About 1 in 4 American adults suffers from high blood pressure (hypertension). While the causes behind 95% of these cases are unknown, it’s certain the condition can wreak havoc. Hypertension is a leading cause of strokes and can damage your brain, eyes, kidneys, and heart. Here are simple prevention steps:
- Track your numbers: Get ahead of the game by monitoring your blood pressure and keeping up with regular doctor visits.
- Watch your weight: Those with a higher body mass index have a slightly higher chance of developing hypertension.
- Exercise regularly: 30–60 minutes of exercise several days a week will contribute to weight loss and likely lower your blood pressure.
- Don’t smoke: Tobacco use greatly elevates your blood pressure.
- Limit alcohol: Most daily recommendations say no more than 1 drink for women and 2 for men.
- Change your diet: Limit sodium; eat high–fiber foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grains. Also include antioxidant–rich foods like berries, spinach, grapes, and tomatoes.
- Take your vitamins: A daily multivitamin ups your intake of likely blood pressure fighters such as vitamin C, vitamin E, magnesium, zinc, calcium, and potassium.