High blood pressure is dangerous when not restrained. This could lead to multiple disorders like heart attack or stroke, besides other ailments. In the USA alone, high blood pressure takes maximum lives, as one out of three suffer from this. Probably, this is why it’s termed a ‘silent killer’, as it silently takes people unaware.
More on Blood Pressure
Blood pressure was measured with a mercury instrument originally, this why it is measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). There are two numbers in measurement that display blood pressure of a person.
- Systolic Blood Pressure: Upper measurement number depicts pressure in blood vessels when heart squeezes to pump in blood into arteries.
- Diastolic Blood Pressure: The bottom measured number depicts pressure in blood vessels between the heartbeats.
The blood pressure would depend on the amount of blood being pumped in the vessels and its flow. The blood pressure would be higher if arteries become narrower due to accumulation of cholesterol.
Generally, normal blood pressure should be around 120/80 mm Hg. If blood pressure is 130/80 mm Hg or above doctors would consider it a potential risk of developing high blood pressure.
17 Effective Ways to Lower your High Blood Pressure
Workout and Active Lifestyle
American Heart Association (AHA) suggests 40 minutes of aerobic exercise, resistance training, high intensity physical training 3 to 4 times a week to lower BP. Staying active generally is also a big help, besides yoga and ‘Tai Chi’, if you don’t work-out.
Obesity invites many diseases including high BP. You can easily lower down your blood pressure by losing 5 to 10 pounds of your body weight, besides controlling other ailments also.
Cut Down Sugar & Carbs to Lose Weight
To reduce weight, you must cut down sugar and refined carbohydrates in food. As per extensive studies done on this subject, low carb diet certainly helps in losing weight and blood pressure substantially.
More Potassium & Less Sodium In Diet
Salt is one known culprit behind high blood pressure. Therefore, eating more potassium than sodium is suggested to lower blood pressure. Potassium acts in dual ways; it reduces sodium’s effects on the body and also decreases tensions in the blood vessels. However, kidney patients should seek doctor’s advice before taking potassium. Potassium rich foods include low-fat milk, yogurt, bananas, apricots, avocados, oranges, beans, veggies, whole grains, and fish.
Avoid Processed Food
Processed foods and foods from restaurants have higher levels of salts, sugar, and carbs that make your blood pressure go up. Moreover, packed foods such as meats, canned soup, pizza, chips, and other processed snacks should also be avoided at all cost if you need to desperately lower blood pressure.
Cut the smoking out of your life if you want to live a healthy life. Smoking enhances your blood pressure and heartbeat rate also. Habitual smokers have risk of inflammation on the lungs and blood vessels, causing high blood pressure.
Self-management at workplace or at home is the key to reduce stress. The reduced stress means good health and lower BP. Besides, practice deep breathing, indulge in walking or jogging, reading books, watching comedies, listening music, and playing online or offline games to stay stress-free.
Meditation or Yoga
Meditation and yoga are the food for the mind and soul. Mindfulness, meditation including transcendental meditation has always been stress busters. Yoga is a complete package for health with specific postures, breathing control exercises, and meditation. This helps in reducing stress and blood pressure.
Chocolate lovers would appreciate eating dark chocolates, as these have been found to reduce blood pressure. However, dark chocolates should have 60 to 70 percent Cacao. Flavonoids present in it widen the shrinking blood vessels. Two squares of dark chocolate per day helps in lowering blood pressure and possible risk for heart attack.
These herbs treat many health disorders including blood pressure. Take doctor’s advice before taking them. Some herbs known to lower blood pressure include basil, cinnamon, cardamom, sesame oil, flax seed, ginger, green tea, black beans (Castanospermum australe), cat’s claw (Uncaria rhynchophylla), celery juice (Apium graveolens), Chinese hawthorn (Crataegus pinnatifida), to name a few.
A Good Night’s Sleep
Erratic schedules disrupt sleeping. Some middle-aged people also have sleeping disorders. This lifestyle result into higher blood pressure. A good night’s sleep of 7 to 9 hours lowers blood pressure significantly.
Garlic or Garlic Supplements
Fesh garlic or garlic extract have always been big hit with people for its amazing contents. The studies highlight that garlic extract preparation are more effective than regular garlic powder tablets to regulate BP.
Eat Healthy High-Protein Foods
People, who eat more protein in their food, comparatively carry less high blood pressure disorders. Even 100g per day protein in food makes them 40 percent less prone to risk. Besides, those who continue having high-fiber food, stand at 60 percent lower chance of high blood pressure risk. High protein foods include salmon or canned tuna in water, fishes, eggs, chicken breasts, beans & legumes such as kidney beans and lentils. Besides, foods like nuts, peanut butter, chickpeas, and cheddar cheese are protein-rich foods.
Some supplements with Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid, omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids or fish oil carry enough healthy contents that help in lowering high blood pressure. In addition to those, Whey protein, magnesium, Coenzyme Q10, Citrulline- a building block protein, have been found to lower blood pressure too.
Alcohol in Moderation
Alcohol can raise your blood pressure, despite you being in fine shape. The key to control blood pressure is to drink alcohol in moderation. Moderate drink is one drink per day for women and two for men.
Cut Down Caffeine
Caffeine may raise blood pressure, though for short time. Those who drink coffee or tea more must cut these down. If you are hooked to it, you can try decaffeinated coffee.
Take Medicines As Per Doctor
Despite following above changes to your lifestyle, if your blood pressure continues upwards, then you must take prescribed medicines. Doctor would do complete tests and prescribe the best medicine in correlation to other health issues.