High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a serious health challenge in which one’s blood pressure is 140/90 mmHg or above.
High blood pressure could lead to heart failure, heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, and untimely death. High blood pressure typically has no symptoms but can lead to serious health problems as listed earlier. However, malignant hypertension, which is a severe form of high blood pressure, could have associative symptoms such as; vision change, severe headache, nausea/vomiting, and nosebleed.
1 in 3 Americans have high blood pressure but many are not aware of their hypertensive status.
Your blood pressure is considered high if your blood pressure is 140/90 mmHg or above. The first number is called the systolic blood pressure and its considered high, for most people, if the reading is above 140. The second number is called diastolic blood pressure and it is considered high if the reading is above 90.
A normal blood pressure is 119/79 mmHg or lower.
Factors that can affect your blood pressure include;
- Your hormone levels
- The quantity of water and salt in your body
- The condition of your kidney, blood vessels, and nervous system
You are at a higher risk of becoming hypertensive if you; are obese, are African American, are often anxious or stressed, smoke or excessively drink alcohol, are diabetic, eat a large amount of salt or if you have a family history of people that are hypertensive.
Here are some tips and good practices, to consider, if you are dealing with high blood pressure;
- Strive to include exercise in your daily routine.
- Quit smoking. You could opt for a program that could help you stop smoking.
- Drink alcohol in moderation.
- Ensure you maintain a healthy diet that is rich in potassium and fiber.
- If you are obese or overweight, endeavor to shed the excess fat.
- Limit your consumption of sodium (salt).
- Avoid stress and stressful work situations. You could take up yoga, meditation, or deep breathing to help you relax.
- Ensure you stay hydrated all day by drinking an adequate amount of water.
Below are natural ways and home remedies to help you lower your high blood pressure;
1. Reduce Caffeine Consumption
High intake of caffeine increases blood pressure. People who are very sensitive to caffeine should try as much as possible to cut back on coffee intake. Coffee affects the cardiovascular system and mental alertness primarily through its active ingredient called caffeine. You can replace coffee with green tea since green tea contains useful catechins that can play a great role in reducing high blood pressure.
2. Walk And Exercise Regularly
Exercise is an effective way for lowering high blood pressure. Regular exercise will improve the health and strength of your heart making it more efficient at pumping blood. You need to dedicate some quality time to walking and also engage in vigorous exercises like running. It is actually reported that walking just 30 minutes a day can help reduce high blood pressure. Taking the stairs is also great for the health of your heart.
3. Learn To Manage Stress
Finding ways to manage chronic stress can help to reduce high blood pressure. When you are chronically stressed, your body is in a constant state of imbalance. As such, body has a faster heart rate and constricted blood levels. Yoga is an effective blood pressure therapy since it helps to relax the body and the nervous system. Working fewer hours and avoiding stressful work situations is also advisable. Meditation and deep breathing activate the parasympathetic nervous system which causes the body to relax thereby, slowing the heart rate and lowering blood pressure.
4. Lose Weight
Overweight people are at a greater risk of having high blood pressure. Being overweight puts extra pressure on your arterial walls and causes your heart to work harder. Losing weight bring about a lot of improvement in your heart health.
By losing weight, your blood vessels will be able to contract as well as expand properly, making it easier for the left ventricle of the heart to pump blood. Adopting healthy eating habits, for your family, can help to control the increase of weight in your body and can give your children a healthy start.
5. Quit Smoking
Nicotine, in cigarettes, raises blood pressure and heart rate as it boosts the adrenaline release. Smoking cigarettes narrow arteries and harden their walls which makes blood more likely to clot. This stresses the heart. Quitting smoking will help get rid of the excess nicotine from your body hence lowering your blood pressure. By getting rid of nicotine, your blood pressure returns to normal.
6. Eat Calcium-Rich Foods
People with low calcium intake often have a risk of high blood pressure. Calcium makes up your bones and teeth and also plays an important role in cardiovascular health, muscle function and nerve signaling. Calcium intake is recommended at least 100mg per day in adults. Calcium is found in collard greens and other leafy greens, beans, sardines, and tofu. Calcium can also be gotten from seeds like poppy, sesame and chia seeds.
7. Reduce Sodium Intake
Sodium is highly available in processed foods. Salt has been linked to high blood pressure and heart diseases like stroke. If you already have high blood pressure it is recommended that you cut back your sodium intake. Replacing the processed foods with fresh ones is a great way to curb your high blood pressure. You should also try seasoning your meals with herbs and spices rather than salt.
8. Less Alcohol
Taking alcohol can increase your chances of having high blood pressure. Alcohol is linked to 16% of cases of high blood pressure in the world. Maximum cardiovascular benefits occur at a relatively low intake of alcohol. It is important to limit your drinking. Men are advised to take at most two glasses of alcoholic drinks and women one glass. Consumption beyond this levels is unwise.
9. Dark Chocolate And Cocoa
Dark chocolate and cocoa are highly rich in flavonoids which are great natural compounds that can cause dilation of the blood vessels. Eating small amounts of chocolate can help improve the heart health over the short term hence lowering blood pressure. For even better results, you may use alkalized cocoa products which are highly rich in flavonoids and are free from added sugar. The flavonoids help in keeping your blood vessels relaxed, thus lowering the high blood pressure. Take at least half ounce of dark chocolate daily and make sure it is 70% cocoa.
10. Take Fruit And Vegetable Juices
Fruits and juices that are rich in sugar should be avoided. You can use juice extracted from carrots, spinach, and parsley. Take two glasses of vegetable juice per day in order to lower blood pressure. If you find the juice unpalatable add one teaspoon of honey to improve the taste.
Garlic has always been used as a home remedy for various health conditions due to its effectiveness. It is also great for the treatment of high blood pressure since it has anti-inflammatory properties and also has the ability to reduce arterial stiffness.
Furthermore, garlic helps boost the general cardiovascular health. You can include garlic in your daily diet or you can just take it raw. Alternatively, you can crush some garlic and take it with water every morning on an empty stomach. You can also consume a mixture of a few crushed cloves of garlic with a teaspoon of honey twice a daily. Bebeerine can be used together with garlic in order to increase nitric oxide, in the body, which helps to reduce high blood pressure.
12. Vitamin D
Vitamin D suppresses renin which is a hormone in the body that absorbs more sodium and water from the kidneys into the blood. Furthermore, vitamin D improves cardiovascular health and this helps reduce high blood pressure. Taking vitamin D supplements and foods which are rich in vitamin D such as eggs and dairy products can control your blood pressure. Spending at least 30 minutes in early morning sun and exposing your arms, neck, face, and legs increase the amount of vitamin D in the body.
Eating little quantities of potatoes can lower high blood pressure without massive weight gain. Boiled potatoes can be eaten with some pepper or even in your salad. You can also use purple potatoes which are much healthier than their white counterparts. Potatoes are rich in fiber that plays an important role in your diet. You can bake potatoes and eat them as the centerpiece of the dinner. Try to avoid adding sour cream or salty butter to the potatoes in order to avoid the risks of high blood pressure. Rather you can cook potatoes with salsa or yogurt for flavor instead.
14. Coconut Water
Coconut water is rich in vitamins, potassium, and magnesium that play an important role in lowering high blood pressure. You can also use coconut oil while cooking. You can also take about 1-2 teaspoons of coconut oil every day in order to control the high blood pressure.
Berries contain flavonoids which are effective in preventing high blood pressure. These berries are readily available in most grocery stores. You could also take berry smoothie or juice with honey for breakfast. You can eat a variety of berries such as blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries which are rich in potassium and vitamin C. These berries also have anti-inflammatory properties which help prevent the build-up of plaque in the arteries.
16. Honey And Ginger Juice
Consumption of ginger helps to boost blood circulation and relax muscles related to the blood vessels. This remedy also keeps your throat and stomach healthy while lowering high blood pressure. You can mix one teaspoon of honey with one teaspoon of ginger juice and cumin seeds. Take this remedy twice a day for blood pressure ailments. Ginger can also be added to tea or desserts for better taste too.
You can consume 2-3 bananas per day to lower your blood pressure levels. Bananas contain zero cholesterol which makes them a great midday snack. You can drink a glass of orange juice and eat a banana for breakfast. Furthermore, potassium in bananas makes it very effective controlling the blood pressure levels.
18. Cut Out Added Sugar And Refined Carbs
All refined carbs convert rapidly to sugar in your bloodstream and may cause problems that lead to increased blood pressure levels. Diets that are carbohydrate-restricted will help to improve your blood pressure. Carbs, you should reduce their consumption, include the kind found in white flour.
19. Fish Oil Supplement
Consuming fish oil which is high in EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), that form omega-3 fatty acids, reduce inflammation in the body. The omega-3 fatty acids are great for the health of the heart since they help increase good cholesterol and reduce triglycerides. High-quality fish oil could be bought in a herb or vitamin store. You can also add liquid fish oil to orange juice and drink the mixture.
Watermelon is considered as one of the healthiest summer fruits in the world. It contains plenty of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that are good for the heart’s health. Watermelon seeds are also used to treat various health problems. These seeds help widen the blood capillaries and improve the kidney functions. Watermelon could also be taken as a juice or smoothie.
Celery is rich in phytochemical 3-N-butylphthalide that helps control high blood pressure. Celery also helps to control the stress hormones, cortisol, which can constrict blood vessels thus causing high blood pressure. Eating a stalk of celery with a glass of clean water every day can greatly improve your blood pressure within a very short time. Also, you can chew celery all day.
Tea contains less caffeine than coffee. It is a good alternative if you have high blood pressure. You could look for tea which contains hibiscus. Drinking three cups of hibiscus tea helps to lower blood pressure. The reduction in pressure is due to the phytochemicals in hibiscus which helps give the best results. If such tea is not available, you can also go for other herbal teas such as black tea.
23. Healthy Diet
Eat a diet that is rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products. Read food labels when you shop and stick to your healthy eating plan when you are dining out. You should consider eating foods that are also rich in potassium because such foods lessen the effect of sodium in the body. Take more fruits and vegetables and try to avoid supplements. You could opt for DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet which is low in sodium but rich in several nutrients.
24. Drink A Lot Of Water
Staying adequately hydrated lowers blood pressure naturally. When you don’t drink enough water the body tends to secure its fluids supply through retaining the sodium in the body. Dehydration forces the body to gradually close down some of the capillary beds. This puts more pressure on the capillaries and arteries, thus, raising up your blood pressure. Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water every day.
Lemon keeps the blood vessels soft and pliable. Consuming lemon juice regularly can help reduce blood pressure. Lemon contains vitamin C which is an antioxidant that helps neutralize the harmful effects of free radicals. Drink a cup of warm water and lemon juice every morning on an empty stomach. Make sure you don’t add any sugar or salt to the lemon juice.
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