Three Simple Ways to Lower High Blood Pressure

Why a bit of soy, limiting NSAIDs painkillers and listening to slow paced music may do the trick

by Norine Dworkin-McDaniel
blood pressure image

HAVE A BIT OF SOY. Eat just 19 milligrams of soy isoflavones a day, and you may be able to lower your systolic blood pressure (the top number) by an average of 5.5 mm Hg, according to a recent study. It’s thought that isoflavones, active compounds in soy, increase nitric oxide, which relaxes blood vessels. You can get sufficient isoflavones from just one daily serving of soy foods, such as four ounces of tofu (38 milligrams of isoflavones). 

 

GO EASY ON NSAID PAINKILLERS. An Israeli study shows that taking a few doses of NSAIDs, a category that includes ibuprofen, raises systolic BP an average of 5 mm Hg. These pills are believed to reduce blood flow to the kidneys, allowing fluid to build up in your body, which promotes hyper-tension. What’s easier on your blood pressure: acet-aminophen (Tylenol).
 
LISTEN TO SLOW-PACED MUSIC. A study found that hearing a melodic Mozart adagio during a visit to the doctor lowered systolic blood pressure an average of 6.5 mm Hg among 40 hypertension patients. Slow music elicits the relaxation response, which in turn dilates blood vessels, explains cardiologist Nieca Goldberg, a spokesperson for the American Heart Association.
 
Photo courtesy of LeventeGyori/Shutterstock.com
 
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First Published Thu, 2012-08-09 11:35

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