Many members of my family are affected by high blood pressure and hypertension. Throughout generations they have been prescribed medications, forced a change in diet, and added exercise to help manage their condition. Since I am fairly young, I decided that before I could fall pray to this medical condition the best option was to preemptively fight back. Here are some all natural ways to prevent and treat high blood pressure that anyone can benefit from.
1. Weight Loss– Blood pressure increases as weight increases. I noticed a heavy rise in my blood pressure level during the short period when I stopped working out regularly. This level was promptly lowered when I started to lose the weight. Men are at risk if their waist is greater than 40″ while for women the risk starts at around 35″. You don’t have to join a gym to work out, try adding biking, jogging, or even plain walking in your schedule to maintain your weight.
2. Reduce Sodium-Even a small reduction of sodium in your diet can reduce your blood pressure. When shopping take a closer look at products to see how much sodium it includes per serving, and make sure to total your daily intake regularly. Try keeping a food journal or use a food tracking app to keep a record of your sodium intake.
3. Limit Your Alcohol– While alcohol can be good for you in small amounts, it can also lead to high blood pressure and hypertension. This generally entails more than the recommended amount of one or two drinks per day for someone under the age of 65. If you’re a heavy drinker, consider tapering your habits down to prevent bodily harm and a high level of risk for high blood pressure.
4. Avoid Tobacco– Along with all the other dangers of smoking, the nicotine in these products can raise your blood pressure 10 units or more for up to an hour after use. As a former tobacco chewer I experienced this first hand, and I had constantly high blood pressure until I stopped for good.
5. Switch Your Coffee To De-Cafe– While the effects of caffeine on blood pressure has been debated for a long time, a study from the Duke Medical Center has shown that drinking coffee in the morning increases your blood pressure by 4 units and the rise is constant throughout the day until bed time.
6. Reduce Your Stress– While the type of stress varies from person to person, it’s good to try and reduce your stress to reduce your blood pressure. If you’re a fairly stressed person try meditation, yoga, or reading an interesting book to help calm your mind and lower your stress level. I personally use stand up comedy videos and long fantasy books to distract from my stress.
7. Change Your Diet– The most effective tool I use in maintaining a healthy blood pressure level is my diet. Adding potassium rich foods, like bananas, has been known to reduce blood pressure significantly. Other foods that can help you lower blood pressure are avocados, yogurt, dark chocolate, and a glass of red wine among others. Try adding these to help stabilize your body.
8. Have Sex– This activity is not only enjoyable but has the dual effect of reducing stress and getting your heart pumping. The American Heart Association has confirmed that 30 minutes of aerobic exercise around five days a week can lower overall blood pressure. And yes, sex counts.
9. Stop Snoring– Interestingly snoring is one of the main factors in sleep apnea and disrupted sleep. According to Elaine Zablocki from WebMD, this common condition can also have a link to high blood pressure, and people who snore due to sleep apnea were seven times more likely to be at risk.
10. Supplement Your Diet– Studies have shown over the years that a variety of over the counter supplements could positively affect high blood pressure. Some of these common supplements include fish oil omegas, vitamin D, co-enzyme Q10, and many others. This is cheaper than prescriptions and an effective way to manage blood pressure.
Try one or a combination of these remedies to get your blood pressure down to an acceptable level. I consistently apply many of these to my life and my blood pressure remains at a constant, healthy level. Remember, if you’re on blood pressure medication consult your doctor if you wish to stop the medication and try natural alternatives. With a little work and consistency you will see the rewards of your hard work. Good luck!
Mayo Clinic- Ways To Lower Blood Pressure Without Medication
Duke Medical Center- Effects of Caffeine On High Blood Pressure
American Heart Association- High Blood Pressure or Hypertension