Keep your blood pressure in check by making these small, sustainable changes today.
One in seven Australian adults have high blood pressure (aka hypertension), yet it often goes undetected until a medical check-up or, worst of all, it causes a stroke or heart attack.
1. Trim your belly
Excess weight, especially around your middle, forces your heart to pump harder. So trimming down is the first step in reducing blood pressure. And the good news is that every little bit helps — research has found that for each kilogram of weight lost, blood pressure falls by 1 to 2mmHg.
2. Cut back on salt
Look for reduced-salt varieties of food at the shops and try not to add salt to your meals. Most breads and cereals contain salt, even though they don’t taste salty. Steer clear of salty foods like anchovies, olives, deli meats and potato crisps.
3. Eat more potassium
Potassium helps to regulate blood pressure and balances the body’s fluid levels. It’s found in leafy green vegies, avocados, sweet potato and bananas.
4. Drink less alcohol
Limit drinking to no more than two standard drinks a day. And have a couple of alcohol-free days a week. Switching from full strength to low-alcohol can help.
5. Eat oily fish
Oily fish such as salmon, tuna and trout is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which helps to reduce heart disease. Include oily fish in your diet at least three times a week to lower blood pressure.