Ideal blood pressure is 120/80 or below—that’s a top, or systolic, reading of 120mmHg (millimetres of mercury) and a bottom, diastolic, figure of 80mmHg. Over 140/90 and it’s considered high. Registering in between? You could benefit from lowering your reading, too.

  1. Embrace a new eating regime. Eat a diet is rich in fruit, vegetables, nuts, beans, seeds and low-fat dairy products. Possible drop in blood pressure: 5.5mmHg systolic, 3mmHg diastolic.
     
  2. Get moving. Do some aerobic exercise—brisk walking, jogging, cycling or swimming—for 30 minutes most days. Possible drop: 4mmHg systolic, 3mmHg diastolic.
     
  3. Cut back the booze. Have no more than one tipple a day if you’re a woman, two for a man. Possible drop: 2–4mmHg systolic.
     
  4. Try to lose weight. If you were to lose 20 pounds it would make a big difference to your blood-pressure reading. Possible drop: 5–20mmHg systolic.
     
  5. Cut back on pain-killers. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or aspirin raise blood pressure. Possible drop: 3.54mmHg systolic, 1.16 diastolic.
     
  6. Shake the salt habit. Check food labels carefully for salt content, eat fewer processed foods like chips, ready meals, bacon and ham, and don’t add salt to food. Possible drop: 2–8mmHg systolic.
     
  7. Chomp more dark chocolate. Flavonols found in dark chocolate have been shown to lower blood pressure in people with hypertension. Possible drop: 5mmHg systolic.
     
  8. Invest in a home blood-pressure monitor. Research found that people had lower readings when they took their own blood pressure at home. Possible drop: 4.2mmHg systolic, 2.4mmHg diastolic.
     
  9. Chill. Sit quietly for five minutes with your feet on the floor before having your blood pressure taken at the doctor’s. Possible drop: 14mmHg systolic.

Browse treatments at the OnlineClinic.

Related Posts