Six tips to prevent high BP

High blood pressure can cause serious health problems. Find out how you can avoid it by following a healthy lifestyle.

Eat Bioflavonoids: Bioflavonoids promote the passage of blood through the body by dilating the arteries. Says Dr Rakesh Sapra, Senior Consultant, Artemis Hospital, Gurgaon: “By increasing oxygen supply to the blood, they also help lower the risk of high blood pressure.” Apricots, pineapples, blackberries, black currants, broccoli, oranges and lemons are food that are high in bioflavonoids.

Swear off Sodas: Sodas are linked to increased heart disease risk. Says Dr Peeyush Jain, Senior Consultant, Escorts Heart Institute, New Delhi: “Soda can deplete the body’s potassium content, which is needed to lower blood pressure."

Butt Out: Says Dr Sapra: “Smoking increases your risk of heart disease. Smoking leads to the build-up of plaque that clogs the blood vessels.” The remedy: quit smoking.

Get Moving: Regular physical activity makes your heart stronger. A stronger heart can pump more blood with less effort. Says Dr Sapra: “Go for a brisk 30-minute walk 4-5 days a week.” Get plenty of sleep. Being sleep-deprived can make your problems seem larger than they are.

Go for Garlic: Says Dr Jain: “Garlic has the power to ease the spasms of the small arteries and slow the pulse rate and modify the heart rhythm.” You can eat a single clove of garlic per day with a meal or by itself.

Watch your Weight: An obese person runs a greater risk of having high blood pressure; a person with body mass index in the acceptable range of 18-25 also diminishes his chances of a heart disease. Says Dr Jain: “Keep a closer watch on your body mass.