Eat Your Oatmeal!
Oatmeal is considered a “superfood” for good reason: Time and again, oats have been shown to lower blood pressure and cholesterol when eaten as part of a daily diet. Packed with soluble fiber, a bowl of oatmeal every morning is an easy and delicious way to reduce blood pressure while keeping you satisfied till lunchtime.
De-Stress with Pets
If you’ve ever owned a pet, you know the warmth and love you can feel for animals: After a long day of work, coming home to cuddle with Fluffy or Fido might be one of your favorite ways to relax. Not surprisingly, this relationship could be good for your heart, helping to lower blood pressure and reduce stress hormones. If you don’t have pets, head over to a friend’s house to hang with theirs!
Garlic for a Healthy Heart
In addition to flavoring some of your favorite meals (especially if you like Mediterranean, Indian, or Chinese food), garlic has been used medicinally for centuries and offers loads of health benefits. The herb is believed to be especially effective in matters of the heart: It can lower blood pressure and cholesterol and help stave off heart disease and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). To top it off, garlic contains immune-boosting, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial powers—so get some of the stinky stuff in your kitchen now!
Save the Salt
As tasty as it is, salt in your body absorbs water, and too much of it can increase your blood pressure and stress your kidneys, heart, and arteries. Luckily, a little salt goes a long way at the kitchen table. But during cooking, it will usually just get absorbed into your food and cut the flavor rather than enhance it. Go easy on the salt while cooking to reduce your salt intake, and instead sprinkle it on before eating to achieve the flavor you like.
Fabulous Fatty Fish
Low-fat good, high-fat bad, right? Not necessarily! Some fats are actually good for your heart, particularly omega-3 fatty acids found in fish like salmon, bluefish, mackerel, canned sardines, and tuna. Omega-3 has been shown to reduce blood pressure, lower triglycerides and LDL cholesterol, and slow the hardening of arteries. Prepare your fish grilled, steamed, poached, baked, or broiled—but not fried.
Prescription: Dark Chocolate
By now you’ve probably heard that chocolate has health benefits in addition to its obvious delicious qualities. Not only does it encourage your brain to release the feel-good chemical dopamine, but dark chocolate can also lower your blood pressure thanks to compounds called flavanols, antioxidant-rich nutrients that support healthy blood vessels and circulation. Treat your heart to an ounce of dark chocolate (70 percent cacao) per day.
Set aside time in the morning and evening for listening to music: The languid rhythms of baroque, classical, raga, and Celtic music can help reduce blood pressure. Also look for music devoted to relaxation and meditation. You can even try sounds of the ocean for the ultimate calming effect—just make sure you don’t fall asleep at work!
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The suggestions offered here are for informational purposes only. The author and publisher do not accept liability for damages arising from the use, attempted use, misuse, or application of any of the suggestions included on this website.
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