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8 ways to lower your blood pressure, naturally!

If you’ve been told that your blood pressure is too high, you might be tempted to go for the quick-fix prescription drug solutions. The problem with prescription drugs is you never get something for nothing - everything has a side effect.

An alternative approach is to work to lower your blood pressure using natural methods.

Here are 8 ways that can help lower your blood pressure naturally:

1. Eat plenty of produce. Fruits and vegetables are naturally low in sodium and rich in potassium, and this helps to offset sodium's effect on blood pressure.  Your best bets for high potassium are baked potatoes, baked sweet potatoes, spinach, winter squash, bananas, oranges, cantaloupe, beans and tomatoes.
2. Let healthy fats add flavor to meals. Subbing out the starches in your diet and replacing them with healthy fats will help to control blood pressure, according to a recent study.  Don’t just add the fats—cut way down on starches, too.  For example, use nuts instead of croutons—not both—on your salad.
3. Choose whole grains instead of refined starches. For instance, eat lentils instead of mashed potatoes.  Some studies suggest that whole grains help the body hang on to potassium.
4. Calcium plays a key role in regulating blood pressure. Low-fat dairy products offer all the nutrients of full-fat varieties, but without the saturated fat and cholesterol that raise heart-disease risk.
5. Eat beans and legumes. Beans, nuts and seeds are rich in magnesium, which contributes to maintaining healthy blood pressure. Your goal should be 4 to 5 servings (1/2 cup of beans or 1 ounce of nuts/seeds) a week.
6. Indulge in small amounts of dark chocolate. Studies show that there are blood-pressure benefits from eating products made with cocoa, which contains antioxidants that activate a substance called nitric oxide that relaxes blood vessels.
7. Get walking or cycling, or swimming. Moderate exercise has been shown to improve blood pressure. National guidelines advise 30 minutes of daily moderate activity, such as brisk walking, jogging or cycling.
8. Calm yourself with quiet time, prayer or meditation.  Studies have shown that prayer or meditation brings blood pressure down—probably by modulating physiological stress responses.

More tips on healthy lifestyles can be found at www.energyfirst.com.

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EnergyFirst, a leading company in the all-natural protein and supplement industry, was founded in 1997. We, at EnergyFirst, believe that everyone can benefit from drinking a protein shake whether the goal is optimal nutrition in a meal replacement, an easy and healthy breakfast alternative, a weight loss aid, or a protein supplement for athletes. We also believe that your protein shake should be 100% natural and delicious. Nutritionist, educator, athlete, and EnergyFirst's CEO, Gerry Morton is committed to providing customers with all natural, science-based, effective products for optimal nutrition, weight loss, and a healthy lifestyle.

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