Lowering blood pressure naturally is possible by adapting or altering certain lifestyle factors. Blood pressure can be influenced by factors like frequent exercise, weight loss and salt intake.
Healthy habits are important for everyone, but they can particularly be beneficial to those with an above-average blood pressure. Adopting a healthy lifestyle can also help to prevent the development of hypertension in people with normal blood pressure levels. Check out 7 natural remedies for high blood pressure that you can use at home.
Patients with hypertension will typically need blood pressure medication to help manage high levels, however dosing can be reduced when treatment involves consistent and effective lifestyle changes. Patients who are already taking blood pressure medication should not stop medication without their doctor’s knowledge.
Blood pressure can be lowered naturally in the following ways:
1. Weight loss
Losing and maintaining a healthy weight is very important to lower high blood pressure. There is a positive relationship between weight and blood pressure, as people who are overweight will often also have high blood pressure.
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Besides reducing total body weight, it is also important to maintain a low waist circumference measurement. Large amounts of abdominal fat is associated with a significantly higher risk of cardiovascular disease. Waist circumference should be measured along the belly button using a tape measure, and it should be under 35 inches (88 cm) for women and 40 inches (102 cm) for men.
Check out our weight loss tips that you can use to help manage your blood pressure.
2. Adopting a DASH diet
DASH is a type of diet that is rich in fruit, leafy greens, whole-grain foods, and milk products, such as natural yogurt and white cheeses. This diet is low in fat, sugar, and red meat. The DASH diet is scientifically proven to help with weight loss and blood pressure control. Learn more about the high blood pressure diet and how to get started.
It is also important to avoid canned foods, pickles, or ready-made frozen foods as they usually are rich in sodium and preservatives, which can cause increases in blood pressure.
In addition, it's important to drink 1.5 to 2 liters of water per day to keep the body hydrated and promote optimal organ functioning
3. Consuming only 6 g of salt per day
To regulate blood pressure naturally, it is very important to limit your daily salt intake, which should be less than 6 grams per day (approx. one teaspoon of salt a day).
It is also necessary to read labels and calculate the amount of salt in packaged foods. You should avoid adding salt to food, and opt to season your food with spices such as cumin, parsley, oregano, basil, and bay leaves.
Healthy diet habits can reduce blood pressure by up to 10 mmHg. Diet changes are a great way to reduce hypertension medication dosing.
4. Exercising 5 times a week
Engaging in exercise for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour a day, five times a week, is essential for managing blood pressure without medication. Regular exercise can reduce your average readings by 7 to 10 mmHg, which can be enough to reduce high doses of medication.
Exercise has numerous benefits such as improving blood circulation, heart function and hormone production, which all play a role in controlling blood pressure.
Some excellent ways to exercise include walking, running, cycling, swimming or dancing. Ideally, you should also engage in anaerobic activity (like weight-lifting) at least twice a week, preferably under doctor supervision and with the help of an qualified exercise instructor. Check-out our tips for exercising at home to achieve weight loss.
5. Smoking cessation
Smoking causes damage to blood vessels and can lead to decreased functioning in the vessels. Substances in tobacco smoke constrict blood vessels, causing an increase in blood pressure. Smoke poses as a significant risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, inflammatory diseases, and cancer.
Smoking is not only linked to an increase in blood pressure, but it can also cancel the effect of medication in those who are already undergoing treatment.
6. Increasing potassium and magnesium intake
Although this has no definite evidence, it appears that increasing potassium and magnesium intake, preferably through diet, may be linked to better blood pressure control. These minerals are they are very important for optimal functioning of the nervous system, blood vessels, and heart muscles.
The recommended daily dose for magnesium is up to 400mg in men and 300 mg in women, and for potassium is about 4.7 grams per day. These are best is obtained through a diet rich in vegetables and seeds or nuts.
Learn more about magnesium-rich foods that you can incorporate into your diet.
7. Stress management
High anxiety and stress levels stimulate the production of hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, which increase heart rate and contract blood vessels. All of these factors can increase blood pressure.
If stress is constant, this can increase average blood pressure over time. Stress can also hinder any treatment you may be undergoing, and can increase your overall risk of cardiovascular diseases. Read about the herbs for anxiety and stress that you can use to manage stress levels naturally, or speak to your doctor about whether anxiety medication is right for you.