What Affects Blood Pressure? (Heart Health)
You may already know that sodium affects blood pressure, but a number of nutrients, foods, and other factors have been reported to change blood chemistry as well. Here are the latest research findings:
Potassium. Potassium helps to prevent and control high blood pressure. Many fruits and vegetables, some dairy foods, and fish are rich sources of potassium.
Calcium and Magnesium. These nutrients may help to prevent high blood pressure and improve health in other ways. Dairy products are a rich source of calcium, while magnesium is found in many whole-grain products and dark-green leafy vegetables.
Garlic and Onions. These foods have not been found to affect blood pressure. But they are tasty, nutritious substitutes for salty seasonings and can be used often.
Caffeine. This may cause blood pressure to rise, but only temporarily. Unless you are sensitive to caffeine, you do not have to limit how much you consume in order to prevent or control high blood pressure.
Stress. Stress, too, can make blood pressure go up for a while, and has been thought to contribute to high blood pressure. But the long-term effects of stress are not clear. Furthermore, stress management techniques do not seem to prevent high blood pressure. However, stress management approaches may help you control overeating.
As you can see, blood pressure can be affected by a number of factors. Try to incorporate some of these “good” changes, while avoiding the “bad.” Remember, it’s all for your health!