Natural Ways to Control High Blood Pressure

10 Natural Ways to Control High Blood Pressure

High Blood Pressure (hypertension) is a condition in which blood force against the arterial walls becomes too high. It is usually defined as blood pressure above 140/90, and considered severe if the pressure is above 180/120.

Reducing your blood pressure can help protect you against heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, eye disease, and even cognitive decline. By following the 10 lifestyle changes described in this article, you can naturally lower your blood pressure without medications.

Millions of people who have been diagnosed with high blood pressure are skeptical about taking medication to maintain or reduce their blood pressure. Some are worried about the possible side effects of the prescribed drugs. However, controlling your blood pressure with a healthy lifestyle is not only possible, but equally achievable, with little or no side effects.

10 Natural Ways to Control High Blood Pressure Without Medication

Consider some lifestyle changes you can make to lower your blood pressure.

1.Weight Loss

There is a direct proportionality between blood pressure and body weight. In fact, blood pressure often increases with corresponding increase in body weight. Thus, being overweight is almost a single sure trigger for high blood pressure. This is because, being overweight can cause disruption or cessation of breathing, especially during sleep (sleep apnea), which can further increase one’s blood pressure.

Therefore, weight loss is by far one of the most effective means of reducing high blood pressure. Losing even a small amount of weight, if you are obese or overweight, can help reduce your blood pressure. On the average, for every reduction of  kilogram (2.2 pounds) of body weight, there is a corresponding reduction in blood pressure by approximately 1 millimeter of mercury (mmHg).

Besides losing some weight, it is equally important to control your waistline. Having much weight around your waist can make you vulnerable to the risk of high blood pressure.

In the general case:

  • Men are at risk if their waist measurement is greater than 102 centimeters (or 40 inches).
  • Women are at risk if their waist measurement is greater than 89 centimeters (or 35 inches).

Of course, there are slight variations among ethnic groups across the globe.

2.Regularly Exercise

Regular physical activity, about 30 minutes most days of the week — can lower your blood pressure by about 5 to 8 mm Hg, if you have high blood pressure. While it is important to be consistent with exercise to reduce high blood pressure, the elderly or aged people, with underlying health factors, should seek professional advice on the type as well as the duration of their exercise.

It should be of interest, though that regular physical activity can also help those with pre-hypertension condition, by bringing their blood pressure down to safer levels.

Classic examples of aerobic exercise that can lower blood pressure include cycling, dancing, jogging, walking, swimming, etc. High-intensity interval training, which involves alternating short bursts of intense activity with subsequent recovery periods of lighter activity, can equally be experimented with.

3.Cut down on sodium consumption

Research has shown that, a small reduction of sodium in the diet can improve the heart health and reduce blood pressure by about 5 to 6 mm Hg, among people with high blood pressure.

Be that as it may, the effect of sodium intake on blood pressure varies among groups of people. In general, however, it is recommended that daily consumption of sodium be limited 2.3 grams (g) a day or less. On the other hand, a lower sodium intake — 1.5 grams a day or less — is ideal for most adults.

To reduce sodium in your diet, read food labels. If possible, go for low-sodium alternatives of the foods and beverages you normally buy, such as herbs or spices, to add flavor to your food. Furthermore, be cautious of processed or prepackaged foods, as these contain the highest amount of saturated fat, sodium, and cholesterol.

4.Increase intake of potassium

Potassium regulates the heart rate and nullifies the effects of sodium on blood pressure. The best source of potassium includes spinach, kale, potatoes, tuna, salmon, bean, nuts and seeds. Patients with significant kidney disease should restrict the amount of potassium, or talk to their doctors about the potassium level that’s best for them

5.Eat a healthy diet

Another lifestyle that can help lower high blood pressure is known as the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet. This involves eating a diet that is rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products and scanty on saturated fat and cholesterol. DASH has been known to have lowered blood pressure by up to 11 mm Hg.

6.Reduce the amount of alcohol and Soda consumption

Drinking more than moderate amounts of alcohol can actually raise blood pressure by several points. As a matter of fact, having more than three drinks in a sitting can temporarily increase your blood pressure. Alcohol can also reduce the effectiveness of blood pressure medications.

Same goes for sugary beverages. Findings suggest blood pressure goes up incrementally for every extra can of sugary drink consumed per day.

Therefore, cutting down or totally elimination of alcohol and sugary beverages is a natural means to reduce high blood pressure.

7.Quit smoking

Cigarette smoking increases your blood pressure for many minutes after you. Expectedly then, cutting down on smoking helps the blood pressure return to normal. It is equally one of the best prophylactic measures against the risk of heart diseases. Without a doubt, people who quit smoking may live longer than people who never quit smoking.

8.Cut back on caffeine

Caffeine is a natural chemical found in tea and coffee plants which acts as a mild stimulant on the central nervous system.

Although the long-term effects of caffeine on blood pressure are not definite at the moment, it’s possible blood pressure may slightly increase, with increase in caffeine consumption. This is because, caffeine has been reported to have the capacity to raise blood pressure up to 10 mm Hg, in people who rarely consume it. Reasonably then, hypertensive patients may want to cut down on food with high concentration of caffeine.

9.Reduce your stress

Chronic stress may contribute to high blood pressure. For instance, stress hormones constrict your blood vessels and can lead to temporary spikes in blood pressure. In addition, over time, stress can trigger unhealthy habits that put your cardiovascular health at risk. These might include overeating, poor sleep, and misusing drugs and alcohol. Thus, reducing stress should be a top priority for those who want to lower their blood pressure.

For many people, stress cannot be totally eliminated, therefore effective stress management is vital.

  • Focus on issues you can control and make plans to solve them.
  • Avoid stress triggers.
  • Make time to relax and make time for enjoyable activities or hobbies, such as taking a walk, cooking or volunteering.

10.Controlling Blood Sugar

Diabetes (a condition characterized by excessive blood sugar) damages arteries and makes them targets for atherosclerosis (hardening of arteries by accumulation of fatty deposits). If not treated, this can cause high blood pressure, and cause more complications including blood vessel damage, heart attack and kidney failure. Thus, effective management of one’s blood sugar in patients with high blood is crucial to managing, and perhaps prevent high blood pressure.