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4 Simple Swaps That Lower the Risk of High Blood Pressure by Up to 50%

Keeping blood pressure in the healthy range slashes the odds of heart disease and stroke in half. Plus, research in the European Heart Journal reveals it lowers the risk of serious Covid-19 complications by 58 percent. And in welcome news, keeping high blood pressure at bay can be as easy as making a few simple swaps…

Swap a walk for a stretch.

Stretching out in a pool, lake or ocean feels oh-so good; plus, doing so delivers lasting BP benefits. Proof: Canadian investigators found that stretching for 30 minutes five times weekly lowered blood pressure 5 points more than brisk walking for the same time frame did. Study authors explain that stretching muscles enhances the elasticity of arteries that feed them, improving circulation to bring your blood pressure down.

Swap paste for powder.

Trading toothpaste for tooth powder (which costs pennies per day) can give you more to smile about: In a study in the Compendium of Continuing Education in Dentistry, powder outperformed paste at reducing dental plaque and improving gum health. That’s key since research in Hypertension found keeping gums healthy lowers the risk of high blood pressure by 50 percent by reducing inflammation that damages blood vessels. To try: Primal Life Toothpowder (Buy at Walmart, $8.70).

Swap NSAIDs for spice.

Treating sore aches with OTC meds like ibuprofen and naproxen can increase blood pressure by hampering your kidneys’ ability to flush excess sodium. Luckily, taking 500 to 1,000 mg. of curcumin daily has been shown to ease pain as effectively as NSAIDs. Plus, Chinese scientists say compounds in the spice combat elevated BP levels by relaxing blood vessels.

Swap H2O for this water.

Whipping up a summer smoothie with coconut water instead of plain H2O does more than add tropical flair. Research out of the University of the West Indies found that sipping 2½ cups of coconut water daily reduced blood pressure by 12 points within two weeks — an effect that’s better than pressure-lowering meds. Credit goes to coconut’s payload of potassium, a mineral that relaxes blood-vessel walls. Try this delicious recipe!

Zesty Tropical Fruit Slushy

Coconut water slushy
Getty Images

Ingredients:

  • ¼ tsp. grated orange zest
  • ¼ tsp. sugar
  • Ice cubes
  • 2 cups coconut water
  • ¼ cup pineapple juice
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 2 tsp. agave syrup

Instructions:

  1. Mix orange zest and sugar; dip rims of 2 glasses in water, then sugar mixture; invert.
  2. In ice-filled blender, combine coconut water, pineapple juice, orange juice and agave syrup; cover. Process until slushy.
  3. Divide drink between glasses. If desired, garnish with orange wedges. Serves 2.

Note: Check with your healthcare provider before supplementing.

This article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.

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