Reducing fat and salt intake is also helpful.
"When you're going to the market and buying prepared foods, purchase those that are grilled, not fried," Goldberg said. "You also should realize many condiments are very high in salt."
Quitting smoking and reducing the amount of alcohol you drink is also important for reducing your overall risk for heart attack and stroke.
On the horizon, researchers are developing a vaccine that could prove successful in moderating blood pressure. It works by inhibiting angiotensin II, a molecule that constricts blood vessels and raises blood pressure.
"The potential attractiveness of a vaccine is it might be a more convenient way to manage high blood pressure in some people," Jones said.
Researchers at the 2007 American Heart Association annual meeting discussed some early encouraging results, although Jones cautioned that the vaccine is still years away from use in patients. "People should not be anticipating this is something that would be clinically available anytime in the near future," he said. "It's not anywhere close to being tested by the FDA for use."
Until then, following a healthy lifestyle and sticking with a good medication are a woman's -- and man's -- best bet for beating back high blood pressure.
"We know that a diet that is low in sodium and high in fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products is very useful in both preventing and treating high blood pressure," Jones said. "I always like to remind people of the importance of simple things in lifestyle that can make a difference."
To learn more about the Go Red for Women campaign, visit the American Heart Association.
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