are far-reaching and serious. But you don’t have to be a victim. To learn how to improve your blood pressure, however, you need to first know your risk factors.

Here are the most common risk factors for high blood pressure.

Age: Like many health conditions, the risk of having high blood pressure increases with age. Researchers believe this is because blood vessels lose a bit of their elasticity as people age, which necessarily increases blood pressure. But age is not an absolute predictor. Children can have high blood pressure.

Gender: Statistics show men are the more likely victims of high blood pressure — that is, up until the age of 64. Then it switches over to the other sex. Women are more at risk of high blood pressure at age 65 and older, possibly because of the hormonal changes of menopause.

Family History: Having a close family member — such as a sibling or parent — who has high blood pressure increases your chance of developing it, too.

Risk Factors You Can Modify

Age, gender, and family history are risk factors you cannot change. The following risk factors of high blood pressure, however, are ones you can modify to decrease your risk of this condition. Once you know these modifiable risk factors, you will have an idea on how to improve your blood pressure. Here are the most common modifiable risk factors for high blood pressure.

Poor-Quality Diet: Eating a regular diet of sugars, trans fats, processed carbs, and sodium increase your risk of high blood pressure. Almost all highly processed foods contain all of these ingredients, especially sugars and sodium. A diet too high in sodium is one of the biggest dietary contributors to high blood pressure. The American Heart Association(ADA)  recommends no more than 2,300 milligrams per day, gradually reducing it to 1,500 milligrams.

According to the ADA, the average American eats more than 3,400 milligrams per day! If you think that’s not possible, that you never add salt to your food or eat “salty” foods, keep in mind that most of the sodium Americans consume don’t come from the salt shaker. It comes from processed foods. If you want to know how to improve your blood pressure, one of the most effective ways is to reduce your intake of heavily processed foods.

Overweight and Obesity: Having extra weight strains your blood vessels, making it more difficult for your heart to pump the blood throughout your body. Losing weight has been shown to improve blood pressure.

Lack of Physical Activity: Living a sedentary activity in which you do not get enough daily physical activity has been linked to high blood pressure. Being physically active strengthens your heart and circulatory system, allowing blood to be more easily pumped through your blood vessels.

How to Improve Your Blood Pressure With a Healthy Diet

Adjusting your diet is one of the easiest ways to learn how to improve your blood pressure. Though the changes you make may be minor, they will make big, positive changes in your blood pressure readings.

Here are the 4 healthy food groups that you will want to eat every day to improve your blood pressure:

Non-Starchy Vegetables

Eating at least 10 servings per day of non-starchy vegetables is key to improving your blood pressure readings. Non-starchy vegetables contain high levels of antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals that support healthy blood pressure. In fact, non-starchy veggies are good sources of potassium, a mineral known to lower blood pressure. Be sure to include plenty of dark green, leafy vegetables, as they contain high levels of potassium.

Here are some examples of non-starchy veggies to try today:

  • Asparagus

  • Broccoli

  • Cauliflower

  • Collard Greens

  • Eggplant

  • Kale

  • Onions

  • Spinach

Nutrient-Dense Proteins

Eating 3-5 servings per day of nutrient-dense protein balances your blood sugar levels, fills you up fast and keep you full for a long time, and helps you build and maintain muscle. It also has a beneficial effect on blood pressure. A study published in Circulation indicated that increased protein intake may decrease systolic blood pressure. Try to choose meats that have been humanely raised. Also, be sure to eat plenty of wild-caught salmon, halibut, or other oily fish, as they contain high levels of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids.

Try out some of these yummy nutrient-dense proteins:

  • Chicken

  • Cottage Cheese

  • Egg Whites

  • Grass-Fed Beef

  • Lean Meats

  • Liver

  • Nonfat Greek Yogurt

Whole-Food Fats

Eating 3-6 servings of whole-food fats per day is another great way to improve your blood pressure. Whole-food fats also contain fiber and protein, making them a great all-around addition to your diet. Your body needs healthy dietary fat to function properly, so give it what it needs.

Here are some satisfying whole-food fats:

  • Almonds

  • Chia Seeds

  • Cocoa

  • Coconut

  • Coconut Milk

  • Flax Seeds

  • Macadamia Nuts

  • Olives

Low Fructose Fruits

Feel free to enjoy 0-3 servings of low-fructose fruits per day on this healthy diet. As overconsumption of sugar can lead to high blood pressure, limiting your sugar consumption by eating an occasional serving of low-fructose fruits is the best way to go!

When you want something naturally sweet, reach for one of these low-fructose fruits:

  • Acai Berries

  • Blueberries

  • Cherries

  • Grapefruit

  • Lemons

  • Oranges

  • Peaches

  • Strawberries

Diet and Setpoint Weight

Eating these foods also lowers your setpoint weight. The setpoint weight is the level of fat your body thinks you should have based on a communication feedback loop between your brain, your digestive system, and your hormones.

Ideally, this system “reads” your level of body fat correctly so that you can never be too fat or too thin. However, if this system becomes damaged, it creates a hormonal clog in which the hormones cannot send or receive proper signals. Your setpoint weight becomes elevated, and your body defends this weight. No matter how hard you try to diet or exercise those pounds away, you’ll always end up back at your setpoint weight.

The only way you can permanently lose weight is to lower your setpoint weight. Then, you’ll easily and naturally lose weight down to your new setpoint weight, and you’ll stay around that weight. No dieting or counting calories or frustration needed.

When you eat a healthy diet, you’ll not only improve your blood pressure with the foods you eat, but the resulting weight loss will further reduce your risk of high blood pressure. If you also make a point to become more physically active — such as taking a walk around the block each day or mowing the lawn manually — you won’t have to worry about how to improve your blood pressure. How great is that?

 

Wondering how to incorporate these healthy foods into your diet? A good start is my new eBook 80 Brain Boosting, Belly Shrinking Breakfast Recipes. Try some of these meals for breakfast over the next few days, and it’s your first step to adding more superfoods to your routine!

80 Breakfast Recipies

61 Replies to “How to Improve Your Blood Pressure: Is it Really Worth the Effort?”

  1. Sounds like it is as important to lower one’s set point weight as it is to eat right and exercise. So how do you do that?

  2. Your writeup on ‘How to improve your blood pressure’ makes good reading. It is well written and laid out.Many people, like me, will gain a lot from it. Thanks very much for your efforts to help others.

  3. Hello Barbara,
    Thank you for this Very Well written Article on Blood Pressure.
    You did not write this to promote or sell anything. Bravo !!!!

    I will look forward to reading your Articles in Future.

    Keep Up the Good Work & May the Good Lord Bless you

    Ramesh

  4. A thoroughly researched Article on Blood Pressure.
    Very Enlightening & Very well Written.

    Thank you.

    Keep up the Great Work, Barbara.

    May the Good Lord Bless you !

  5. Hello my name is mary ,do I have this recipe book for free,orvyou will send me a site to download it.
    Thank you

  6. Very clear and simple explanation of elevated blood pressure, it’s consequences and steps that can be taken to lower high blood pressure. Valuable information indeed. Worth sharing . Grateful for individuals like you. After all, what is life without health. Thanks for the work you do.

  7. Hello Barbara

    This is Kofi Adega from Ghana.
    The one word to describe your blood pressure blog is’excellent’.
    You do not stop at causes but recommend solutions and foods to eat.
    Do you have meal plans for people without high blood pressure issues but want to have healthy diets?
    Cheers and keep writing!!!

  8. Really enjoyed the read on high blood pressure as this is the first time I have actually had this explained. One of the problems I have is I don’t like vegetables and everything with blood pressure and diabetes which I have entails these undesirables hence the reason for the book to see if I can adapt for my needs.

  9. Dear,
    You like help the sinking world, facing the reality now .

    I measure blood pressure every morning and found it is function of themperature and corrected in 2 minuths . Physics PV/T=pv/t .
    Here 3 600 000/ 11 000 000 people takes pils for blood pressure .
    Prove we are still apes ……to believe doctors bussiness-men .
    WORSE LISINOPRYL does not work for everyone ….but your money is lost plus a new subscription cost . WORSER they put also HCT in most products, a 3 cancerogens expeled in 3 countries !!! 4 leaves of dandelions are ment for pieing …
    by GOD…..
    WE HAVE 60 ON PRESCRIPT AND 25 FREE, PILS ……..
    I use photons !.

  10. Thanks for the ebook! I need it. Here lately my BP goes up in the afternoon. I do take a med for it.

  11. I really enjoyed this information on high blood pressure. I really enjoyed the example of what food @ fruits to eat.This is some really good information.

  12. very informative, enjoyed the information
    I am not good on my computer, do not know what a website is.

    will try to find out.

  13. Great post. I was checking continuously this blog and I’m impressed! Very helpful information specially the last part 🙂 I care for such info a lot. I was looking for this certain info for a long time. Thank you and good luck.|

  14. Have you any advice on how to decrease atheroma in an 80 year old very fit ( I exercises in a gym 6 days a week for the last 40 years) male? I have too much belly fat ,weighing 168 pound at 5.11 and follow a Mediterranean diet mainly organic. I use a vascular monitor which shows I have about a third of my arteries with atheroma
    Kind regards
    Brian Joannidi

  15. Thanks very much for your great advice. I am actually doing the majority of have you have suggested.

  16. I know most of the recommendations that you give above but not all! The ones that you gave that I had not known were enlightening thank you! I am 79 years of age with high blood pressure controlled by medication and a more plant based diet. My weight is 165 lbs at 5’10 a BMI of 22.4 but I still struggle to keep my BP low
    I Would like to keep it at 120 / 70 if possible. I had a stroke 01/31/2017 while eating a Salad a piece of Romain lettuce got caught in my throat breaking a clot lose in my brain causing a stroke. I have also been diagnosed with heart failure.

  17. 10 servings of vegetables will be a challenge. So what constitutes a serving. Will a salad that include many of these fresh vegetables count as a serving of each?

  18. 10 servings of vegetables will be a challenge. So what constitutes a serving. Will a salad that include many of these fresh vegetables count as a serving of each?

  19. Hello, my B P is low rather than high, will this diet regime help me?

    Where can i get your book :80 brain boosting recipes?

  20. Great information, explanation and tips how to naturally lower your blood pressure.
    I thank you so much.
    Is your book “80 brain boosting belly shrinking breakfast recipes” down loadable (free)?

    Glenn

  21. Hello there. I discovered your web site via Google while looking for a similar topic, your web site came up. It seems great. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks to visit then.

  22. Thank u very much. Its said that knowledge is power but sometimes putting in practice is very difficult because some foods mentioned in the blog are hard to get
    Even some people are genetically obese
    Some people don’t have time to do exercise

  23. This is the perfect webpage for anyone who really wants to find out about this topic. You understand so much its almost tough to argue with you (not that I really would want to…HaHa). You certainly put a brand new spin on a subject that’s been written about for ages. Wonderful stuff, just wonderful!

  24. I discovered your blog web site on google and test a few of your early posts. Continue to maintain up the excellent operate. I simply additional up your RSS feed to my MSN News Reader. In search of forward to reading more from you in a while!…

  25. Usually I do not read article on blogs, however I wish to say that this write-up very compelled me to take a look at and do so! Your writing style has been amazed me. Thank you, very great post.

  26. I am extremely impressed with your writing skills as well as with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself? Either way keep up the nice quality writing, it is rare to see a great blog like this one today..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *