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10 Ways to Lower High Blood Pressure Naturally

 

By Diane Hanson

 

You don’t have to rely on prescription medication to lower high blood pressure. High Blood pressure (hypertension) can be effectively reduced through healthy eating and lifestyle habits such as moderate exercise, gradual weight loss along with a few simple stress management techniques.

 

What Helps Reduce High Blood Pressure Naturally Without Medication?

1. Lose weight and keep it off.

Just losing 11 pounds can lower your blood pressure significantly. Generally speaking, the more weight you lose, the lower your blood pressure becomes.

You can keep your weight down by increasing daily physical activity to burn more calories while decreasing calorie consumption to balance energy requirement and expenditure. Simply put, move more and eat less.

Besides pushing your blood pressure down, the other benefit you get when you shed off excess pounds is, it also makes any blood pressure medicine you’re taking more effective.

 

 

2. Physical activity.

Regular aerobic activity such as brisk walking for about 45 minutes, 4 to 5 times a week will help lower hypertension. In fact, any type of exercise is good as long as it allows you the opportunity to become more physically active and burn off excess calories. For example, you can ride a stationary bike while watching your favorite television show, or walk indoors at the mall, or gardening as a form of exercise.

Also, it is a good idea to pick an exercise that will hold your interest long so that you won’t get bored with your workout and give up altogether.

However, if you have been sedentary for some time, try to start slow and build from there. Sudden bursts of activity could actually do you more harm than good.

 

 

3. Increase your daily fiber intake.

You can do this by incorporating lots of fresh fruits and vegetable such as broccoli into your daily diet. Try to aim for 21-25 grams of fiber per day if you are a woman, and 30-38 grams for men.

Raspberries has nearly 8 grams of fiber per cup while a pear (with skin) provides you with 5.5 grams. Whole grains, seeds and legumes are also high-fiber foods. You can find almost 6 grams of fiber in a cup of cooked whole wheat spaghetti and canned baked beans has about 10.4 grams per cup.  

In addition, try to avoid fatty foods like cured meats and red meats as much as possible since they may contain astonishingly high amounts of saturated fats. Instead, consume lean protein – fish, chicken, turkey – more frequently, and remember to remove the skin before eating. And to further reduce your fat intake, prepare your meals in healthier ways. For example, steam or bake chicken rather than deep frying.

 

 

4. Consume less salt.

Most healthy adults need only between 1,500 and 2,400 milligrams (mg) of sodium a day. But if you are older than 50 years old and have high blood pressure, or suffering from chronic conditions such as heart disease, kidney disease or diabetes, you may be more sensitive to sodium. In this case, aim for less than 1,500 mg of sodium a day.

Use fresh herbs or spices, as substitute for salt, to enhance the natural flavors of foods. Be creative and experiment with citrus and flavored vinegars, lemon, garlic, or onions to add scrumptious flavor to your meals.

Keep in mind that most highly processed, packaged foods have a lot of salt added to them. Watch out for hidden salt in cereals ( Kellogg’s Raisin Bran), snacks (Slim Jim Original Beef Jerky), juices (V8 Spicy Hot Vegetable Juice), instant ramen noodles (Maruchan Ramen Noodle Soup, Roast Chicken Flavor), just to name a few.

 

 

5. Increase potassium.

Some studies have shown a link between low potassium levels and high blood pressure, and there is some evidence suggesting that potassium can lessen the effects of sodium on blood pressure. So it may be worth your while to consume potassium-rich foods.  

You can find potassium in many fruits including bananas, avocados, cantaloupes, dried apricots, and citrus juices (orange juice, grapefruit). Potassium is also abundant in legumes (lima beans), tomatoes, potatoes, poultry and fish (cod, tuna, salmon, flounder).

However, always consult your doctor about the potassium level that’s best for you. This is because people with kidney disease may need to avoid both salt and potassium. In addition to that, potassium supplements may react negatively with your medications.

 

 

6. Reduce your stress.

Unmanaged stress has a huge impact on your heart health. It can raise your blood pressure and may contribute to the permanent condition of hypertension over time. In the worst case scenario, chronic stress can even lead to a variety of health problems including kidney failure, coronary heart disease, heart failure, and stroke.

You can reduce stress instantly through deep breathing exercise or do something that makes you feel relaxed, such as taking a warm bath or listening to soothing music. Gentle exercise like yoga, pilates as well as taichi reduces stress while calming the mind.

 

 

7. Herbal remedies and supplements.

You might want to consider supplements such as garlic, fish oil or hawthorn since they are reputed to control hypertension and they are very inexpensive.

 

 

8. Limit alcohol intake.

To reduce high blood pressure, you have to limit yourself to one drink (women) and two (men). If you’re a heavy drinker, a sudden alcohol elimination can actually trigger severe hypertension for several days. So do it under the supervision of your doctor or taper off slowly, over one to two weeks.

 

 

9. Avoid tobacco and secondhand smoke.

Nicotine in tobacco products can raise your blood pressure by 10 mm Hg or more for up to an hour after you smoke. Also, the chemicals in tobacco can damage your arteries and cause water retention, both of which can raise your blood pressure.

Similar to alcohol, tobacco products can interfere with the effectiveness of your blood pressure medications. Inhaling secondhand smoke also increases your risk of high blood pressure and heart disease.

 

 

10. Getting enough sleep.

Another natural way to lower high blood pressure is make sure you have enough rest every night. Try to get about 6 to 8 hours of restful sleep. Anything under 5 hours a night can raise blood pressure.

 

If you have problems falling asleep, try some light stretches before bed, or have a light bedtime snack (a small turkey sandwich, or a banana) and avoid drinking coffee (or caffeinated beverages such as tea, cola) after lunch.

 

When you make these changes, you can lower high blood pressure without medicine in no time, and reduce your risk of heart disease.

 

what helps lower high blood pressure without medications

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