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5 ways to help lower blood pressure that isn't exercise or dieting

If you need to lower your blood pressure, but exercise and dieting isn’t helping, you might want to consider these other factors.

By Simone Momberg
Around one in five adults in New Zealand have high blood pressure, but would you know how to prevent it from creeping up on you?
Lifestyle factors play a big role in our blood pressure levels, so here are some surprising ways to naturally reduce hypertension.

Volunteer and reap the benefits

Volunteering and helping others is a great way for people to stay socially connected and feel more positive overall, but the benefits have also been found to extend to physical health.
A US study found that subjects over 50 who volunteered on a regular basis were 40 per cent less likely to develop high blood pressure than those who did not.
So not only is volunteering a wonderful way to give back, but it goes full circle and can benefit you too!

Avoid black liquorice

If you're a fan of liquorice but are keeping an eye on your blood pressure, it may be time to say goodbye to this particular confectionery.
Real liquorice contains glycyrrhizinic acid, which sets off a chain of biochemical events in the body, resulting in high pressure. If you can't cut it out completely, keep it as a sometimes treat!

Turn down the noise

If you've lived near, or had to commute through areas with heavy construction, you know how aggravating the constant noise can be. As it turns out, it could also have an impact on your blood pressure.
In a study of assembly plant workers, it was found that the higher the volume of noise around them, the higher their blood pressure rose.
Blasting music through your headphones can have a similar effect, so consider turning down the volume and shutting the windows near heavy construction to help keep blood pressure in check.

Incorporate apple cider vinegar into your diet

Used for it's myriad of health benefits including aiding digestion and lowering blood sugar in some cases, apple cider vinegar can also help lower blood pressure.
It's the acetic acid (the main component of vinegar apart from water) that does the job, so incorporating some apple cider vinegar into your diet is an easy, natural way to assist in bringing your blood pressure down.
Because of the acidity, it's best to dilute one tablespoon in a glass of water, or try using it as part of a salad dressing for a bit of a kick.

Spice things up with cayenne pepper

Partial to a bit of heat? This could be the go-to for you.
Cayenne pepper has the ability to improve circulation and dilate blood vessels, helping to lower blood pressure. Although it's quite hot, cayenne pepper is very versatile and can be incorporated into your day in a multitude of ways.
Combine ¼ teaspoon with some lemon, ginger and warm water for a morning refresher, buy some cayenne capsules, or sprinkle the pepper in with your meal.
If you are already taking blood pressure medication, suffer from heartburn or ulcers, check with your doctor first before spicing up your life.

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