An estimate by the American Heart Association indicates that about 30% of adults in the United States suffer from high blood pressure.
Also called hypertension, this condition doesn’t come with any noticeable symptoms, which explains why millions of people across the globe do not know they have it. It is also dubbed as the silent killer because it increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, cognitive decline, kidney failure, and aneurysm.
While there are medications that can lower blood pressure, they may lead to side effects including dizziness, insomnia, and cramps. The good news is that there are ways to reduce high blood pressure naturally.
5 Natural Ways to Reduce High Blood Pressure
Read on and find out the best ways to reduce high blood pressure naturally.
1. Try Brisk Walking
You may have already heard plenty of health experts say that hypertensive patients should go for a walk at least half an hour daily. However, it pays to understand that not all walks are created equal.
It is recommended to go for a power walk to make the heart more efficient at using oxygen. Doing this regularly can enable your heart to pump blood without working too hard. Make it a point to increase your speed or distance every session.
2. Practice Deep Breathing
Deep breathing and meditative practices including yoga and tai chi can go a long way in reducing stress hormones. When you are stressed out, your body produces more renin, which elevates blood pressure.
As little as 5 minutes of deep breathing in the morning and at night can immensely help in reducing blood pressure. Take deep breaths, making certain that your belly expands. Release all your tension when you exhale.
3. Reduce Salt Intake
Sodium sensitivity is strongly linked to high blood pressure. However, there is no way of telling whether you are sodium sensitive or not. For this reason, it is recommended to cut back on your salt intake. For low blood pressure, 1,500 mg of sodium daily should be your target.
Take note that this doesn’t simply entail going easy on the salt shaker. Most of the sodium you consume daily comes from processed foods. Read product labels and see how much sodium there is in each serving. Also consider replacing salt with spices, herbs, and other salt-free seasoning blends to keep your foods tasty.
4. Control Caffeine Consumption
If you are drinking several cups of coffee daily, you may want to consider reducing your consumption. It may also be beneficial for your health to switch to decaf coffee. For many years, scientists have been studying the link between caffeine and blood pressure.
Caffeine may tighten blood vessels and amplify the effects of stress. The heart pumps more blood when you are stressed out, and caffeine magnifies this effect. Decaf coffee and tea serve as great alternatives if you want to lower blood pressure.
5. Keep Stress Levels in Check
According to a study by the University of California, working over 41 hours per week increases your risk of high blood pressure by 15%. This may be because the more time you spend working, the less time you have for exercising and eating healthily. While it may be tempting to work additional hours to survive in today’s struggling economic times, you must not forget to take care of your body and ensure you still get proper nutrition and adequate rest.
High blood pressure shouldn’t be taken lightly. Ignoring it can lead to more serious health conditions that can be potentially life-threatening. Be sure to consult your doctor to ensure that you are not suffering from any underlying medical conditions.
These natural ways to reduce high blood pressure can prove to be just as effective as prescription medications so long as you stay consistent and avoid triggers that cause your blood pressure to increase.