A high blood pressure can cause a lot of serious health conditions like a heart attack and stroke but it is preventable. One does not need to pay expensively for medications in order to have a healthy blood pressure level. There are natural ways that can help you control and lower your blood pressure in order to avoid common serious health risks such as aneurysms, heart attack, high cholesterol level, kidney failure and cognitive decline as among others. There are medications that can provide relief in helping one to lower the blood pressure, but they may come with the common side effects like dizziness, insomnia and muscle cramps. Here are the 10 proven methods of lowering your blood pressure naturally to help you stay fit and healthy.
1. Get yourself physically fit
Nothing can replace a good exercise in being effective in keeping the body physically fit and healthy. A 30 minutes of exercise a day is good enough in keeping the blood pressure low significantly. Cardiologists encourage patients at risk for high cholesterol, high blood pressure and heart disease to take power walks at least half an hour daily. This helps the heart to efficiently use oxygen, which helps unburdening the heart to work harder in pumping blood. Individuals who are sedentary should take an aerobic exercise to tone down their systolic blood pressure. A daily exercise has helped patients on medications to gradually reduce the drugs they take for controlling their blood pressure level. You can choose from walking, cycling, running or swimming as a form of exercise, whatever you feel is most suited for you.
Meditation activities like yoga, qigong and tai chi can help de-stress the body that helps calm the senses. When the body is relaxed, the stress hormone is less active. Stress can cause an increase in the amount of the kidney enzyme called renin in the body which is responsible for elevating the body's blood pressure. Relaxation exercises for 5 minutes in the morning and at night will tone down the release of the stress hormones that activate renin production in the kidney. Breathing exercise is an effective way of releasing stress and tension out of the body.
3. Eat a balanced diet
Your diet can significantly affect the blood pressure in the body. What you eat can either prevent you from getting a high blood pressure or it may increase the risk of getting one. Fatty foods are high in cholesterol, which can contribute to the risk of getting a high blood pressure in the body. In order to naturally lower your blood pressure, it is essential to include in your diet fresh vegetables. Instead of canned or processed foods, buy fresh poultry, lean meat and fish. You can also include herbs and spices as seasoning instead of using salt. You should also cut down your intake of instant pasta and cereal mixes that are prepared with salt. People with hypertension should limit their salt intake to less than 600 milligrams a day. Processed foods have a high sodium content. As an alternative, choose whole foods instead. Get into the habit of reading the nutrition labels to keep tabs on your sodium intake.
4. Load the body with calcium
Health experts suggest to consume at least 3,500 mg of potassium a day in order to keep the blood pressure at a healthy level. Potassium counteracts the ill effects of sodium in the body. Foods that are good sources of potassium are banana, potato, cantaloupe, yogurt, kidney beans, spinach, peas, honeydew melon, orange, prunes and raisins.
5. Avoid nicotine
People who smoke are at risk for high blood pressure. Cigarettes and tobacco have nicotine, which are responsible for causing the hardening of the walls of the arteries. Consequently, the heart needs to exert more effort to pump blood as the arterial walls become inflexible. If the heart needs to work double the normal effort it does for pumping the blood into the circulation, it can cause a spike in the blood pressure. Quitting smoking is a natural way of reducing your risk to a high blood pressure and other serious diseases resulting from smoking.
6. Minimal alcohol intake
Contrary to the belief of many that drinking alcohol is bad for the health, a research study at the Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital revealed that drinking a little of alcohol can keep the blood pressure healthy. Drinking about one quarter to one half of alcohol a day helps to reduce the blood pressure level as compared to not drinking at all. Beer, wine and spirits are known to be helpful in reducing the blood pressure in women and reduces the risk for heart disease. Moderate alcohol intake is thus not prohibited by most doctors considering the health benefits that can be derived from minimal to moderate alcoholic drinking.
7. Take antioxidant
Antioxidants are known to fight off free radicals that are harmful to the body. It is also good in helping to dilate the blood vessels to facilitate an efficient blood flow and circulation. Taking coenzyme Q10 as a supplement about 17 mmhg over 10mmhg can help achieve this effect. Make sure to ask your doctor for a supplement that will give you an ideal dose of antioxidant to help lower your blood pressure. Alternatively, you can get a good source of antioxidant from foods like small red bean, blueberry, cranberry, red apples, pinto beans, artichoke, sweet cherry, black plum, Russet potato, pecan, prune, strawberry and sweet cherry. These foods will you a pack of antioxidants daily that will help contro your blood pressure.
8. Drink decaf coffee
If taking coffee has become a part of your lifestyle, it is best to take decaf coffee instead. While there is no accurate study to show the direct effect of caffeine to the blood pressure, a study showed that a high level of caffeine intake can actually increase the blood pressure. About three cups of coffee a day can become harmful as it can cause a tightening of the blood vessels that can consequently increase the blood pressure. In order to be safe, you can avoid this ill effect of too much caffeine intake by switching to a decaf coffee.
9. Drink the health benefits of tea
Research studies that three cups of tea daily is sufficient to lower the blood pressure. Its ability to cause this effect is at par with prescription medicine, according to the researchers from the Tufts University. Herbal teas are high in hibiscus level that is known to control the blood pressure effectively. Not all teas have this phytochemical, however, so it is best to read the labels and look for the chart of the ingredients contained in the tea product you are buying.
10. Learn to relax
Stress is a major source of causing a high blood pressure level. You can prevent this by learning different modes of relaxation or techniques. Cooking can be a good past time where you can plan out for a healthier meal and prepare it yourself. You can also try making a regular trip to the gym or a walk in the park. Listening to the music is another natural way of lowering your blood pressure. Studies revealed that music that is soothing and classical tends to induce the body's relaxation mode, thereby making it effective in lowering your blood pressure naturally.
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