8 natural remedies for High Blood Pressure
A diagnosis of high blood pressure can be a strange one. Usually, as the patient, you don’t feel any different and the thought of taking the medication that is usually offered will make you wonder if there is another way.
The good news is that you can control your blood pressure by adopting a healthier lifestyle, and if you do, the even better new is that you will have a much better chance of avoiding being put on medication. Here are nine ways you can control your blood pressure without medication.
- Lose those extra pounds
As you weight goes up your blood pressure will keep it company. Pile on enough pounds and you could end up with sleep apnea (interrupted breathing at night) and that will also raise your blood pressure. Very generally, it can be possible to reduce your blood pressure by around 1 millimetre of mercury (mm Hg) for every kilogram (around 2.2 pounds) that you lose. Keep an eye on your waist measurement too, because people who carry a lot of weight around their middle are at a greater risk of developing high blood pressure.
There is no substitute for regular exercise and if you find the right one for you, it can even be good fun. Around 150 minutes a week – around half an hour most days can get your blood pressure down by 5 to 8 mm Hg. Don’t fancy jogging around the park? Try swimming or an exercise class. Experiment till you find something you like. Then keep it up!
- Eat healthy
Try introducing whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and low-fat dairy products. If you can cut back on saturated fat and cholesterol you can lower your blood pressure by up to 11 mm Hg! And cutting back on salt, even a small amount, can help to improve heart health and give about 5 to 6 mm Hg reduction in blood pressure. Don’t sprinkle salt on food, cut back gradually, and your palate will soon adjust.
- Keep a food diary.
Actually writing down what you eat and drink, even if it is only over a week, can be very useful for identifying your eating habits, both good and bad!
- Learn to shop smart
Read labels before you buy because many items contain more salt and saturated fats than you think. If you do this often enough you will soon get a reliable idea of what is in your purchases or in the meals you eat out.
- Manage alcohol intake.
It is true that a moderate intake of alcohol can actually lower blood pressure (Yay!) but it is a balancing act to make sure that you don’t go too far and start raising your blood pressure. Drinking sensibly or giving up altogether will have the potential to lower your blood pressure, potentially by 4 mm Hg.
- Quit smoking
Every cigarette you smoke will raise your blood pressure for a considerable time afterwards and put you at risk of many other disease. You know how harmful it is, Just don’t!
- Reduce your stress
Life is stressful, and there is not always a lot we can do about it. But doing what you can to avoid or limit stressful situations will definitely help your blood pressure. Try yoga or other meditative activities to de-stress. Your blood pressure will thank you.
There is a lot that you can do without having to be on medication for high blood pressure. Buy yourself a blood pressure monitoring kit to use at home (often readings done in the surgery will be a bit higher from the anxiety) and see your doctor regularly so that they and you are aware of how your blood pressure is responding to the changes in lifestyle that you are making.
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