Studies show that roughly half of the patients whose high blood pressure is not getting under control because it’s not continuing to take their medicine. Yet, high blood pressure puts individuals at an increased risk for heart disease, and I’ve never known anyone who said, “Bring on the heart disease!”
So, if you have high blood pressure, are you trapped taking medicine for the rest of your life? Not necessarily. There are natural techniques to help lower your blood pressure and maybe avoid medication.
Whether you’re taking medicine for hypertension or wish to prevent issues before they start, these natural therapies for high blood pressure may be able to keep your numbers under control.
When the doctor places the squeezy cuff on your arm, they’re figuring out your systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Systolic assesses the pressure your blood exerts on your arteries while your heart beats. Diastolic monitors the pressure between beats.
Most of the time, the doctor is interested in your systolic blood pressure (the top number), which should ideally be around 120. If it’s under 130, you’re in an elevated condition but generally won’t require medicine. If it’s over 130, you’re in full-on hypertension and need to bring your numbers down, according to the American Heart Association.
If your blood pressure is in the 120 to 129 range, it’s advisable to make some adjustments before things become worse. And the best way to achieve it is via your diet.
Your recent visit to the doctor may have revealed your excessive blood pressure. If so, you are by no means alone. So what does this entail, and should you be concerned? However, despite its scary appearance, high blood pressure is rather simple to cure. So don’t worry! Simply adhere to your doctor’s instructions and make a few lifestyle modifications.
1) Maintain a healthy body mass index.
If you wish to lower your blood pressure, your doctor may advise that you lose weight. Being overweight might increase the likelihood of developing high blood pressure. However, being overweight does not inherently cause hypertension, nor does losing weight eliminate the condition.
As a large woman, I dislike entering a doctor’s office and hearing “lose weight” as the primary medical recommendation.
Consider weight to be a minor factor in hypertension. Instead of fretting about your weight, it seems more efficient to concentrate on eating healthily.
2) Exercise is the most beneficial home remedy.
This is probably not the news you were hoping to hear. Exercise is neither a fast remedy nor an enjoyable activity. Persist, since exercise is your most potent friend in the battle for health. If the term “exercise” conjures up images of racing up steep hills on scorching days, you may breathe a sigh of relief. When we mention exercise, we are not referring to severe activities! For many individuals, frequent walks are sufficient. Perhaps a little jog around the block or up the road each morning. There is no need to go overboard with exercise; just strive to develop the habit of being active. Always follow your doctor’s instructions!
3) Consume potassium and magnesium-It May Help
“When a client presents with high blood pressure, we immediately discuss a number of topics with them.” The first is changing their diet to include more plant-based foods. We prefer that our customers consume three times as many vegetables as they do meat.
Leafy greens (beet greens, Swiss chard, spinach), sweet potatoes, mercury-free tuna, beets, and Brussels sprouts have the most potassium.
Some health professionals say that people with high blood pressure should eat more potassium. What exactly is potassium? You might be excused for thinking it was a negative thing; after all, it is an alkali metal. However, potassium is essential to good health. Numerous fruits, notably bananas, are rich in potassium, and their effects may counteract those of sodium. But before you load up on potassium, consult with your physician! Increasing your potassium intake is only advisable if your current consumption falls below the recommended range. Consult with your physician and go from there.
The best source of these necessary minerals is natural foods. Some individuals cannot consume enough meals.
In addition to meals with a high potassium content, current research indicates that magnesium supplementation is quite beneficial. Over three months, taking 300 mg of magnesium as a supplement reduced both systolic and diastolic blood pressure measurements. Magnesium also promotes relaxation and stress reduction, which contributes to reduced blood pressure readings.
4) Consider the DASH diet.
Though eating more vegetables and leafy greens is beneficial for everyone, research published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology discovered that a particular diet might be very successful in lowering blood pressure.
The DASH diet, which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, emphasizes consuming an abundance of fruits and vegetables along with some low-fat dairy products. It also bans high cholesterol and high-fat foods. No processed foods are allowed.
In one trial, individuals followed the diet and reduced their salt intake. Blood pressure and cholesterol levels were shown to be lower after eight weeks.
This does not indicate that the DASH diet is the only approach to lowering blood pressure, but it is the most researched diet at the moment.
If you truly need to lower your blood pressure, this diet seems to be one of the healthiest ways to do it while also benefiting your general health.
Though lowering sodium consumption resulted in substantial improvements in this research, the function of salt in blood pressure is a bit more contested than you would imagine.
5) Avoid processed meals.
People have been encouraged for years to consume less salt if they want to decrease their systolic blood pressure. According to research conducted by Harvard, the University of California, San Francisco, and Simon Fraser University, lowering salt consumption might save over 280,000 lives.
In fact, cutting down on sodium doesn’t always imply abandoning the salt shaker. Most of our sodium comes from processed and canned foods that are high in salt. That’s one of the main reasons why the DASH diet and dietitians advocate limiting (or eliminating) processed foods.
The Sugar Study Foundation conducted its research on heart disease in 1965 and determined that fat, cholesterol, and salt were the primary reasons. Essentially, they shifted the focus away from sugar and toward salt and fat. However, since the study was funded by the sugar business, it’s not surprising that the sweet stuff was kept out of the heart disease discourse for decades.
To add to the salt vs sugar argument, a study published in the cardiology journal Open Heart discovered that additional sugars increased heart rate and blood pressure and produced several metabolic and insulin abnormalities in human and animal trials. They also recommend eating less processed foods, although they blame the negative effects on excessive sugar (not salt).
Overall, research on both sides of the salt debate agrees on one point: avoid processed foods. Pop-Tarts and Doritos are tasty, but they don’t help anybody prevent heart disease.
6) Reduce your stress levels
Stress has been shown to elevate blood pressure. Anything you can do to reduce stress and encourage relaxation is beneficial to hypertension.
High blood pressure management does not have to be all about diets and exercise. If you look after your thoughts, your blood pressure will follow suit! Scattering a few candles about the home or placing lavender oil in a diffuser may seem to be an unusual blood pressure treatment. To some degree, it is.
After all, lavender and candles have no direct influence on your blood pressure. They can, however, help you relax. Stress and blood pressure are inextricably related. If you are anxious before you leave the house, your effort to control your blood pressure will be much more difficult! So give yourself a break and unwind. If you have a home blood pressure kit, you may be able to observe what a difference it can make!
“Mindfulness meditation and deep breathing are good methods for decreasing blood pressure,” says Dr. Elizabeth Rice, licensed naturopathic medicine and primary care physician at the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine. “All of these suggestions evoke the relaxation response, which takes the body out of fight or flight mode and relaxes the blood vessels, lowering blood pressure.”
Whether you spend 10 minutes meditating in a darkened room or an additional half-hour watching a new episode of “Drag Race” (or your favorite comfort TV program), completing a soothing activity has a tangible effect on your blood pressure. If you don’t like meditation, try crafts, painting, reading, having a bath, or wandering around your area.
As long as you prioritize some downtime every day, you will be able to reduce your numbers. Even while there is no miracle plant or pill to lower blood pressure, there are several natural ways to lessen the risk of heart disease. So, the next time someone criticizes you for eating dark chocolate on the sofa while watching “Vanderpump Rules,” just explain that you’re doing it for your heart.
7) Purchase A Home Blood Pressure Kit-Knowing Your Progress Is Critical
Okay, so this isn’t a solution, but it will assist you! Home blood pressure monitors provide precise information about your blood pressure. This means you can detect and map changes as they occur. Isn’t medical technology wonderful? With real-time blood pressure data, you can observe what works and what doesn’t. Even if you’re not sure what it all means, getting to know your body is beneficial. And, for getting to know your own body, a home blood pressure kit is the way to go!
8) Sodium and High Blood Pressure Do Not Mix
Our last lesson beautifully led into this one: salt is bad for your blood pressure. And when we say sodium, we mean salt. Salt is significantly more common in our diets than you would think. That might explain why your high blood pressure measurement surprised you! The reality is that salt is present in everything. It’s almost impossible to find completely sodium-free foods. The best thing you can do is read the labels on the foods you consume. Is there sodium in it? If so, how much is it? These two easy questions may help you control the amount of salt in your diet. After all, you can’t battle an adversary you can’t see!
9) Drink Tea Instead of Coffee
Coffee is the little heart starter you need in the morning, but is it the start your heart needs? The answer, which may disappoint you, is no. Caffeine is one of the most common causes of hypertension. And, while it provides you with that golden period of joy before work, it may have to go. But, to make amends for delivering such heartbreaking news, we have a solution! Tea is an excellent substitute for coffee. Depending on the type, it can still provide a mild caffeine boost. However, it has a much smaller effect on your blood pressure overall. The best part is that you get to keep your morning ritual! We couldn’t possibly deny it to ourselves.