Hypertension or high blood pressure is a common problem, affecting up to a 1/3 of the adult population in the US. While there are medications to lower your blood pressure, these can have side effects that can make it difficult to take the medications.
Natural remedies can lower your blood pressure with far fewer side effects so you can enjoy the health benefits of low blood pressure, and possibly avoid having to take prescription drugs. You should always check with your doctor before starting any new treatments and especially herbal treatments that can interfere with some medications.
50 Natural Ways To Lower The Blood Pressure Part 1:
- Lose some weight. Weight is directly associated with your blood pressure. When you are overweight, you run the risk of getting sleep apnea, in which you stop breathing during the night. This raises blood pressure during the day. Even if you just lose ten pounds, it can significantly lower your blood pressure. Pay attention to the size of your waist as well. Research shows that women with a waist measurement of more than 35 inches and men with a waist measurement of over 40 inches have an increased risk of hypertension.
- Get physically active. Find time to exercise daily, you can prevent and lower high blood pressure readings. 30 minutes of regular aerobic activity 4 to 5 days per week, can reduce your systolic blood pressure by 4-9 mm Hg. Exercise can prevent hypertension as well as treat hypertension. The best exercises to do include swimming, jogging, dancing, jogging, bicycling, and walking. Even those who engage in weight lifting can reduce their blood pressure to a significant degree. Ask your doctor if it is safe for you to exercise.
- Eat healthy. Your diet can play a big role in getting hypertension. You need to stick to a diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grain products and fat free dairy items that can lower blood pressure by as many as 14 mm Hg. There is a diet, known as the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) that is designed to lower blood pressure problems. Make sure you record what you are eating to see what foods may be contributing to your high blood pressure. See a dietician or nutritionist to learn what kind of diet would be most appropriate for your high blood pressure.
- Increase potassium. Foods that are high in potassium can help reduce blood pressure. Foods high in potassium include bananas, tomatoes and tomato sauce, strawberries, orange juice, dark leafy greens, potatoes, squash, yogurt, halibut, tuna, avocados, mushrooms, and .
- Decrease dietary sodium. Salt is well known to increase blood pressure levels. If you can reduce the amount of salt in your diet to less than 2300 milligrams per day, you can lower your blood pressure by 2-8 mm Hg. If you have the kind of hypertension that is very sensitive to salt intake, you should lower your salt intake even further—to about 1500 mg sodium per day. People who are older than age 51 or who are African American can significantly reduce their blood pressure by lowering the sodium in their diet. Make sure you eat fewer processed and junk food and read the labels on the food you eat which will tell the real story about how much sodium is in the food. Never add salt to foods you eat; use spices and herbs to flavor food instead, and many salt free flavorful mixtures are available. Dining out can be a major culprit in high sodium intake as you have no control of how much salt is being added to your food.
- Lower Alcohol Intake. Consuming too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure. One drink of alcohol is the same as 5 oz. of wine, 12 oz. of beer, or 1 ½ oz. of hard liquor. Alcohol can also cause blood pressure medications to be less effective in controlling your condition.
- Stop smoking. One of the best things you can do for your blood pressure is to quit smoking. Smoking contains nicotine, which can raise your blood pressure. Stopping smoking not only lowers your blood pressure but it can prolong your life. Smoking contributes to other diseases, such as lung diseases and blood vessel disorders.
- Try decaffeinated beverages. Caffeine can increase the blood pressure in those people who aren’t used to drinking caffeinated beverages. Regular coffee drinkers, on the other hand, do not seem to be affected. Even so, staying away from caffeine can keep your blood pressure down. Decaffeinated coffee is your best bet. If you want to know if you are sensitive to caffeine, take your blood pressure before and after a caffeinated beverage. If you have a systolic blood pressure increase of 5-10 mm Hg after drinking something containing caffeine, you may be sensitive and shouldn’t drink caffeinated beverages. Note that black tea has more caffeine than coffee.
- Practice meditation. Taking a few minutes every day to meditate can significantly lower your blood pressure. Meditation induces the relaxation response in the body, and relaxes the mind, and muscles. Meditation can really lower stress levels, which in turn helps maintain lower blood pressure.
- Practice Tai chi. Tai chi is an ancient Chinese martial art that has been in use in Western medical circles for several decades. It involves relaxing your mind as you go through several slow and meditative graceful movements that are designed to improve strength and balance. It has the added effect of significantly reducing stress, which can lower your blood pressure.
- Practice Qi gong. This is also an excellent way of reducing stress and blood pressure. It is also an ancient Chinese martial art that has been tweaked to a slow form of meditative movement that is often compared to Tai Chi. However, it is gentler than Tai Chi, but it does do a lot to lessen stress and reduce blood pressure.
- Reduce Stress. Think about those things that stress you out. It might be your job, your commute to work, money, or relationships that increase your stress levels. You need to take control of such stressors to not only boost your high blood pressure condition, but to also alleviate the impact stress can have on your body and mind. Take more time for relaxation, practice yoga, and meditation, locate the major sources of your stress, and make an effort to reduce those things.
- Monitor your own blood pressure. You can lower your blood pressure by keeping track of it and avoiding those things that you find to make your blood pressure worse. Take your readings to your doctor’s office to decide if there is more you can do naturally to lower blood pressure or if you need an antihypertensive medication.
- Get social support. Studies have shown that people who have better social support tend to take care of themselves better and have lower blood pressure. You can get your social support from family and friends or by joining a support group or therapy group that can help you deal with stressors and learn how to better care for yourself.
- Practice biofeedback. This involves hooking yourself up to a blood pressure machine and training your brain to lower blood pressure through the power of the mind alone. This is a tried and true method of changing your vital signs by getting feedback from the device as to how to change your blood pressure by thinking yourself into a better state of health.
- Practice deep breathing. Deep breathing exercises can reduce the levels of stress hormones in your body. Stress hormones raise the renin level in your bloodstream, which constricts blood vessels and raises blood pressure. Do this several times a day for the best effect.
- Practice yoga. Yoga involves doing different poses (asanas) that are timed to your breathing. Not only does yoga benefit flexibility and balance but it reduces stress and blood pressure as well. Hatha yoga is a specific type of yoga that is particularly good for relaxation.
- Eat Dark Chocolate. Dark chocolate is high in flavanols, which help make the blood vessels in your body more elastic. When you eat dark chocolate (a little bit every day), you can lower your blood pressure. Make sure that the dark chocolate you eat contains at least 70% cocoa in it, sorry your typical chocolate bar does not count.
- Take Coenzyme Q. This is a natural supplement that has been found to lower blood pressure by up to 17 mm Hg. Coenzyme Q is an antioxidant that also causes blood vessel dilatation. Try taking 60-100 mg of Coenzyme Q three times per day for the maximum effect on blood pressure.
- Drink tea. Certain kinds of tea will lower your blood pressure when you drink them every day. In one study, three cups of hibiscus tea every day lowered the blood pressure by an average of 7 points after a six-week period of time. This was a placebo study that showed that those who drank a placebo had no significant effect on their blood pressure.
- Work fewer hours. Whenever possible work less than 40 hours per week. According to the University of California, regularly working 40 hours per week raises your risk for hypertension by 14% and the risk rises with more hours worked. Those who worked more than 51 hours per week were 29% more likely to have hypertension when compared to those who worked less than 40 hours. If you spend a lot of time working overtime, don’t exercise, and eat a poor diet, you have the prefect recipe for high blood pressure. Work less, and exercise more to lower your risks and your blood pressure readings should you already have hypertension.
- Take up a hobby. Taking up a relaxing hobby like painting or gardening can calm your mind and induce relaxation, which in turn helps to lower blood pressure. The hobby can be just about anything you like to do and that relaxes you. Your blood pressure will thank you for the stress relief it gives you to have a hobby.
- Eat cinnamon. Cinnamon is a great spice that can be incorporated into many recipes. Cinnamon has been known to decrease high blood pressure in those who used it on a regular basis. Sprinkle into your tea or coffee and add it to breakfast cereal and oatmeal. It can be used at dinnertime when added to stews, curries and stir-fried items.
- Use music to relax. Listening to Celtic, Indian, or classical music has been found to reduce blood pressure. Do this for about 30 minutes a day while slowly breathing and relaxing. Research has shown that doing this reduces the systolic blood pressure by about 3 mm Hg after about a week. It lowers blood pressure by more than 4 mm Hg if you do this for a full month. Other types of music were found to be less helpful.
- Treat sleep apnea. Because sleep apnea can increase blood pressure, having this evaluated and treated will go far in reducing blood pressure. Sleep apnea is associated with an elevated aldosterone level, which is a hormone that raises blood pressure. If you manage your sleep apnea, your blood pressure will go down.
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You can read part 2 of this article HERE