At home basics for improving your blood pressure

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is one of the most common diseases in our society. In most cases, hypertension does not cause any noticeable symptoms, which is why it is so important to have your blood pressure monitored regularly. Causes of high blood pressure include a high-salt standard American diet, stress, lack of exercise, obesity, smoking, alcohol, and caffeine – although the list does continue.

Fortunately, there are things you can do to be proactive about your heart health. The DASH diet is the most widely accepted and well-known dietary strategy for hypertension, and it emphasizes a low-salt, high-potassium diet. Potassium rich foods include avocados, beans, lentils, broccoli, sunflower seeds, almonds, and sweet potatoes (note: do not take this to mean you should take potassium supplement as this can cause a heart arrhythmia).

Other ways to reduce blood pressure are through regular exercise, weight loss, increasing fiber in the diet, stress management, smoking cessation, limiting alcohol and caffeine, and getting good quality sleep. If you have high blood pressure, please consult with your doctor and monitor it at home regularly.

This health tip brought to you by Dr. Kristina Roberts, a board certified naturopathic doctor practicing integrative and individualized primary care medicine at Lokahi Health Center in Kona. For more information, call 808-329-2114 or email [email protected]