Meditate to cut stress blood pressure says new guidelines 

Meditate to cut stress blood pressure says new guidelines 

By Health Correspondent

People should aim to meditate for around 45 minutes every day to cut stress-related high blood pressure, according to new guidelines.

The International Society of Hypertension also encouraged listening to music, doing yoga and mindfulness.

The long-standing medical advice to quit smoking and cut down on salt still stands.

However, experts say newer "body and mind" lifestyle goals can be recommended.

According to the position paper which is published in the Journal of Hypertension, there is enough scientific evidence for some less conventional approaches.

The panel of experts from 18 countries advise:

  • Try daily stress-busting strategies like meditation, deep breathing, yoga and mindfulness
  • Consider practising gratitude by focusing on positive things you can be thankful for, and doing acts of kindness to gain a sense of wellbeing
  • Chill out to some calming music for at least 25 minutes, three times a week
  • Staying physically active and getting enough sleep
  • Eating fish or taking an Omega-3 fish oil supplement may be helpful
  • Gut health is important too - and taking probiotics and eating plenty of fibre is a good idea
  • Drinking some tea and coffee is fine, but consuming lots of energy drinks containing large amounts of caffeine is not recommended
  • Be careful with liquorice tea - this can raise blood pressure
  • Beetroot and pomegranate juices may have the opposite effect and help lower blood pressure, perhaps because they contain nitrate compounds - doctors use nitrate in medications to dilate, relax or widen blood vessels
  • If you want to exercise outdoors, do a park run or stroll away from busy roads - because air pollution is bad for the heart and lungs.

Always see a doctor or GP before undertaking any lifestyle plan or change.

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