Monday, November 28, 2011

Living with Diabetes: How to Control Your Blood Pressure Naturally

Photography courtesy William Brooksher

How to Control Your Blood Pressure Naturally

Stop Smoking, Manage Stress and (ahem) Lose Weight-- Smoking, stress and obesity are three major risk factors for developing hypertension. If you smoke, stop. It wreaks havoc on your body--especially your cardiovascular system.

Lose weight--Okay, so I hate this one too. Truth is, maintaining a lower weight really does lower blood pressure---and improves insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control. Just a 10% reduction in weight can help you better control blood pressure and blood sugars.

Participate in regular physical activity--walking, bicycling, strength training, tai chi, water aerobics, yoga or Pilate's. Do something to move daily and keep the blood flowing smoothly.

Exercise is a great stress releaser. Even a slow, short walk in which you focus on slowly inhaling and exhaling can calm your nerves. Yoga and Tai Chi are also good physical activities for reducing stress.

Eat plenty of vegetables and some fruit-- Enjoy asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, green leafy vegetables, squash, sweet potatoes, bananas, apples, melons. For better blood sugar control, limit the amount of fruit you eat,and always eat it with protein to aid blood sugar control.

Eat arginine-rich foods--including nuts and seeds, fish, poultry, grains, wheat germ, red meat and dairy products. Arginine has been shown to play a role in lowering blood pressure and cholesterol.

Lower sodium intake to 1500 mg per day. What does that mean for every day eating? If you look on your salt container you'll see 1/4 teaspoon of salt has 590mg sodium, so we're talking 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon of salt per day.

Keep it simple--To reduce your sodium intake cut back on the amount of packaged and snack food you eat first. Try eating sliced apple with unsalted nuts for a snack. The reduced sodium, apple pectin, and arginine in the nuts all contribute to lower blood pressure.

Supplements--Consider supplementing with calcium, magnesium, CoQ10, flaxseed oil, and arginine.

About Susan J Meyerott, MS

International speaker and award-winning author, Susan Meyerott provides dynamic interactive workshops for people ready to better manage their work, life and health. Her programs have won national recognition and have been used in homes and organizations throughout the United States, England and Canada.

For more than 30 years, Susan has been helping people lighten up and step over invisible barriers to change one step at a time. As a speaker and writer, Susan blends her unique background in health promotion, accelerated learning, and communication with a very personal, practical, and humorous style. She speaks to your heart, puts you at ease, and makes changing easier than ever before.