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Live Well: Lifestyle Habits to Reduce Blood Pressure Naturally

February 16, 2024


Your daily choices can have a big impact on your blood pressure. Here are some ways you can support your blood pressure through healthy lifestyle changes:

  • Eat whole foods. The DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) encourages whole foods, which provide a wide range of nutrients like potassium, magnesium, and fiber. The DASH diet has been shown to reduce blood pressure by about 11 points.
  • Limit or eliminate alcohol. Limiting or eliminating alcohol can help reduce blood pressure and prevent liver damage.
  • Stay active. Exercise may reduce blood pressure by about 5 to 8 points.2 Find ways to weave more movement into your daily routines and work your way up to getting at least 150 minutes of activity each week.
  • Be aware of the risks of using cannabis. Emerging evidence shows an increased risk for heart disease and stroke from the effects of cannabis on blood pressure, as well as inflammation of the blood vessels and cardiac arrhythmias. Follow the CAMH Lower Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines or abstain from cannabis completely.
  • Reduce stress. Stress triggers the release of hormones that can raise blood pressure. When possible, limit your exposure to stress and choose effective self-care strategies to manage stress when you cannot.
  • Quit smoking. Quitting smoking can prevent damage to blood vessels walls and reduce inflammation.
  • Monitor your blood pressure. If you have hypertension, monitor your blood pressure between doctor’s visits and keep a log of any levels that are higher than normal.
  • Use less salt. Limit your sodium intake to no more than 2,300 milligrams (mg) per day. Reducing sodium can reduce blood pressure by 5 to 6 points.2 Try these substitutions to reduce sodium:

Instead of…


Table salt

Fresh herbs & spices

Garlic salt

Fresh garlic or garlic powder

Canned soup

Lower sodium varieties of canned soups with less than 150 mg of sodium per serving


Sliced cucumbers with vinegar and fresh dill

Microwave popcorn with salt & butter

Air popped corn kernels + nutritional yeast flakes

It is important to know that kosher salt and sea salt contain the same amount of sodium as table salt. Be sure to talk with your doctor first before using salt substitutes as these products may not be appropriate for people with kidney disease, diabetes, or liver disease.