High blood pressure aka hypertension is a dangerous health condition due to the fact that it brings about many serious diseases ( mainly heart) if left untreated. Therefore, it is vitally important for people with hypertension to know the effective ways to reduce high blood pressure.
According to WHO; there are at least 1 billion people worldwide who suffer from high blood pressure. In light of this stat, it is needless to say, this health condition is one of the most common diseases on earth.
Hypertension problem needs to be managed carefully as high blood pressure can trigger serious health conditions such as heart attack, stroke and so on.
The first thing that comes to mind is to use prescription medications to manage blood pressure levels. However, according to the Mayo Clinic people with hypertension can maintain their lives with some lifestyle modifications.
If you have a hypertension problem, there is a huge chance you can lower and control your high blood pressure with simple lifestyle changes.
In this article, we are going to investigate the natural ways to reduce high blood pressure.
Please note that evidence from scientific studies and professional viewpoints that support the efficacy of the below-given methods that are used to reduce high blood pressure highlighted with red colour.
Here are the 8 natural ways to reduce high blood pressure.
1- Exercise Regularly
It is not a coincidence that many doctors consider physical exercise as an effective treatment method for many diseases such as diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, COPD and so forth. And, of course, hypertension is not an exception in this sense.
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that exercise is one of the best ways to control blood pressure levels. According to scientific reports, doing regular exercise is as effective as hypertension medications.
According to Mayo Clinic: doing moderate exercise for at least a total of 150 minutes a week or doing a total of 75 minutes of intense physical activity a week is ideal to reduce/control high blood pressure.
Walking, swimming, jogging, gardening, team sports, and cycling are among the exercises people with hypertension can opt for unless they have a restriction to do so.
2- Reduce Sodium Consumption
Many scientists consider sodium, which is found in many processed and prepared foods throughout the world, as the culprit for high blood pressure. Furthermore, scientific studies demonstrate a positive correlation between sodium consumption and high blood pressure. And, One of these scientific reports confirms salt’s blood pressure-raising effect.
On the other hand, it is important to note that sodium intake doesn’t affect all individuals equally. While sodium causes heart-related health problems for some, others may consume salt without any problem.
In any case, experts recommend hypertension patients consume a limited amount of sodium. Eating 1,500 mg or less a day is considered to be ideal for adults.
3- Take Care of Your Diet
Diet is another important component when it comes to reducing high blood pressure. Because what we eat directly affects our health. Choosing foods wisely is going to be conducive to reducing high blood pressure or vice versa wrong food choices will increase blood pressure.
Eating healthy means following a diet that centres on whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products. It is also notable that, especially foods that contain high potassium and calcium can be very effective to regulate blood pressure.
Nevertheless, high potassium intake may not be suitable for people with kidney problems. Therefore, talk to your physician about your potassium intake.
On the other hand, there are foods that you can avoid or minimise in order to control your blood sugar. According to Cleveland Clinic: Butter/margarine, fatty meats, salted snacks, fried food, fast foods and deli meats are among the foods you should avoid completely or minimise consumption.
2- Citrus Fruit
4- Fatty Fish
6- Dark Chocolate
4- Beware of Alcohol
What is obvious and proven by science is that drinking alcohol raises blood pressure substantially regardless of whether you have a hypertension problem. Therefore, alcohol consumption is an issue that people with high blood pressure should pay attention to.
According to a scientific report, roughly 15 per cent of all hypertension cases is attributed to alcohol intake. Alcohol does not only increase blood pressure but also can inhibit the effectiveness of drugs used to treat hypertension.
Experts warn people with hypertension to drink no more than one drink for women and two for men a day.
5- Reduce Your Stress Levels
Stress management is as equally important as the above-given methods when it comes to controlling blood pressure. From time to time, we all find ourselves in stressful situations that cause mental and physical problems. To put it simply, stress is an unavoidable part of life.
However, when stress becomes chronic, the body gets tired due to long-lasting stress hormones inside the body and faster heartbeats.
Moreover, due to stress, people become prone to do harmful things such as drinking alcohol, eating too many unhealthy foods or smoking all of which can raise your blood pressure.
Therefore, knowing the effective ways to reduce stress can be vital for reducing high blood pressure.
According to Cleveland Clinic: eating healthy, avoiding tobacco, reducing stress triggers, practising relaxation techniques, exercising and setting realistic goals are the most effective methods to reduce stress.
6- Stop Smoking
Independent of high blood pressure, smoking is one of the most dangerous habits that claims roughly 7 million lives per year around the world.
As for the relationship between blood pressure and cigarettes; smoking increases your heartbeats and blood pressure instantly. Even though, blood pressure turns normal some time after finishing smoking, in the long run, smoking damages the blood vessels.
While smoking is harmful to everyone, those who have high blood pressure problems should avoid tobacco products completely. Please note that being exposed to secondhand tobacco is harmful to your heart too.
7- Lose Weight
Being overweight or worse obese is referred to as the modern world’s pandemic along with a couple of different diseases. The reason that obesity worries experts that much is obesity is one of the main risk factors for many serious diseases such as heart attack and cancer.
Being overweight can either cause people to develop high blood pressure or raise blood pressure in people with hypertension. As excess body weight is harmful to the main heart and other organs, people with hypertension should consider losing weight to be able to manage their blood pressure.
A scientific study confirms the positive effect of losing weight on blood pressure management.
8- Cut Back on Caffeine
In fact, medical scientists cannot be clear whether or not people with hypertension should avoid caffeine to prevent blood pressure problems. The reason for the controversial opinion on the effect of caffeine on the human body stems from the fact that the effect of caffeine shows alteration from person to person.
What’s certain, drinking a beverage containing caffeine can increase blood pressure abruptly. However, then blood pressure turns normal. In fact, caffeine intake can make a huge impact on those who rarely drink coffee.
Although it is not certain, coffee may not be ideal for you. Therefore, carry out a little experiment and check your pressure after you drink a caffeinated beverage. According to Mayo Clinic; you might be sensitive to caffeine if your blood pressure rises by 5 to 10 mm Hg after caffeine consumption.
Tarkan is an experienced health writer ( currently more than 600 articles ) and also the founder of this website namely www.neededforhealth.com. His expertise in health stems from in-depth medical research and knowledge which he obtained over the course of many years.
Tarkan enjoys sharing factual knowledge on health, psychology and nutrition. He always aims to deliver evidence-based recommendations, provide links to related scientific studies.