High blood pressure (also known as hypertension) plagues about 50 million adult Americans. That means that one in four adults on the street are walking around with the problem. Left uncontrolled, high blood pressure can lead you down an alley towards stroke, and heart and kidney disease.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), you can help control your blood pressure by:
- losing weight — if you need to;
- partaking in exercise
- eating a healthy diet, including watching your sodium;
- limiting your alcohol intake;
- taking medication, if instructed by your physician.
The good news on the preventative front is that Steps 1 through 4 can actually help you avoid developing high blood pressure in the first place.
Additionally, research funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) found that when individuals ate a well-balanced diet low in fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol, loaded with fruits and vegetables, and some low-fat dairy, dubbed the DASH Diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), their blood pressures were reduced.