According to a study conducted by Harvard, high blood pressure plays a role in over fifteen percent of deaths that occur in the United States. While there are no symptoms of high blood pressure, it can boost the risk of stroke and heart attack as well as aneurysms, kidney failure, and cognitive decline. About 28 percent of people in the United States have high blood pressure and are not aware of it. If you have not had your blood pressure checked by your doctor in the past two years, it is time that you did.
Often times medication is prescribed as a way to lower blood pressure. However, many blood pressure medications come with side effects such as insomnia, leg cramps, and dizziness. The good news is that many people can bring their blood pressure down to normal with some simple home remedies. The first step is to make sure that you are maintaining a healthy weight. These steps will help you achieve that goal. When you are at a healthy weight, there are other strategies that you can use to help you maintain your blood pressure. Here are 11 solutions for lowering your blood pressure naturally so that you can avoid taking blood pressure medications.
1. Regular Exercise
Simply walking on a regular basis can help lower your blood pressure a great deal. In fact, exercise is one of the absolute best things that you can do in order to maintain your blood pressure. Regular exercise will strengthen your heart, which makes it more efficient at pumping blood throughout the body. Walking for just thirty minutes each day can go a long way in reducing your blood pressure. Adding even more exercise can help reduce your blood pressure even further. In addition, regular exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight, which is an important part of lowering blood pressure.
2. Reduce your Intake of Sodium
It is fairly common knowledge that sodium intake is linked to high blood pressure.
In fact, it is likely that the first thing that you think of when you consider high blood pressure is eating too much salt. Eating high amounts of salt is high throughout the world and is mainly because of the highly processed and prepared foods that we eat regularly.
If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure it is important to lower the amount of salt that you eat. Reducing the amount of your sodium intake can help to lower your blood pressure.
3. Limit Alcohol Consumption
Drinking alcohol regularly is not only hard on your liver and other organs, but it is also linked to high blood pressure. Alcohol is linked to roughly 16 percent of high blood pressure cases throughout the world.
There has been some research that has indicated that low amounts of alcohol may help protect the heart, the benefits are often offset by the negative effects. Moderate alcohol intake is no more than a drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.
If you currently drink more than this it is time to cut back.
4. Eat Foods Rich in Potassium
While you should avoid excess salt in your diet, you should increase the amount of potassium-rich foods that you are eating.
In order to do this focus on eating less processed food and more whole fresh foods. Some foods that are high in potassium include tuna and salmon, fruits such as bananas, avocados, apricots, and oranges, and vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and leafy greens such as spinach and kale.
Increasing your intake of potassium can help lower your blood pressure.
5. Stress Management
One of the leading causes of high blood pressure is stress. When you are stressed your blood pressure tends to go up. If you are constantly stressed your body remains in fight or flight mode, which means that your heart rate is going to be faster and your blood vessels more restricted.
In addition, when you are stressed you are more likely to engage in poor behaviors such as eating sugary food or drinking alcohol.
Learning how to relax and manage your stress can help you lower your blood pressure.
6. Soothing Music
Listening to calm music can help to relax the nervous system. When your body is in a relaxed state your blood pressure will go down.
There have been studies that show that along with other blood pressure therapies, listening to music that you enjoy can be a great way to help lower your blood pressure. Try listening to music while you are taking a walk and watch your blood pressure simply go down.
Listening to music is also a great way to help manage your stress levels when they get too high.
7. Eating Dark Chocolate
Eating a ton of chocolate is not likely to help lower your blood pressure. However, eating small amounts of dark chocolate may have a positive effect on your blood pressure overall. Dark chocolate is rich in flavonoids, which are plant compounds that will help the blood vessels dilate.
There have been several studies that show that eating flavonoid-rich dark chocolate can improve several heart health markers including lowering blood pressure.
The best choice is flavonoid-rich cocoa that does not have any added sugars.
8. Weight Loss
As mentioned, if you are overweight you are more likely to develop high blood pressure. Losing weight can have a major impact on the health of your heart.
According to one study, simply losing five percent of your BMI could lower your blood pressure a significant amount.
When weight loss is paired with exercise, the effect will be greater. Losing weight helps your blood vessels become stronger and do a better job of contracting and expanding, which makes it easier for the heart to pump blood.
9. Cut Out Sugar
While many people think that sodium intake is the main cause of high blood pressure, the fact of the matter is that eating too much sugar is directly associated with high blood pressure as well.
In fact, sugar intake may be more of a cause of high blood pressure than sodium intake. Cutting sugar and refined carbs from your diet can greatly reduce your blood pressure.
Even if you simply cut the amount of sugar you consume by just a little bit, it can directly affect your blood pressure.
10. Eat Lots of Berries
Berries are very good for your overall health and they can also help lower your blood pressure. Berries contain polyphenols, which are natural plant compounds that are really good for your heart health.
Adding a serving or two of any type of berries to your diet can help to lower your blood pressure. In addition, berries are rich in antioxidants, which can help fight off other illnesses and diseases as well.
This means that berries are an important part of any healthy diet.