High blood pressure is a big problem. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly one in three adults in the United States has high blood pressure. In Canada in 2014, slightly less than 18 percent of Canadians ages 12 and older reported being diagnosed with high blood pressure.

While such figures might be frightening, Johns Hopkins Medicine notes that there are some simple and natural ways for people to lower their high blood pressure.• Opt for heart-healthy foods. Instead of foods that are high in sodium, eat a diet that is rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and lean proteins. Check labels before buying prepared foods at the grocery store, as many such foods are high in sodium.

• Look for foods that contain probiotics. Johns Hopkins Medicine notes that studies have linked foods that contain probiotics to healthy blood pressure. Probiotics are consumable live bacteria, and while studies regarding the relationship between probiotics and blood pressure are ongoing, researchers believe probiotics may produce chemicals that, when absorbed in the blood stream, may activate receptors in the blood vessels to lower blood pressure.

• Lose weight. People with high blood pressure who are carrying a few extra pounds should know that research indicates extra weight can cause injury to the heart. Dropping those pounds, especially through physical activity that can boost heart health, can help men and women lower their blood pressure.

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