Lower High Blood Pressure – Also known as hypertension, high blood pressure is popularly referred to as “silent killer”. This is because it often shows no symptom and is a significant risk to heart health and may cause a stroke. That is why it is among the leading causes of death in the US.
High blood pressure is a critical condition that can damage the heart.
Statistics show that it affects one in three people in the US and about 1 billion people worldwide.
Blood pressure is dependent on how much blood your heart is pumping and how much there is resistance to blood flow in your arteries. That is, the narrower your arteries, the higher your blood pressure will be.
What Is High Blood Pressure?
Diverse lifestyle factors or genetics can cause high blood pressure. Sometimes, it is a combination of both. If left unattended and treated, it increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.
New guidelines from the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology states that nearly half of Americans have high blood pressure.
These guidelines also reduce the threshold of high blood pressure from 140/80 mmHg to 130/80 mmHg. That is anything below 120/80 mmHg is normal.
The implication of this is that 14% more U.S. adults have high blood pressure. While many of these individuals will opt for drugs, only one in five of them need these meds. If your increased blood pressure level is a result of unhealthy lifestyle habits, these simple tips will help to reduce or eliminate the need for drugs.
10 Proven Tips To Lower High Blood Pressure Quickly and Naturally
Here are proven tips to reduce blood pressure naturally without medication. Before using these tips, confer with your doctor to know which works best for you.
1. Walk and Do Exercises Daily
One of the best ways to reduce blood pressure level is to do exercises. Regular exercising helps to strengthen the heart, making it more efficient at pumping blood.
As you work to increase your heart rate and breathing rate, your heart gets stronger and can pump blood with little effort. When this happens, the pressure in the arteries is reduced.
Doing 150 minutes of moderate exercises like walking or 75 minutes of intense exercise like running every week can help to improve heart health. If you cannot do these activities, you can also increase your activity level by doing the following:
- Using the stairs instead of elevators
- Walking instead of driving or taking public transport
- Doing household chores instead of hiring a staff
- Bike ride
- Play a team sport.
Regularly doing those activities mentioned above and working up at least half an hour a day is enough.
However, National Walkers’ Health Study affirms that the more you do exercises, the lower your blood rate levels.
2. Eat Less Sugar and Refined Carbohydrates
Diverse scientific studies prove that reducing the consumption of sugar and refined carbs can help to lose weight and lower hypertension levels.
A 2010 study examined both the low-carb diet and low-fat diet and found that while both diets produced weight loss, the low-carb diet is more effective in lowering hypertension.
The low-carb diet reduced blood levels by 4.5 mm Hg diastolic and 5.9 mm Hg systolic. The low-fat diet, when used alongside a diet drug, reduced blood levels by 0.4 mm Hg diastolic and 1.5 mm Hg systolic.
Another study was done in 2012, and it analyzed low-carb diets and heart disease risk. It found that these diets reduced blood pressure by an average of 3.10 mm Hg diastolic and 4.81 mm Hg systolic.
An added benefit of a low-carb diet and low-sugar diet is that you feel fuller for longer as you are eating more fat and protein.
3. Drink Less Alcohol
Alcohol intake can raise blood pressure and has been linked to about 16% of such cases in the world. Although some researches suggest that drinking low-to-moderate amounts of alcohol may protect the heart, these benefits may be outweighed by adverse side effects.
In the US, moderate consumption of alcohol means a woman should only take one drink daily and a man two bottles. If you often drink more than this, you need to reduce your consumption.
4. Reduce Salt Intake
A large number of Americans, including 86% of those with increased blood pressure, consume more salt than the recommended Dietary Guidelines for Americans. This is not good as it increases the risk of hypertension and lowers heart health.
So, there is a need to reduce your salt intake to less than the advised limit of 2,300 milligrams; which is about a teaspoon a day. This may be the game-changer in your blood pressure journey. Reducing your sodium intake by 10 or 20 percent is also a good idea.
To do this, you can make little changes like not salting your eggs or finishing your lunch without a pickle. If you stick to these changes over a long period, you will notice a drop in your blood pressure level.
5. Eat Garlic or Take Garlic Extract
It is proven that eating fresh garlic can reduce the risk of hypertension. A clinical study also affirms that preparation of time-release garlic extract is more useful to lower blood pumping levels than the conventional powder tablets.
A 2012 review remarked on a study conducted on 87 people with high blood pressure that showed a diastolic reduction of 6 mm Hg and a systolic reduction of 12 mm Hg in those who consumed garlic. When compared to people without any treatment, these showed improved heart health.
6. Load Up On Probiotics
Probiotics are healthy bacteria contained in yogurt and fermented foods.
A 2014 review of previous studies showed that when compared to people who didn’t, people who ate more probiotics showed a reduction in the systolic blood pressure level by at least 3.6 points and their diastolic lowered by at least 2.4 points.
It was particularly evident in those with their blood level higher than 130/85; as they showed more significant reduction after eating probiotics for two months. Experts affirm that although probiotics play an active role in heart-healthy lifestyle, their effect on blood pressure is modest.
7. Quit Smoking
Immediately after smoking, there is always an increase in blood pressure levels. Although this is only for a short time, smoking is still bad for your heart health. While the increase is temporary, it also has the effect of dulling the taste buds.
This makes smokers add more than enough salt to their food and reduce the possibility of lowering sodium intake.
8. Stay Outdoors
A reduced level of vitamin D in the body has also been linked to increasing the risk of high blood pressure. Sources of vitamin D include the skin’s exposure to direct sunlight, eating vitamin D fortified foods, or taking supplements.
However, most researches show that supplements do not help. Hence, the need to spend more time outdoor and eat more vitamin D rich foods.
A 2014 study showed that when the skin is exposed to sunlight, a chemical reaction causes blood vessels to widen. This creates a drop in blood pressure levels.
A separate study conducted in 2010 showed that people who spend more time outdoors, walking in the forest or nature showed a more significant decline in heart rate, blood pressure, and stress hormones.
9. Manage Stress
Although we live in stressful times, you must find ways to reduce stress. This is essential for improved health and a healthy blood pressure level.
There are diverse ways to relieve stress, so find what works best for you and stick to it. These ways include taking a walk, practicing yoga and meditation, reading a book, watching your favorite comedy show, exercising, spending time with the people you love, and listening to music daily.
Listening to music every day has been linked to a reduction in systolic blood pressure levels.
A recent study conducted over 20 years has also revealed that regular sauna sessions can help to lower the risk of heart-related ailments or death. Acupuncture has also been shown to help reduce both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
10. Good & Restful Sleep Is Key
Usually, blood pressure levels lower when you are asleep. This implies that poor sleep can affect blood pressure. People who suffer from sleep deprivation have a higher risk of suffering from high blood pressure. It is especially true for middle-aged people.
For most people, getting a restful and good night sleep is hard. To enjoy a restful sleep, we suggest having a regular sleep schedule. That way, your body is used to it.
Other things to do is to ensure you spend time relaxing at night, make your bedroom comfortable, avoid sleeping during the day, and exercising during the daytime.
According to a study by the National Sleep Heart Health,
Regularly sleeping less than 7 hours a night and more than 9 hours a night was associated with an increased prevalence of hypertension. Regularly sleeping less than 5 hours a night was linked to a significant risk of hypertension long term.
A large portion of the world’s population is affected by high blood pressure. Although the go-to option is to use drugs to treat it, there are other natural methods to lower blood levels quickly. The tips in this article will help you reduce the risk of hypertension, stroke, and other heart-related diseases.
If you are finding it hard to enforce these natural tips, it may be a good idea to involve your friends, family, and coworkers in the process. That keeps you accountable to someone and also provides support for when the journey is tough.