10 easy ways to lower your blood pressure naturally
10 Easy Ways To Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally
Another name for high blood pressure is hypertension. It has been nicknamed “the silent killer,” and I tell you that there’s a good reason for this. High blood pressure has no clear symptoms but contributes to stroke and heart disease.
It is important to note that these two diseases are the major causes of death in the United States and other developed countries (1). High blood pressure is so common in the United States that at least 1 in 3 American adults have it (2).
Blood pressure in humans is measured with a unit known as millimeters of mercury (mmHg). Two variants of blood pressure are involved in blood pressure measurement: systolic blood pressure, and diastolic blood pressure. Systolic pressure is the pressure in your blood vessels when your heart contracts.
On the other hand, diastolic pressure, the second type of blood pressure, is the pressure that occurs in your blood vessels when your heart relaxes.
Your blood pressure is determined by the quantity of blood that your heart is pumping, and the resistance offered by your arteries to the flow of blood. The blood pressure in narrow arteries is usually higher as compared to the pressure in wider arteries.
Get your pair of glasses here today: Love Chartreux
The normal blood pressure is 120/80 mmHg. Blood pressure from 130/80 mmHg is high. But, if your pressure is higher than 130/80 mmHg, then you have elevated blood pressure, and your risk of a high blood pressure diagnosis is on the high side (3).
However, one unique thing about blood pressure is that you can ease your numbers with modest lifestyle changes. In most cases, there’s no need for drugs. In this article, we discuss 10 important but natural ways to lower your blood pressure:
1. EXERCISE MORE
A 2013 research engaged sedentary adults in aerobic exercise. Results from the study observed a decrease in their blood pressure by about 3.9% for the systolic pressure and 4.5% for the diastolic pressure (4). This is equivalent to what you would achieve with blood pressure medications. Vigorous and prolonged exercise increases your breathing rate and your heart rate.
Your heart becomes stronger and beats normally (without much stress or effort). This reduces the pressure on your arteries and brings down your blood pressure. According to the American College of Cardiology, you should have 40-minutes of exercise (moderate-to-vigorous intensity) 3-4 times weekly (5).
2. WEIGHT LOSS IS IMPORTANT FOR OBESE OR OVERWEIGHT PERSONS
People who are overweight will benefit immensely by losing even a mere 5-10 pounds following the 10 easy ways guidelines. What’s more? Well, apart from lowering your blood pressure, weight loss also reduces your risk for other health conditions.
3. REDUCE YOUR INTAKE OF REFINED SUGARS AND CARBS
Several studies have shown that cutting down on refined carbs and sugar can boost your weight loss journey and ease your blood pressure. In 2010, a comparison was made between a low-carb diet and a low-fat diet (6). A diet drug was included in the low-fat diet.
Both diets triggered weight loss. However, the blood-pressure-lowering effects of the low-carb diet were more effective than the low-fat diet. The low-carb diet caused a 4.5mmHg reduction in the diastolic pressure and a 5.9mmHg reduction in the systolic pressure (6).
4. UP YOUR POTASSIUM AND REDUCE YOUR SODIUM INTAKE
Increasing the amount of potassium that you take in and reducing your salt consumption is an important way to bring down your blood pressure (7). You see, potassium lessens the health effects of salt, and also causes your blood vessels to relax.
But it is also important to note that potassium-rich diets may not be completely safe for people with kidney problems. Thus, you should see your doctor before upping your potassium. Always important to get a doctor’s advice before going through the 10 easy ways to lower blood pressure.
Also, the natural sources of potassium are readily available, so you can get it anytime. Examples of foods in the 10 easy ways to lower your blood pressure that contain a large amount of potassium include:
- Vegetables, like tomatoes, spinach, greens, potatoes, and sweet potatoes.
- Apricots, bananas, oranges, and avocados.
Here’s one important fact that you should know. Our responses to salt differ. Some people are sensitive to salt. This means that taking more salt will increase their blood pressure. On the other hand, some people may be salt-insensitive. They can take in plenty of salt and excrete it in their urine without any effect on their blood pressure (8).
5. REDUCE THE AMOUNT OF PROCESSED FOOD THAT YOU EAT
Processed foods contain plenty of added salts. The same applies to foods from eateries (9). Examples of foods that contain a large amount of salt include canned soup, deli meats, pizza, and other snacks. So-called “low-fat foods” usually contain a lot of sugar and salt to compensate for the loss of fat.
Fat is responsible for the taste of food. It also gives you this filling effect. You also have to reduce or eliminate refined carbs, sugar, and salt. Doing this contributes to blood pressure-lowering. Ensure that you look at the labels of whatever product you’re buying. According to the FDA, a 5% sodium listing is low, while a 20% listing is high (10).
6. YOU’RE BETTER OFF WITHOUT SMOKING
Smoking is injurious to your health. It causes the blood pressure to rise. This increase in blood pressure is temporary. Also, smoking can increase your heart rate (11). As you continue smoking, the chemicals in the cigarette will damage your blood vessels, narrow the arteries, trigger inflammation, and increases your blood pressure (12).
7. THE STRESS HAS TO GO DOWN
The times are stressful. Lots of demands from family and workplace, politics (both national and international), are all major contributors to the stressful life that we live. We must find ways to minimize our daily stress levels.
This will improve your blood pressure and your health in general. There are many ways to relieve stress. What you have to do is to find what works for you. You can take a walk, watch a skit, do deep breathing, or even read a book.
Also, research has shown that listening to music helps to control systolic blood pressure (13). Results from a 20-year study revealed that using the sauna regularly reduced cardiovascular-related deaths (14). Another study showed that acupuncture can effectively lower diastolic and systolic blood pressure (15).
8. SLEEP IS IMPORTANT
Do you know that when you are sleeping, your blood pressure takes a dip? And also, if you don’t have adequate sleep, your blood pressure rises? Medical research has shown that people who regularly deprive themselves of restful sleep, especially middle-aged people, have a high risk of hypertension (16). Many people find it hard to sleep well at night. But then, there are several tips you can employ to help you sleep restfully at night.
For instance, spend your nights in a relaxing mood, create a regular sleep schedule for yourself, exercise in the daytime, make your bedroom cozy and comfortable, and minimize daytime naps (17). According to the National Sleep Heart Health Study, not sleeping up to 7 hours each night, or sleeping more than nine hours per night increased the prevalence of hypertension (18).
9. PROTEIN FOODS ARE HELPFUL TOO
A 2014 study found that consuming more protein was associated with a reduced risk of high blood pressure. Participants in the study who consumed 100g of protein on average had their risk of high blood pressure reduced by 40% (19). But then, not everyone may have to eat protein-rich foods.
A good example is an individual with kidney ailments. If you have kidney disease, then consult your doctor before eating a high protein diet. Your doctor will tell you if the 10 easy ways to lower your blood pressure naturally is right for your circumstances.
10. REDUCE YOUR ALCOHOL INTAKE
Do you know that alcohol can cause your blood pressure to rise? Yes! And this happens even in healthy people. Alcohol should be taken in moderation. Every 10g of alcohol that you drink causes a 1 mmHg rise in your blood pressure (20). Men should have no more than two drinks per day, while women will be fine with only one drink per day (21).