How to combat high blood pressure?
How to combat high blood pressure?High blood pressure is a dangerous health condition that can damage the heart.
Affecting one in three people in the United States of America and about one billion people around the world.
Left unattended, high blood pressure can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke, but fortunately there are steps you can take to lower your blood pressure naturally without medication.
Here are fifteen ways to combat high blood pressure:
1- Walking and exercising:
Exercising is one of the best ways to reduce high blood pressure, as regular exercise strengthens the heart muscle and increases its efficiency in pumping blood, which reduces pressure on the arteries.
150 minutes a week of moderate exercise such as walking or 75 minutes a week of vigorous exercise like running can lower blood pressure and improve heart health.
The bottom line: 30 minutes of walking a day helps you lower your blood pressure, and getting more intense exercise helps you lower it even more.
2- Reduce your sodium intake:
Salt is consumed in abundance in all parts of the world due to prepared and processed foods, and this is why many public health agencies make efforts to reduce salt levels in the food industry.
Numerous studies have linked high salt consumption to high blood pressure and heart disease in general, including stroke.
However, many recent research indicates that the relationship between sodium and high blood pressure is not entirely clear,
As genetic differences in the way some people’s bodies process sodium may be one of the causes of their high blood pressure.
About half of people with high blood pressure and a quarter of people with normal blood pressure have a salt sensitive body.
If you have high blood pressure, try reducing your sodium intake to see if this makes a difference to your blood pressure?
Eat fresh foods instead of processed foods, and replace salt with herbs and spices.
Bottom Line: Most medical guidelines recommend cutting back on sodium to lower blood pressure, but this may be more beneficial for people who are salt sensitive.
3- Limit alcohol consumption:
Alcohol increases blood pressure. Drinking alcohol is associated with 16% of high blood pressure cases around the world.
Although some research indicates that drinking alcohol in low or moderate amounts may protect the heart, these benefits are offset by many harmful effects.
Moderate alcohol consumption in the United States is estimated with only one cup for women and two glasses for men. If your daily consumption is more than that, you should reduce it.
Bottom line: Drinking alcohol in any quantity may raise your blood pressure, so reduce your consumption of alcohol in line with health recommendations.
4- Eat foods rich in potassium:
Potassium is an important mineral that helps your body get rid of sodium and relieves pressure on blood vessels,
And modern nutrition systems have caused an increase in sodium versus potassium consumption.
So you should reduce your intake of canned foods and replace them with fresh foods to get a better balance between sodium and potassium in your diet.
Some foods rich in potassium:
- Vegetables, especially leafy greens, tomatoes, potatoes and sweet potatoes.
- Fruits, especially melon, bananas, avocados, oranges, and apricots.
- Tuna and salmon.
- Nuts and seeds.
Bottom Line: Eating vegetables and fruits rich in potassium helps lower blood pressure.
5- Reducing caffeine consumption:
If you ever try to measure your blood pressure after drinking a cup of coffee, you will discover that caffeine causes an immediate rise in blood pressure.
However, there is not much evidence to suggest that drinking coffee regularly causes a permanent rise in blood pressure.
The effect of caffeine may be stronger in people who do not take it regularly. If you suspect you are sensitive to caffeine, reduce your caffeine intake to see its effect on your blood pressure.
Bottom Line: Caffeine causes a rapid rise in blood pressure that lasts for a short time, but it does not cause a permanent rise in blood pressure in most people.
6- Learn to manage stress:
Listening to soothing music may help reduce stress, which is a major cause of high blood pressure.
When you experience chronic stress, your body is in combat mode, which means an accelerated heart rate and narrowing of your blood vessels.
In moments of stress, we become more likely to indulge in other harmful behaviors, such as drinking alcohol or eating unhealthy foods that negatively affect blood pressure.
Try these two tips to reduce blood pressure:
- Listen to soothing music: soothing music relaxes the nervous system. Research has shown that this method is an effective supplement to other blood pressure treatments.
- Reduce Work: Heavy work and stressful work situations are generally associated with high blood pressure.
Bottom Line: Chronic stress contributes to high blood pressure, and stress management techniques may help us control our feelings of stress.
7- Eat dark chocolate or cocoa:
Dark chocolate and cocoa powder are rich in flavonoids, which are plant compounds that cause blood vessels to constrict.
For a stronger effect, use non-alkaline cocoa powder that is high in flavonoids without adding any sugar.
Bottom Line: Dark chocolate and cocoa powder contain plant compounds that help relax blood vessels and lower blood pressure.
8- Weight Loss:
Weight loss in very overweight people makes a significant difference to their heart health.
According to a 2016 study, losing 5% of body mass helps reduce blood pressure significantly, as normal blood pressure should not be higher than 120/80 mm Hg.
The effect of weight loss is greater if combined with exercise. Losing weight helps the blood vessels to perform a better job of contracting and dilating, and this facilitates blood pumping into the left ventricle.
Bottom Line: Weight loss significantly reduces high blood pressure, and weight loss works best with exercise.
9- Quit smoking:
There are many reasons for you to quit smoking, including that this habit is a strong risk factor for developing blood diseases,
As each puff of cigarette smoke causes a slight and temporary increase in blood pressure, and it is also known that the chemicals in tobacco damage blood vessels.
But surprisingly, studies have not found a conclusive link between smoking and high blood pressure, and the reason may be that smokers’ bodies get used to the effects of cigarettes over time.
Bottom Line: There is conflicting research on smoking and high blood pressure, but both increase the risk of heart disease.
10. Reduce your intake of sugar and refined carbohydrates:
Several studies link added sugar and high blood pressure, and this effect is not limited to sugar.
But the refined carbohydrates in white flour are also a cause of high blood pressure, because they quickly turn into sugar in the bloodstream and may cause many health problems.
A study in people who received Statin treatment showed that participants who followed a low-carb diet improved blood pressure and other signs of heart disease better than participants who did not reduce their carbohydrate intake.
Bottom Line: Sugar and refined carbohydrates raise blood pressure, and studies have shown that low-carb diets help lower blood pressure.
The benefits of berries are not limited to their delicious taste, they are also rich in a natural plant compound known to have heart-health benefits, polyphenols.
Polyphenols reduce the risk of stroke, heart disease and diabetes, and improve blood pressure, insulin resistance and systemic infections.
Bottom Line: Berries are rich in polyphenols that help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease.
12.Try meditation or deep breathing.
Deep breathing and meditation activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which works when the body is relaxed, slowing the heart rate and lowering blood pressure.
There are many research studies in this area, and it has been shown that different types of meditation have benefits in lowering blood pressure, and deep breathing techniques also benefit in lowering the level of blood pressure.
Bottom Line: Deep breathing and meditation help stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system which helps slow the heartbeat and reduce blood pressure.
13- Eat foods rich in calcium:
Most people who do not eat enough calcium have high blood pressure, and the recommended daily amount of calcium is 1,000 mg for adults.
And 1,200 mg per day for women over the age of fifty and men over the age of seventy.
Among the foods rich in calcium: dairy products, collard greens, other leafy greens, beans, sardines and tofu.
Bottom Line: Calcium-rich diets are linked to healthy blood pressure levels. Calcium can be found in dairy products, tofu, leafy greens, and more.
14- Take natural supplements:
Some nutritional supplements help lower blood pressure, including:
- Garlic extract: Researchers have successfully used garlic extract as a stand-alone treatment or in combination with conventional treatments for high blood pressure.
- Berberine: Berberine has been used traditionally in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine, as berberine may increase the production of nitrate oxide, which helps lower blood pressure.
- Whey protein: In a 2016 study, whey protein improved blood pressure and vascular function in 38 participants.
- Fish oil: Fish oil has long been known to improve heart health, and it is very beneficial for people with high blood pressure.
- Hibiscus: A delicious tea can be made from hibiscus flowers rich in anthocyanins and polyphenols, which benefit the heart and reduce blood pressure.
Bottom Line: There are many natural supplements that may lower high blood pressure.
15- Eat foods rich in magnesium:
Magnesium is an important mineral that helps blood vessels relax, and even though magnesium deficiency is rare, many people do not get enough of it.
Doctors recommend eating a diet rich in magnesium to avoid developing high blood pressure.
Bottom Line: Magnesium is an essential mineral that helps regulate blood pressure, found in legumes and whole grains.
High blood pressure is a global problem that affects a large proportion of the world’s population.
Although medication is the most common treatment method used, there are many other natural remedies, such as taking certain foods or natural supplements.
Controlling your blood pressure by following the methods mentioned in the article may help you avoid developing heart disease.