Did you know over 75 million adults in America have high blood pressure? In New York alone, one in every ten adults have reported having high blood pressure. Two major contributors of high blood pressure, often referred to as hypertension, include obesity and consuming a diet high in sodium. There are a range of practices to help reduce blood pressure readings like regular exercise and reducing stress, however there is one even simpler, but just as effective: drinking more water. Drinking water has a wide range of health benefits including decreasing high blood pressure. May is National High Blood Pressure Education month, and the Bronx HBZ is sharing tips on how you can lower your risk of high blood pressure related illnesses, like stroke and heart disease, all by staying hydrated.
Incorporating the right amount of water in your diet is important on its own. For those looking to manage a medical condition, drinking water can be an even more crucial benefit to your body. When the body does not receive the appropriate amount of water, it can cause blood vessels to constrict and in turn, cause a massive strain on the heart. With your heart working in overdrive, this makes way for blood pressure to spike. Consuming foods and beverages with a high amount of sodium aids in the body’s dehydration. Making a simple switch to replace sugary drinks with water can help to lower blood pressure and keep you hydrated throughout the day. To keep track of how much water you drink, use the 8-8 rule: Drink 8, 8-ounce glasses of water a day. It might seem intimidating at first, but allow your body the time to get used to this new lifestyle commitment.
For most, drinking water may seem like a drag in comparison to soda or juice. One easy way to add flavor into your water is by adding fruit. Infusing delicious fruits like berries and citrus into your daily doses of water is the perfect hack to keep you on track. Fruit offers water a natural sweetener, so you can have a guilt-free drink without your taste buds panicking. Even choosing beverages like coffee or tea can contain caffeine, which causes a strain on the heart. The increase of your body’s heartbeats per minute can cause your blood pressure to spike. However, choosing water eliminates the extra work your heart has to do.
An added benefit of drinking water is losing weight. Cutting out excess calories brought on by sugary drinks can aid in weight loss. Losing weight creates less of a strain on your heart, causing a decrease in high blood pressure.
Feeling inspired? Share your creative fruit-infused water recipes with the HBZ in recognition of National High Blood Pressure Education month by tagging us on social media with the hashtag: #HBZsupportsahealthyheart.