21 Easy Ways to Lower High Blood Pressure
21 Easy Ways to Lower Your High Blood Pressure
21 Easy Ways to Lower Your High Blood Pressure
Do you have high blood pressure, or at risk of having high blood pressure? Well, you're not alone. One of every three American adults suffer from high blood pressure. That's an astonishing 70 million people. Here are 21 simple things you can do that might help your high blood pressure stay under control.


Eat Dark Chocolate
Eat Dark Chocolate
Yes, you read that right! Believe it or not, according to a Harvard study, flavanols, which are in dark chocolate, help make blood vessels more elastic.

It's no miracle cure, but one study showed that 18% of patients who ate dark chocolate every day saw blood pressure decrease. Have ounce daily (make sure it contains at least 70% cocoa).


Switch to Decaf Coffee
Switch to Decaf Coffee
Caffeinated drinks such as strong coffees or sodas can cause your blood pressure to increase. The reason for this is unclear. Some believe that caffeine causes an increase in adrenaline, which causes your blood pressure to increase.

Others believe that caffeine blocks a hormone that widens your arteries, so your arteries narrow when consuming caffeine. In any case, try to consume less caffeine.


Quit Smoking
Quit Smoking
If you're a smoker, you should do your best to quit. Not only does smoking increase your risk of developing cancer, but the nicotine in cigarette smoke also tends to raise your blood pressure and your heart rate.

Even if you're not a smoker, but you spend a lot of time with people who do smoke, you are at risk, as second-hand smoke carries similar risks. Bottom line: smoking is really bad for your health.


Listen to Music (and Sing Along!)
Listen to Music (and Sing Along!)
Relaxing to your favorite music can help reduce stress and lower your blood pressure. Better yet, sing along to your favorite songs.

A study in Japan showed that singing along raises your dopamine levels, which, in turn, can lower your blood pressure.


Consume Less Salt
Consume Less Salt
Sodium works on your kidneys to make your body hold more water. This increase in water causes your blood pressure to rise.

Common foods that are high in salt are bacon, instant soups, pickles, french fries and potato chips.


Consume Foods with Potassium
Consume Foods with Potassium
You can actually counter the effects of sodium by consuming potassium-rich foods such as bananas and leafy green vegetables.

And, in general, eating foods rich in potassium is better than taking supplements.


Get Regular Exercise
Get Regular Exercise
A lack of exercise is strongly correlated with high blood pressure in adults. Exercising increases the strength of your heart muscle, and when your heart is stronger, it needs less pressure to pump the blood throughout your body.

It takes about one to three months of exercise before you notice a difference, so be patient and start slowly, especially if you're starting from scratch.


CoQ10 Supplements
CoQ10 Supplements
Coenzyme Q10 is an antioxidant that is made in the human body. As we age, our CoQ10 levels naturally get lower, so taking CoQ10 supplements can help counter that.

There is evidence that taking CoQ10 supplements can help to lower blood pressure. As with any supplements or medications, check with your doctor before taking CoQ10.


Soy Protein
Soy Protein
The effect of soy protein to help reduce blood pressure is not well-proven, but some studies to seem to indicate that it helps, particularly when soy protein is consumed in place of carbohydrates.

Don't consume soy protein if it means increasing your overall calorie intake, but use it to replace less-healthy foods.


Alcohol (More or Less)
Alcohol (More or Less)
Alcohol should be consumed in moderation. Drinking more than one or two drinks a day can cause an increase in blood pressure.

But on the flip side, drinking a small amount of alcohol can have a positive effect on your blood pressure, versus having none at all. Consult your doctor if you're unsure if your intake is too high or too low.


Relax and Find Stress Relief
Relax and Find Stress Relief
We already mentioned that listening to your favorite music can help you relax. But everyone is different.

For some, meditation, yoga, or reading are great activities for relaxation.


Make Work Healthier
Make Work Healthier
Most adults in America spend the majority of their waking hours at work. So making your work environment a healthier environment can go a long way to improving your health, particularly your blood pressure.

Try incorporating some of these tips at work, including mediation, music and even trying to stay active -- take a walk during the day, or climb stairs instead of taking the office elevator. And if your office has a gym, take advantage of it!


Visit the Zoo
Visit the Zoo
Believe it or not, visiting the zoo helps reduce your blood pressure. A study in Japan showed that zoo patrons left the zoo with lower blood pressures than prior to visiting.

And, who doesn't love monkeys?


Drink Green Tea
Drink Green Tea
The British Journal of Nutrition reports that drinking green tea helps reduce blood pressure.

Just make sure you don't drink caffeinated tea, as caffeine can raise blood pressure.


Check Your Snoring
Check Your Snoring
If you snore a lot, you may have sleep apnea. And sleep apnea causes sudden drops in oxygen, which in turn can lead to high blood pressure.

Check with your doctor if you snore a lot to see if you should be evaluated for sleep apnea.


Lose Weight
Lose Weight
Perhaps this is not as easy as some of the other suggestions here, but losing weight usually has a huge impact on your blood pressure, as well as your overall health.

More than 60% of Americans are overweight, so you're not alone.


Get More Sunlight
Get More Sunlight
Sunlight is well-known to lower blood pressure, but it wasn't until recently that scientists figured out why.

The top layers of our skin contain nitric oxide that, when exposed to sunlight, widens our blood vessels and therefore reduces our blood pressure.


Reduce Sugar Intake
Reduce Sugar Intake
As bad as salt is to your high blood pressure, sugar, particularly fructose, might be worse.

Avoid sugary drinks as much as you can. They are really bad for you.


Measure Your Blood Pressure Regularly
Measure Your Blood Pressure Regularly
While the act of measuring your blood pressure won't by itself lower it, keeping tabs on your blood pressure is healthy, as it not only reminds you to practice healthy habits to lower it, but it gives you a better sense of how well your lifestyle changes are helping.

Awareness and tracking will help you achieve your goals.


Take Medications
Take Medications
Your doctor may prescribe medications to control your blood pressure. If so, take them as directed, and try not to skip doses.

Always remember to renew your prescriptions at least a week before they run out, and if you are traveling, be sure to you have enough for your trip. Never take medications without a prescription.


See Your Doctor
See Your Doctor
The best way to control your blood pressure is to visit your doctor regularly to discuss your particular situation.

Never rely solely on information you find here on the internet. Visiting a doctor in person is always your best course of action.