Your health is one of the most important things that you will manage in your life. When you aren't in the best shape, it is hard to function and can be a challenge when taking on new activities. Taking care of yourself goes a long way especially if you suffer from a common condition known as high blood pressure. Every year millions of people (adults and children), are diagnosed and living with high blood pressure. Some may not know that they have the condition and others are unsure how to treat the disease. Though a common diagnosis, if left untreated, high blood pressure can be very dangerous and could become deadly.
There are plenty of materials available regarding how to lower high blood pressure. It can be very overwhelming to sort through tons of information. Do not fret; managing your condition doesn't have to be challenging. Although there are plenty of prescription medications available, there are also many natural remedies to help lower your high blood pressure as well. Learning how to lower your high blood pressure using natural resources is an excellent addition to your doctor recommended regime. Or if you are someone who likes to stick to natural remedies these nine tips are great to add into your arsenal of self-care.
Before trying any of the recommendations below, you should always consult a medical physician to help find the best options to manage your high blood pressure. No one regimen fits all people. With that being said, you must find what works best for your situation. This article will provide you nine best ways to lower high blood pressure naturally.
What is High Blood Pressure?
The best way to combat high blood pressure is to understand more thoroughly what it actually is. High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is the condition in which the force of blood that is pushing against your artery walls is elevated. Over time your heart will continue to pump more blood to narrowing arteries, increasing your blood pressure.
High blood pressure is similar to over-inflating a basketball. There is a certain amount of air that is sufficient to keep the ball functioning in tip-top shape. However, if you overinflate the ball, it will not perform very well and could damage the ball overall. This is why it is essential to monitor our blood pressure and maintain a healthy system. If our blood pressure is too high, it can cause severe damage.
If high blood pressure remains unchecked, other medical issues may arise. Over time high blood pressure can lead to other health issues such as strokes, heart failure, and chronic kidney disease if left untreated. There are several known causes of high blood pressure, but it is commonly linked to genetics and lifestyle choices. Smoking, excessive salt intake, obesity, and stress have been identified as causes of high blood pressure. Other reasons why someone may have high blood pressure may be due to a history of hypertension in their family.
Some conditions are passed down genetically and can still be an issue regardless of the healthy lifestyle one may live. If this is the case, it is recommended to speak with family members to better understand your family medical history. You should also regularly monitor your blood pressure by visiting a licensed medical physician. Taking care of your health is very important and learning how to prevent hypertension is key to a healthier lifestyle.
9 High Blood Pressure Signs and Symptoms
Often high blood pressure is a condition that can go unnoticed. Many people are not aware that they have high blood pressure and because of this are not treating their disease correctly or at all. At times high blood pressure may not show visible signs of danger, which is how it earned the nickname, "The Silent Killer." The symptoms and signs associated with high blood pressure can be linked to other medical issues and conditions, which is another reason why it may go unnoticed. There is only one sure fire way to determine if you have high blood pressure. By scheduling regular medical screenings and doctor visits, you will be able to identify if you suffer from hypertension as soon as possible.
Some signs and symptoms of high blood pressure can be as follows:
- Distorted Vision
- Chest Pain
- Difficulty Breathing
Though identifying high blood pressure may be a challenge, there are several signs and symptoms that you should memorize. Arming yourself ahead of time can keep you healthy and prevent urgent issues from unchecked hypertension. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should seek medical attention right away.
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Blood Pressure Chart
Systolic:Less than 120 mmHg Diastolic: Less than 80mmHg
At Risk (Pre- Hypertension)
Systolic:120-139 mmHg Diastolic: 80-89 mmHg
Systolic:140 mmHg or higher. Diastolic: 90 mmHg or higher
Blood Pressure Range
These are the blood pressure ranges for individuals who are healthy, at risk for Pre-Hypertension and have Hypertension. This chart is just a guideline to be used solely for informational references. For the most accurate data available, please contact your licensed healthcare professional for additional assistance.
Knowing your numbers is vital in the fight against high blood pressure. The better you understand your numbers, the more equipped you are to keep yourself healthy. Blood pressure is measured using two types of data information, called systolic and diastolic.
If you have taken a glance at your medical tests, you may have seen these words but had no idea what they meant. Let's take a quick look at these two essential numbers and determine how to tell where you fall in the fight against high blood pressure.
The systolic rate measures the pressure of the blood in your vessels each time your heart beats. The systolic rate is the first number listed in your results. The diastolic rate measures the pressure of the blood in your vessels when your heart is at rest. The diastolic rate is the second number reported when your blood pressure is measured. If the results of your blood pressure test are 110/70 mmHg, this means your systolic number is 110, and your diastolic number is 70.
Understanding your numbers is vital in the fight against high blood pressure. By knowing and understanding your test results, you can determine whether or not you are at risk for hypertension or pre-hypertension. When you know your status, you can better understand what you need to do to treat your condition.
How To Lower Blood Pressure Naturally
After you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, your next step is to discover how to manage your blood pressure. However, did you know there are various natural cures that one can use to lower their high blood pressure? Overmedicating yourself may be a concern for those who may suffer from other ailments or prefer to stick to natural healing remedies. Understanding what other options are available to treat high blood pressure is a great way to support your doctor prescribed regimen. Below are nine tried and tested ways to help lower your blood pressure naturally.
1. Eat Healthier Foods To Lower High Blood Pressure
Do you know what foods you should eat to keep your blood pressure in check? It makes sense to understand what we ingest into our bodies and how it can either help or harm you in the long run. Your body is a machine that should be well maintained, and it needs good fuel to function and fight off disease. The body is such an incredible system that for some ailments all you need to do is take care of your body and it will heal itself. When your body doesn't have the nutrients it needs to survive, it is harder for your body to heal naturally. This is why nutrition is critical to fighting off diseases and repairing our cells.
Eating a poor diet can contribute to high blood pressure and make it harder for your body to heal itself. Consuming healthy foods that are rich in potassium and other nutrients may help lower your blood pressure. Increasing the number of vegetables that you eat (especially leafy greens), is not only great for staying in shape but can lower your blood pressure as well. Be sure to incorporate plenty of fruits and vegetables in your diet to support a healthy system. Other foods that you should include in your diet are the following:
- Broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, and green beans
- Potatoes/ Sweet Potatoes
- Fruits, including melons, berries, avocados, oranges, and apricots
- Wild Caught Tuna and Salmon
- Nuts and seeds
2. Try Regular Exercise
Exercise is a great way to keep healthy, mentally and physically. The benefits of regular exercise have been documented in various studies and are proven to help conditions such as depression and heart disease. The benefits of exercise also can help with lowering your blood pressure. Regular physical activity helps make your heart stronger and keep it working.
The stronger your heart becomes, the easier it is to pump blood through your veins with less effort. By decreasing the amount of energy used to pump blood through your system, it will alleviate the pressure in your arteries, and effectively lower your blood pressure. Exercising for at least 30 minutes a day can lower your blood pressure. Consistent physical activity can help keep your blood pressure low and help you stay in shape as well. If you are ready to start working out, try walking for 30 minutes a day around your neighborhood or at your local park. For an excellent vigorous workout try running or joining a Zumba class. Make sure to choose an exercise that you love!
3.Reduce Your Salt (Sodium) Intake
Excessive salt in one's diet is a leading cause of high blood pressure. The worst part is that so much of the salt we consume is hidden and we aren't aware of how much salt we are consuming. A healthy adult should consume no more than 2,300 mg of sodium per day, but on average, Americans consume 3,400mg of sodium daily! That's a lot of salt! The problem is that salt is used to preserve a lot of our favorite foods or to increase the flavor of foods that may be bland. Even foods that claim they are healthy may be loaded with sodium to compensate for taste.
Managing your salt intake requires a little bit of vigilance and patience. When grocery shopping, make sure to read the labels on the back of your food before consumption. This is a great way to learn how to calculate the amount of sodium that you are ingesting. Sodium is also used to preserve frozen dinners and canned foods, so it's essential to stick to fresh foods such as fruits and veggies. When cooking, try to use little to no salt or other seasoning substitutes to stay within range of your daily sodium limits.
4. Learn Relaxation Techniques to Reduce Stress
Stress can significantly increase your blood pressure. Some people are often faced with daily stressors and may not take the time to relax or learn coping skills to deal with their stressful lives. Too much stress can raise your blood pressure and cause other issues. It is imperative to identify different stress-relieving activities that will help manage your stress and ultimately lower your blood pressure.
As we mentioned before, exercise works as a way to lower blood pressure, but it is also an excellent way to release the stress that is building up. Life can become exhausting at times, and sometimes we are unsure how to manage the overwhelming aspects of our lives. Setting aside 30 minutes a day to regularly workout will help manage your stress and help maintain a healthy heart. Meditation is also a great way to start your day and allow time to yourself to refocus on your priorities. It is best to find a method of stress relief that fits with your way of life.
5. Cut out Sugar and Carbs
Nutrition is vital when it comes to learning how to lower your blood pressure. Too much sugar and carbs can lead to unhealthy weight gain which can raise your blood pressure. Bad carbs can turn into sugar once ingested and will sit around your waistline making it harder to lose weight. Your body needs sugar to complete certain metabolic functions, but too much sugar can cause adverse effects. When consuming large amounts of sugar, your body will take the little bit that it needs to survive and the rest will sit in your body, transforming into fat.
Overconsumption of sugary foods has been found to be the cause of multiple medical conditions, including diabetes. Bad carbs from processed foods such as white bread, white rice, pastries, and sugary drinks add no nutritional value. Eating these types of foods should be done sparingly. Cutting down the amount of sugar in your diet will help with weight loss and maintaining a healthier blood pressure.
6. Lose Weight
Losing weight is a great way to keep your blood pressure low and stay healthy overall. As your weight increases, your blood pressure also increases because your heart has to work extra hard to function properly. A healthy weight can correct many medical issues. It doesn't take much weight loss to lower your blood pressure. Losing even a pound or two through diet and exercise can help reduce your blood pressure and make you feel healthier overall.
Exercising several times a week for at least 30 minutes a day is a great way to lose weight. Adding weightlifting to your workout regimen will help you gain muscle, helping you to burn fat along with improving your diet to maintain a healthier weight. Adding more vegetables and fruits to your diet will also help encourage weight loss.
7. Best Natural Supplements for High Blood Pressure
Taking natural supplements along with a healthy diet can help lower your blood pressure. Supplements such as fiber, folic acid (folate), CoQ10, and calcium are all excellent supplements to include with your food. If you are in the market for supplements, they can be purchased at your local health stores. Not all supplements are created equal, so please do your research before including them into your daily regimen. Some supplements contain filler minerals that have no nutritional value.
Although these supplements may help with lowering blood pressure, additional research is needed to determine the full range of potential benefits.
8. Increase Magnesium Intake
One specific natural supplement to try with your diet is magnesium. Not only does magnesium help with lowering your blood pressure, but it is also a great way to relieve muscle cramps. Researchers found that taking a magnesium supplement once a day could reduce the systolic and diastolic blood pressure by several millimeters. Not a fan of taking pills? Magnesium can be found naturally in various foods such as leafy greens vegetables, beans, whole grains, and nuts.
9. Eat Some Organic Dark Chocolate
Not all chocolates are created equal. Dark chocolate is not just a delicious treat, but it has immense health benefits including lowering high blood pressure. A 2007 German study followed 44 adults that were at risk for pre-hypertension. For several weeks, half the group received small pieces of dark chocolate while the other half received another type of chocolate. At the end of the study, the group that received the dark chocolate had lowered their systolic and diastolic pressures by several points. The group that received the other type of chocolate showed no improvement in their blood pressure testing.
Chocolate is a weakness to many, so be careful not to overdo it. Adding a small piece of dark chocolate to your daily diet may increase your chances of lowering your blood pressure.
High Blood Pressure is Manageable
High blood pressure can be deadly, but it is also very preventable and treatable. The great thing about these nine tips is that you can start implementing these actions to lower your high blood pressure today!
Many of these recommended foods are commonly found within your home or at your nearest grocery, while you can increase your physical activity just by walking around your neighborhood. As with any health recommendation, it is always important to speak with a medical professional before taking any actions to lower your blood pressure. Finding out what works for you is key to lowering your blood pressure and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Do you suffer from high blood pressure? Which tip from above has worked for you? Let us know in the comments below!