You can lower blood pressure—one bite at a time, one choice at a time, one day at a time. Just follow the ABC plan:
ADD plant nutrition.
Aim for 4,700 mg of potassium daily. Fruits and vegetables are high in potassium and fiber, both of which protect against high blood pressure. A baked potato contains about 1,000 mg of potassium; beans, spinach, tomatoes, squash, green vegetables, and fresh fruits are also tasty sources of potassium. Plant foods are rich in vitamins, minerals, trace minerals, and vessel-repairing antioxidants and low in sodium, saturated fat and calories.
TRY IT! To increase potassium and dietary fiber, eat at least 3 servings of plant foods at every meal —fresh fruit, vegetables, beans, whole grains, or nuts. Increasing these foods will help you bump burgers, fries, and pies—off the menu!
BEWARE of sodium, sweets, and saturated fat.
Watch out for packaged bandits that tantalize your taste buds but target your good health. Limit sodium intake to 1500 mg, or about 500 mg per meal. Most sodium comes from packaged foods, so check labels. Just one ounce of potato chips contains 200 mg of sodium; a baked potato only has 8 mg. Canned tomatoes pack 400 mg per ½ cup; a fresh tomato has 11mg.
A fast food meal consisting of an 8 oz hamburger, 7 oz. fries, and a 32 oz. soft drink will total 1580 calories, including 68 grams of fat, 31 teaspoons of sugar, and 1405 mg of sodium.
TRY IT! Grab a sandwich on whole grain bread filled with fresh veggies (or a Subway Veggie Delight sub with 230 calories, 2.5 grams of fat and 310 mg of sodium). Enjoy refreshing water and a crunchy apple for dessert.
CHOOSE daily exercise.
Regular, moderate physical activity—at least 30 to 60 minutes most days of the week—can lower your blood pressure up to 9 points. And it doesn’t take long to see a difference. Increasing your exercise level can lower your blood pressure in just a few weeks. It will improve mood and lower stress right away, while helping you achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
TRY IT! Just a 10-minute brisk walk after each meal will give you a mood boost, lower tension, and rack up 30 minutes of daily activity that will help push blood pressure as well as pounds into a healthy range.
Be sure to work with your doctor when making lifestyle and exercise changes, and get treatment for uncontrolled high blood pressure.
There is a battle going on between good and evil; truth and error; life and death; Christ and Satan. This battle is over the heart, mind, and life of every person. Christ wants to give you a “more abundant” life—a life filled with purpose, peace, power, and wisdom—a healthy lifestyle to preserve mind and body—and at last, eternal life where no thief can destroy!
(Submitted by Betty Dean. Used by Permission from www.lifestylematters.com. Courtesy of LifeSpring – Resources for Hope and Healing, Stuart, VA.)