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How To Manage Metabolic Syndrome (and Reduce Blood Sugar, Blood Pressure, and Belly Fat)

From stretching frequently to adding cilantro to your dish.

High blood pressure, high blood sugar, high blood fats, and excess belly fat can be problematic on their own. Having three or more of these conditions? That’s known as “metabolic syndrome,” which increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. While it’s best to talk with your doctor about a multi-step treatment method, trying some of these tips below may help.

Curb blood pressure.

When a cat stands after sitting, she does a satisfying stretch — adopting this feline habit helps bring your blood pressure into a healthy range (under 120/85 mmHg). Stretching your muscles also stretches the blood vessels that feed them. This reduces arterial stiffness and improves blood flow, lowering blood pressure. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health suggests that stretching every time you stand can lower blood pressure better than exercise.

Rein in blood sugar.

Cilantro is the perfect finishing touch on four-alarm chili, tacos, and nachos. And the herb is so effective at lowering elevated blood sugar (fasting blood glucose above 100 mg/dl) that folks with low blood sugar are warned to avoid eating it! Indeed, an animal study out of Morocco suggests compounds in cilantro increase insulin release (i.e. reducing glucose levels) as effectively as some medications.

Whittle your waist.

Research in the International Journal of Obesity found that folks who ate 3 ounces of almonds daily as compared to a control group lost more belly fat than those who didn’t eat the nuts. Almonds’ unique combination of fiber, protein, and healthy fats work together to torch postmenopausal belly fat.

A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.

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