Cardiovascular disease is the #1 health problem in the United States today. One million Americans die of heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure and other cardiovascular disorders every year in the U.S.—that means 2 out of every 5 deaths in the United States or one life every 33 seconds. During this Lower Your Blood Pressure Awareness Month, The Heart Health Foundation has a few ways you may not have thought of to lower your risks. Dr. John Martin, President of the HHF, says these six tricks can get you on the road to the right blood pressure:
1. Eat Dark Chocolate Daily
In one study, 18% of people who eat 1/2 ounce of dark chocolate daily saw a reduction in blood pressure flavanols which make blood vessels more elastic. But here’s the twist. This chocolatey treat must contain at least 70% cocoa. That means no milk chocolate homie. Keep it dark.
2. Adopt A Furry Friend.
Did you know that owning a pet can lower your blood pressure? In one study of 240 married couples, pet owners had lower blood pressure and lower heart rates during rest than people who did not own a pet. Also people who own pets tend to exercise more often (a key element to managing your blood pressure).
3. Vitamins Galore. Especially CoQ10.
Unfortunately, we are a nutrient and vitamin deficient society. However taking the right vitamins on a daily basis can affect your blood pressure- especially CoQ10. Also known as the ‘The Heart Vitamin,’ CoQ10 is proven to be the strongest of the Heart Health vitamins.
4. Drink Up. But Not Too Much.
Low levels of alcohol consumption actually lowers blood pressure. Studies show that one drink for women and two drinks for men actually lower blood pressure 2-4 mmhg. But before you start throwing back shots remember that moderation is key. Don’t typically drink? Well please don’t start if the name of “lower blood pressure.” The benefits aren’t worth the risk.
5. Say Om.
Practices such as meditation, Tai Chi and Yoga are superstars when it comes to relaxation. And when the body is relaxed it produces more nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is a powerful vasodilator and guess what else it does? Lowers blood pressure. Boom!