Be conscious about caffeine

Many people like to start their day with a cup of coffee, but it might be worth thinking more about your caffeine intake if you’re trying to lower your blood pressure. While studies have shown that habitual coffee drinkers will experience no blood pressure increase after their daily jolt, drinking coffee when you’re not used to it, or drinking caffeine-packed energy drinks, can have a pressure-spiking effect.

Improve your sleep hygiene

Low-quality sleep might be a contributing factor to high blood pressure, but the good news is it’s one of the easiest things to fix. If you’re looking to keep your blood pressure in check, it may be worth sleeping with your phone in another room, limiting electronics use a few hours before bed, setting a regular bedtime or using blackout blinds to maximise bedroom darkness.

Limit your alcohol intake

A 2020 review of multiple studies showed that consuming 30 grams or more of alcohol causes a heart rate increase that lasts for 24 hours, in addition to a spike in blood pressure the next day. Given that the average alcoholic beverage contains 14 grams of alcohol, limiting yourself to one drink a day is vital to keeping your blood pressure in check.

Take steps to manage stress

While lots of things can increase your risk of high blood pressure, stress is maybe the most pervasive. If you have a high-pressure job or are dealing with a difficult time at home, it’s essential to mitigate the effects the stress could have on your body. Taking time to meditate, go for walks, draw or listen to music can keep your blood pressure low and stable.

Cut down on salt

There’s nothing more enjoyable than a delicious, salty snack, but too much salt can, unfortunately, increase your risk of high blood pressure. Scientists believe this is because salt increases water retention and inflammation in your blood vessels, thus making your heart work harder to pump your blood around. Avoiding processed, overly salty foods or limiting salt in your home cooking can help with this.

Prioritize high-protein food

A 2015 study that surveyed over 1,300 people concluded that a high-protein diet can lower your long-term risk of high blood pressure by as much as 40%. This result bore out whether the subject was consuming primarily animal protein like chicken breast and salmon, or plant protein like lentils, peanut butter or chickpeas.

Avoid smoking

Few things are as detrimental to your health as smoking, and cigarettes can have a specific effect on your blood pressure. The chemicals in tobacco have been proven to narrow your arteries, damage your blood vessel walls and increase inflammation, which all lead to high blood pressure. Meaning that quitting is the best investment you can make in your heart and vein health.

Limit processed meat consumption

Processed meat is another food group that should be consumed in moderation, especially if you’re looking to lower your risk of high blood pressure. This is because deli meats and similar foods are often high in salt, added sugar and unhealthy fats, which can all contribute to high blood pressure.

Up your aerobic exercise

One of the best ways to mitigate and reverse high blood pressure is to engage in aerobic exercise. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity a day, five days a week, with beneficial examples including walking, jogging, jumping rope, swimming, biking, stair climbing or dancing. Integrating some of these activities into your weekly routine will help alleviate high blood pressure.

Increase potassium in your diet

Potassium helps the body to remove salt and ease tension in blood vessels, which in turn leads to lower blood pressure. So if you’re looking to keep your blood pressure in check, adding foods to your diet such as bananas, dried apricots and prunes, potatoes, tomatoes and spinach can only be beneficial.