High blood pressure is frequently referred to as the silent killer. Many times, individuals fail to realize they have this condition, until it's too late.

But, understand there are lifestyle and dietary changes you can make, to keep you heart-healthy.

Here are 12 things you can do to help ensure a healthy cardiac system, and a long life.

1. Stop Smoking

First, stop that pack a day habit. Cigarettes contain nicotine, which causes constriction of your blood vessels, which, subsequently, produces a hypertensive response.
By quitting smoking, you can significantly reduce your risk of having a heart attack.

2. Lose Weight

The heavier you are, the more pressure that is exerted on your arterial walls. That’s because more blood is being produced, as the oxygen requirements for your tissues, are increased.

Discuss with your physician what you can do to reduce your weight.

3. Include Vital Minerals in Your Diet

Although sodium may be contraindicated for hypertension, two other minerals, magnesium and potassium, are not. A recent study in the Journal of Clinical Hypertension, found that individuals eating a diet full of mineral-rich, fruits and vegetables, were able to reduce overall blood pressure.

4. Listen to Classical Music

Listening to 30 minutes of classical music daily, combined with slow abdominal breathing, can reduce blood pressure.

Also, transcendental meditation may help lower BP levels, as much as taking a second medication, according to a University of Kentucky study.

5. Exercise Regularly

By exercising regularly, you accomplish two things: you lose weight, while lowering your blood pressure. In fact, according to a recent Korean study, walking could be one of the best ways to lower blood pressure, with reductions ranging from 2 to 5 points.

6. Enjoy a Glass of Wine

A recent study from Harvard University, found that drinking a glass of wine each day, can help lower blood pressure in women.

It is important to remember, however, to drink in moderation, as too much alcohol, can contribute to other health problems.

7. Cut Back on Salt

Not everyone is affected by sodium, but it can increase blood pressure in some individuals. Try to limit your daily salt intake to 2400 mg or less.

Check the labels on food products; don't add salt to your foods. While some foods are obviously high in sodium, other foods, such as breads and cheeses, may have high levels also.

8. Eat Some Chocolate

For all you chocolate lovers out there, here's some good news. Eating approximately 1 1/2 ounces of dark chocolate each day can reduce blood pressure levels, approximately three points, according to a recent Yale study.

Apparently, the antioxidants in dark chocolate are thought to be the key constituents responsible for lowering BP.

9. Take Coenzyme Q10

There is some evidence that taking Coenzyme Q10, can help reduce blood pressure. In one 12-week trial of individuals with systolic hypertension, participants were able to reduce systolic levels by 17 mm Hg., in the group taking Coenzyme Q10.

10. Take Garlic

Eating Garlic can have a significant impact on your blood pressure. In seven clinical trials involving hypertensive individuals, when they were given garlic, a significant reduction in both systolic and diastolic levels was seen.

11. Take Fish Oil Capsules

Taking fish oil capsules may also help lower your blood pressure levels, according to research. One of the components of fish oil, docohexaenoic acid, is thought to be the primary ingredient in fish oil that lowers blood pressure.

12. Add Hawthorn To Your Diet

Hawthorn is a herb that is often recommended for hypertension. In one English study, 79 individuals with type 2 diabetes, were given either 1200 mg. of Hawthorn extract daily, or placebo. At the studies and, those taking the Hawthorn extract, reported a reduction in their diastolic blood pressures, around 2.6 mm Hg.

Unfortunately, there is no magic pill that guarantees you won’t have a heart attack.

However, by following these 12 steps, you will certainly reduce the likelihood that this will happen.

For more information on hypertension, click: Hypertension

Author's Bio: 

Kearney Adams is the writer for a website that focuses on home remedies. Visit Home Remedies Digest for discussions on herbs, vitamins, and other supplements that can help you live a healthier life.

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