6 Healthy Eating Habits to Control Hypertension
Hypertension or high blood pressure is common, and although genetics may increase one’s risks, it is mainly caused by lifestyle choices. Unfortunately, this includes dietary choices that increase the risks of developing the condition. Fortunately, reversing the choices can help you control the condition. Dr. Kyle Scarborough of Family Life Medical can help you make healthy eating choices to improve your condition. Some of the healthy eating habits that can lower your blood pressure are outlined herein.
Increase Your Potassium Intake
Sodium is one of the common causes of hypertension. Therefore, it is one of the immediate steps you should take to minimize sodium intake. Fortunately, potassium can counter the effects of sodium in your body, and all you need to do is increase your intake. Generally, it is healthy to eat about 2300-3400 mg of potassium daily to balance the sodium. Fruits and vegetables are some of the common foods with high concentrations of potassium.
Get More Vitamin D
Vitamin D is essential in lowering your blood pressure. Your body can naturally produce vitamin D when you get some sun as the direct ultraviolet B rays trigger the production. However, it would help if you were cautious when exposing your bare skin to the sun, as some sun energy may harm your skin.
You can also get vitamin D from foods, particularly during winter when you are not exposed to much sun. Fish like trout, salmon, tuna, eel, or mackerel are good sources of vitamin D. Also, dairy products such as milk and low-fat yogurt can supply you with vitamin D.
Increase Celery Intake
Celery can increase blood flow in your body. Therefore, eating about four stalks of celery can help you manage your blood pressure. The phytochemicals in the celery relax the tissues of your artery walls, increasing blood flow and reducing blood pressure. So, improve your celery intake by chopping up and eating a cup of celery as a snack daily.
Consume Less Coffee
If you are a coffee lover, this is terrible news for you but good for your health. Coffee can worsen your blood pressure or increase your chances of developing the condition. This is because it causes the stiffness of arteries causing the heart to pump harder, increasing the blood pressure. To understand if the caffeine you are taking affects your blood pressure, check your blood pressure 30 minutes after drinking a caffeinated beverage and take the necessary steps.
Drinking alcohol raises your blood pressure temporarily. Therefore, long-term heavy use of alcohol can have a significant effect on your blood pressure. So, drink less alcohol to regulate its effect on your blood pressure. But if you can avoid alcohol altogether, it is also detrimental to your overall well-being. Note that different people have different alcohol limits, and it would be best to ask your doctor about your limit to know how much you should drink. Besides, consume alcohol that is less concentrated in sodium and salts.
Keep a Food Diary
It is essential to note down every meal you take as it will help you keep a record of the foods you are consuming. You can be surprised how much or little you are taking of certain foods. In addition, this will help you know the adjustments you need to make on your diet based on the recommended diet for lowering your blood pressure.
Dr. Scarborough can help you make the right dietary choices to lower your blood pressure. So book an appointment today and receive the help you deserve. Additionally, Dr. Scarborough offers comprehensive care to ensure that you effectively manage your hypertension.