10 Home Remedies for High Blood Pressure
The gauge of the force of your blood against blood vessels is how your blood pressure is measured, and when it’s higher than normal you’re could be at risk of some serious health consequences. Normal blood pressure is less than 120/80, elevated is 120-129/80. Then there are 3 stages of high blood pressure1:
* Stage 1: 130-139/80-89
* Stage 2: 140-180/90+
* Hypertension: Anything above 180/120+
(If you have hypertension, it’s recommended that you see a doctor immediately.) The exact reasons for why high blood pressure occurs are not exactly known, but we do know of several things which help play a role. The good news is that most reasons for having high blood pressure are lifestyle related.
So if you’ve made some choices which have led to high blood pressure, you can also make some changes which will bring it back down. Here are 10 home remedies for high blood pressure:
#1 – Quit Smoking This one is a no-brainer, but easier said than done. There was a time when the danger’s of smoking were not well known or understood. Those times are long gone and there are no good excuses left to keep smoking.
Smoking is thought to be one of the leading causes of high blood pressure2, and if you want to bring yours under control, then it’s time to give quitting serious consideration. Quitting isn’t easy, but unless you make many changes in your lifestyle it will be almost impossible. If you’re going to quit, you probably need to change your routines which you associate with smoking. Taking up an aerobic heavy sport is one of the best ways to quit smoking, since you can’t perform well athletically and continue to smoke.
#2 – Quit or Reduce Alcohol Intake Having just a few drinks in one sitting is enough to raise your blood pressure. Drinking excessively often leads to long term blood pressure increases3. If you’re already suffering from high blood pressure it would be a good idea not to drink any alcohol at all, but that’s not very realistic for most people.
It’s important to point out that several scientific studies have shown that even cutting down from heavy drinking to moderate, is enough to lower blood pressure. So if you don’t want to give up alcohol completely, make sure to cut down the amounts that you drink.
#3 – Exercise Exercise is the best prophylactic, the best medicine, and the best treatment for just about every ailment the human body may suffer. Not only does exercise help prevent almost every disease known to mankind, but it’s also great for lowering blood pressure.
Exercise is one of the most effective ways to do that and it’s recommended to get around 30 minutes of exercise per day4. Here are the most recommended types of exercise you can take up to lower your blood pressure: * Cycling * Jogging * Swimming * Dancing * Interval training which involves short bursts of intense activity followed by recovery periods of lighter activity * Weight lifting and strength training.
#4 – Avoid these Foods There are some foods which promote higher blood pressure and should be reduced drastically, or better yet completely avoided5:
* Deli meats
* Frozen pizza
* Pickles from a jar
* Canned soups
* Canned or bottled tomatoes and sauces
* Chicken skin
* Packaged foods
* And again, alcohol!
#5 – Eat These Foods There are some foods which that help lower your blood pressure and should be a regular part of your diet, if that is what you want to achieve.
* Leafy greens
* Yogurt and kefir
* Fish with omega 3
* Sunflower, pumpkin or squash seeds (unsalted)
* Dark chocolate (without sugar and in small quantities)
* Olive oil
#6 – Lose Weight Losing weight is also one of the effective ways of lower your blood pressure and it also goes hand in hand with exercise for the most part, but deserves its own separate category. There are many things you can do to lose weight, and when you do you’ll also be lowering your blood pressure. Here are the most effective ways to drop those kilos and pounds:
* Intermittent fasting
* Regular exercise
* Regular healthy diet
* High protein breakfasts (plant based)
* Cutting back or eliminating sugar and refined carbs from your diet
* Eat plenty of fibre
* Keeping a healthy gut
* Getting a good night’s sleep
#7 – Cut back on Coffee For many of us, this can be impossible to imagine. Millions of us rely on our hot morning brew to get us going, but it turns out that caffeine can be responsible for raising blood pressure. Scientific studies have found that caffeine has a smaller impact on blood pressure in regular coffee drinkers than in people who drink coffee occasionally.
It’s a good idea to measure your blood pressure before your first brew of the day, and to measure it within half an hour after drinking it. If your blood pressure goes up by 5-10 mm Hg then coffee might not be a good idea for you.
#8 – Lower your Stress Stress has been blamed for just about human ailment imaginable. If it’s not directly responsible, some indirect cause is usually found. While there is no direct link yet found between high levels of stress and high blood pressure, the habits of high-stress individuals are strongly tied to raising it. If you’re looking for a way to bring down that stress, here are some good ideas you can try:
* Avoid caffeine, alcohol and nicotine
* Lots of physical activity
* Get more sleep, get better quality sleep
* Try some relaxation techniques such as yoga and meditation
* Talk to your friends of family about the things which are making you stressed, if that’s not possible it’s a good idea to see a counselor or a therapist
* Routine and discipline. The more regular and organized your life becomes, the lower your levels of stress will be
* Learn to say no to the things you don’t want to do. This is actually difficult for most people. Agreeing to do things that you don’t want to do is probably one of the best ways to increase your levels of stress
#9 – Blood Pressure Lowering Herbs Herbs are great because they can be added to just about everything you eat. Not only do they add flavour to your food and make it more tasty, but they can help get your blood pressure down. Here are some of the best herbs known for reducing blood pressure9:
* Celery seed
* French lavender
* Cat’s claw
#10 – Monitor your Blood Pressure Doing this regularly will help you keep tabs on what is happening with your blood pressure, and will also help you track how your new lifestyle changes are affecting it. You’ll also be able to see the results of your labors and have some hard-earned pride in the changes you’re making.
Making any big changes in your life is never easy, but following these steps and getting your blood pressure under control naturally is a more healthy and long term alternative than just taking prescription medicine. If your doctor insists on pharmaceuticals then you should still implement these steps into your life, as drugs only treat the symptoms and lifestyle changes can tackle the causes of your health issues.
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High Blood Pressure References and High Blood Pressure Information
* Healthline Magazine: https://www.healthline.com/health/high-blood-pressure-hypertension/foods-to-avoid#strategies
* Healthline Magazine: https://www.healthline.com/health/foods-good-for-high-blood-pressure#foods-to-try
* Medical News Today: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322345#science-backed-ways-to-lose-weight
* Healthline Magazine: https://www.healthline.com/health/high-blood-pressure-hypertension/herbs-to-lower