High blood pressure, or hypertension, is called the “silent killer” for good reason. It often has no symptoms, but is a major risk for heart disease and stroke. Your blood pressure depends on how much blood your heart is pumping, and how much resistance there is to blood flow in your arteries. The narrower your arteries, the higher your blood pressure. Lowering blood pressure without resorting to drugs and medications is quite easier than you think. Changes in lifestyle, diet and even bad habits can be a great help. There are natural ways to keep blood pressure down and some of these are listed below:
Exercise is one of the best things you can do to lower high blood pressure. Regular exercise helps make your heart stronger and more efficient at pumping blood, which lowers the pressure in your arteries. People who walk and exercise regularly, are able to reduce the number of hypertension medicines they’re taking. Choose an exercise that best suits you like running, biking, swimming or just walking.
We all know the effects of smoking to our health. Among the many reasons to quit smoking is that the habit is a strong risk factor for heart disease. Every puff of cigarette smoke causes a slight, temporary increase in blood pressure. The chemicals in tobacco are also known to damage blood vessels.
Salt intake is high around the world. In large part, this is due to processed and prepared foods. In many studies, salt has been linked to high blood pressure and heart events, like stroke. The most important thing to watch out for is the sodium in the processed foods you eat. Just season foods with herbs, lemon, spices and other salt-free seasonings, this will greatly help in lowering salt intake.
Drinking alcohol can raise blood pressure. In fact, alcohol is linked to 16% of high blood pressure cases around the world. Men and women who are over 65 can have one drink and younger people can have two drinks to help in reducing blood pressure. Anything more than that can have negative effects and increase blood pressure.
If you’re overweight, losing weight can make a big difference for your heart health. According to a 2016 study, losing 5% of your body mass could significantly lower high blood pressure. You might be eating a healthy and balanced-diet, but those extra pounds could harm you. Studies revealed that hypertension in overweight persons was a secondary condition due to their excess weight. To make it short, once you loss weight, the high blood pressure went as well.
Studies revealed that people who eat dark chocolate daily saw a drop of blood pressure. While eating massive amounts of chocolate probably won’t help your heart, small amounts may. That’s because dark chocolate and cocoa powder are rich in flavonoids, plant compounds that cause blood vessels to dilate. A review of studies found that flavonoid-rich cocoa improved several markers of heart health over the short term, including lowering blood pressure.
Stress is a key driver of high blood pressure. Effectively managing stress may help reduce blood pressure, so it is recommended that people with high blood pressure practice stress management. When you experience stress, you might also be more likely to engage in other behaviors, such as drinking alcohol or eating unhealthy food, that can negatively affect blood pressure. Find an effective approach to help you manage stress efficiently.
Potassium is an important mineral. It helps your body get rid of sodium and ease pressure on your blood vessels.Modern diets have increased most people’s sodium intake while decreasing potassium intake. To get a better balance of potassium to sodium in your diet, focus on eating fewer processed foods and more fresh, whole foods. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables, which are rich in potassium, can help lower blood pressure.
Coffee has some healthy benefits but we all know that reducing blood pressure is not one of them. Caffeine can cause short-term spikes in blood pressure so it is best to skip this for people with hypertension.
Both meditation and deep breathing are thought to activate the parasympathetic nervous system. This system is engaged when the body relaxes, slowing the heart rate and lowering blood pressure.Try to indulge in meditative practices and slow breathing such as yoga, tai chi and qigong. These can help decrease stress hormones, which is responsible for elevating renin, an enzyme that elevates blood pressure.
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