If you have hypertension, dietary changes can help you reduce the amount medication you take to control your blood pressure or stop taking medication altogether. Several small changes in your diet can add up to big changes in your blood pressure.

Have Fun With Spices

Your daily intake of salt can drastically affect your blood pressure. In addition to minimizing or eliminating processed foods, you need to retrain your taste buds. Purchase salt-free seasoning blends for some of your favorite meats and vegetables. Prepare you food as normal, but only add some salt after you taste your food.

Although reducing the salt you add to food will be an adjustment, you will probably notice many salt-free seasoning blends enhance the flavor of your food and you need less salt. As you grow accustomed to using seasoning blends in your food, start buying individual herbs and spices. It can be difficult to anticipate which flavors pair well with different foods, but knowing the basics can help you create your own blends.

Use Caffeine With Caution

If you are addicted to caffeine, you may have no idea how much you consume each day. Since caffeine is a stimulant, it will raise your heart rate and blood pressure. You need to wean yourself off caffeine to avoid withdrawal symptoms, such as irritability and headaches. Find designated times throughout the day when having caffeine is most important and limit yourself to those special times. Try to stick with having a serving of caffeine two to three times per day. You may be surprised you can get by with less caffeine.

Relax With Tea

A hot cup of tea can reduce stress and your blood pressure. Try drinking a cup or two of green tea each day. Since green tea has caffeine, you will need to swap one of your other caffeinated beverages and drink it early in the day. Green tea has antioxidants and other heart-healthy benefits. Hibiscus tea is another option with potential antihypertensive effects.

Go Meat-Free

Set aside a day or two each week and commit to eating a vegan or seafood meal. If going meat-free at least once per week feels like a challenge, turn it into an adventure. Look for recipes you find interesting, keep them on-hand and prepare ahead. Challenge yourself to try at least one new recipe per week. On days when you are eating meat, try eating more lean meats, such as poultry, and save red meats and pork for special occasions or just once per week.

Your diet has a major influence on your blood pressure. Dietary changes to help reduce your blood pressure can have other heart and blood vessel benefits, such as reducing your cholesterol and risk of a heart attack or stroke. Speak to a cardiology professional for more information.