Lower My Blood Pressure
Do you know that blood pressure (also called as hypertension) is known as a silent killer? It has no symptoms however it is one of the major reason for strokes and heart diseases. Interestingly, these are the major and leading causes of death in the US. On an average about one in three American adults have high blood pressure.
Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury and it is abbreviated as mmHg. Now there are two basic numbers present –
▶ the pressure present in the blood vessels when your heart is beating.
▶ the pressure present in your vessels among the beats when your heart is taking rest.
Keep in mind that your blood pressure will be based on how much blood your heart pumps and how much it can resist for the blood to flow in to your arteries. So, the narrower the arteries are, the more higher the blood pressure will be.
Blood pressure which is less than 120/80 mmHg is normal but the one that is 140/90 mmHg or more is quite high. So, if your numbers are more than the normal however under the 140/90 mmHg, you will be in the category called pre hypertension. So, it means there is a huge risk of you getting high blood pressure.
What Causes High Blood Pressure?
The major causes for high blood pressure consist of two categories
▶ Essential High Blood Pressure – There is no established cause for this.
▶ Secondary High Blood Pressure – There is an underlying cause for this.
As there is no basic cause for essential high blood pressure, still there is a strong evidence that links certain risk factors to the chances of having such condition. Some of the major causes for high blood pressure are –
▶ Being obese or overweight
▶ Lack of physical activity
▶ Too much consumption of alcohol (about one to two drinks each day)
▶ Too much consumption of salt in diet
▶ Old age
▶ Family history of having high blood pressure
▶ Sleep apnea
▶ Adrenal & Thyroid disorder
▶ Chronic kidney disease
What Are The Remedies For High Blood Pressure
1) Reducing Sodium Consumption
All around the world, the intake of salt is quite high. A large part or reason for this is due to the prepared and processed foods. This is the major reason why many public health efforts are aimed to lower the amount of salt usage in the food industry. There are many studies which have extensively link salt with high blood pressure and even heart diseases like stroke.
But recent research have shown that the relationship between high blood pressure and sodium is less clear. One of the major reasons can be due to genetic differences, especially how people process sodium. There are about quarter of individuals having normal blood levels and about half with high blood pressure who are sensitive to salt.
Now if you are suffering from high blood pressure, then it is better if you can easily cut the amount of sodium intake to find out the difference. You can swap the processed food with the fresh ones and go for seasoning with spices and herbs rather than salt. Most health experts and dieticians emphasize on cutting out the amount of sodium intake.
2) Regular Exercise And Walk
Do you know exercise is one of the major activities you can do to lower blood pressure? Regular exercising can easily make your heart stronger and make it more efficient in pumping blood, thereby reducing the pressure in the arteries. Frankly, a 150 minute of normal exercise like walking or 75 minutes of hardcore exercise like running each week can easily help in reducing blood pressure. Also, it can even improve then heart health.
3) Consuming Dark Chocolate and Cocoa
Here it doesn’t mean that you start consuming huge amount of chocolates. Seriously, it won’t help but having them in small quantities will be better. What makes chocolates good for reducing blood pressure is that it contain coco powder which is abandon in flavonoids. This is a plant compound which easily helps in dilating the blood vessels.
Various studies have shown that flavonoid rich coco can easily improve the heart health of individuals in a short time and this includes even lowering the blood pressure. To get the strongest effect, you can use non-alkalized coco powder. This is quite high in flavonoids and contains no amount of sugar. Also, cocoa powder and dark chocolate has plant compounds which easily helps in lowering the blood pressure and relaxing the blood vessel.
4) Having More Potassium Abundant Foods
Potassium is one of significant minerals and it helps the human body to get rid of the sodium. Also, it eases the pressure of the blood vessels. Modern diet has drastically increased the sodium intake of people but reduced the huge amount of potassium intake.
For gaining a good balance of the potassium along with sodium especially in your daily diet, you need to focus on having lesser processed food and concentrate more on fresh foods. It is better if you go for food items that have high amount of potassium like fruits such as melons, avocados, bananas, apricots, and oranges; vegetables like tomatoes, leafy green, sweet potatoes, etc.; tuna and salmon; dairy like yogurt and milk; beans, etc.
5) Avoid Smoking
Do you know that among the various reasons to quit smoking, the major one is that it leads to a higher risk of getting heart diseases? Each puff of the cigarette smoke will lead to a temporary and small increase in blood pressure. In addition, the chemicals present in the tobacco can easily damage the blood vessels.
Surprisingly, there haven’t been any studies which show the conclusive link between high blood pressure and smoking. This might be because smokers develop a huge tolerance over time. Still both smoking and blood pressure raises the high risk of getting heart diseases.
6) Consuming Less Alcohol
It can surprise certain people that drinking alcohol will raise the blood pressure. There are various studies which link alcohol to 16% of the cases related to high blood pressure all around the world.
Of course, there is research which easily suggests that small to little amount of alcohol will secure the heart and those benefitted will be offset by negative effects. In short, drinking alcohol in large quantities will increase your blood pressure. It is better if you can limit the drinking to not more than a single drink each day for women and about two drinks for men.
7) Cut Amount Of Caffeine Consumption
If you have gulped down a cup of coffee just before having your blood pressure taken, then it means that your blood pressure will instantly increase. As you know caffeine can easily boost your day to day activities. There are lack of evidences which show that drinking regular coffee can cause a lasting increase on your blood pressure.
Basically, people who drink caffeinated coffee and tea will have less chance of reducing the risk of heart diseases, and this includes blood pressure. Of course, caffeine has a stronger effect on individuals who don’t consume regularly. So, if you feel that you are caffeine-sensitive, then the time has come to cut if back .
8) Lose Weight
Now if you are overweight, then losing weight can make a huge difference on the health of your heart. There are various studies which state that losing about 5% of your body mass will easily reduce your blood pressure. Even there are studies which state that losing suitable amount of weight to reach the required and needed body mass can drastically make your healthy and lower your blood pressure.
9) Eat Berries
The juicy favor of berries makes it one of the most delicious food to eat. Not only are they packed with polyphenols which is a natural plant compound which is quite healthy for your heart. Studies have shown that middle age individuals who consume berries for eight weeks straight drastically reduced their blood pressure. Even consuming high polyphenol diet like the ones containing in chocolate, berries, vegetables and fruits keeps your heart healthy and reduces the chances of getting high blood pressure.
10) Manage Stress
Do you know that the stress is the major key driver for high blood pressure? When you are in stress, your body is in the constant war or fight mode. So, in terms of physical level, it means faster heart beat and constricted blood vessels. Now when you are experiencing stress, you will be engaging in other behaviors like eating unhealthy food items, drinking alcohol, etc. These will drastically affect your blood pressure.
You can easily manage stress by hearing soothing music. A calm music can easily help in relaxing your nervous system and it is an effective therapy for blood pressure. Another method to curb stress is by working less. Working a lot will make you stressful and in general situations it will increase your blood flow and lead to raising your blood pressure.
11) Consumption Of Calcium Rich Food
Individuals who have low calcium intake or who never consume milk products are prone to have high blood pressure. Now calcium supplements haven’t conclusively shown to reduce the blood pressure, still having a calcium rich diet can be quite healthy.
For adults, about 1,000 mg per day of calcium is required and for women who are above the age of 50 and men who are above 70 need to have 1200 mg per day. Besides from dairy products, you can get calcium from other leafy greens, collard greens, sardines, beans, and tofu.
12) Try Meditation or Deep Breathing
Now these two methods fall under the category of being stress reduction technique, still deep breathing and meditation can provide specific results with regard to lowering blood pressure. Deep breathing and meditation help to activate the parasympathetic nervous system. Also, this system gets engaged when the body gets relaxed and slows the heart rate, thereby reducing the blood pressure.
Various studies have shown that different kinds of meditation and yoga can bring huge amount of benefits in reducing one’s blood pressure.
13) Reduce Sugar And Refined Carbs
Various research have shown that there is a constant link between added sugar (meaning high consumption of sugar) and blood pressure. Extensive studies were conducted which easily showed that individuals who consumed sugar-filled soda had a high level of blood pressure than ones who consumed sugar-free (diet) soda.
Frankly, it is not sugar alone, Even all kinds of refined carbs like the ones found in white flour will rapidly increase your blood flow and cause a huge amount of health problems. There are even studies which show that low-carbs diets will easily reduce blood pressure.
14) Consuming Natural Supplements
Some people opt for natural supplements to reduce blood pressure. Supplements like garlic extract are quite effective in reducing blood pressure. This is a stand-alone treatment and is something that really lowers one’s blood pressure.
Another natural supplement is berberine. This is traditionally used in Chinese and ayurvedic medicines. Unlike other supplements, berberine increases the nitric oxide production and this easily reduces the blood pressure. In addition, whey protein greatly reduces one’s blood pressure. Studies have shown that whey protein improves the blood pressure and help the blood vessel to flow smoothly. Not many individuals know that fish oil is credited in improving one’s heart health. Fish oil is beneficial for various individuals who have high blood pressure.
There are even studies which show that hibiscus flower makes a great tea. Not only they are rich in polyphenols but they contain anthocyanins which are quite beneficial for your heart and reduces your blood pressure.
Having supportive friends and family can help in improving one’s health. The same can be said about reducing one’s blood pressure. By constantly keeping track of your blood pressure and the diet and lifestyle you lead, you can control your blood pressure. Seriously, it is not difficult and you can easily do it if you put your heart and soul into it.