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People diagnosed with high blood pressure always have one worry in mind, they ponder over the thought of taking medication for a long time. High blood pressure has no symptoms and is a major risk for heart disease and stroke. These two are the leading causes of death in the United States. A number of people with high blood pressure have it under control but when the pressure gets high for too long it can extend and damage your arteries. As we all know, lifestyle is a contributing factor for high blood pressure. Living a healthy lifestyle helps to control your blood pressure reducing the need for medication. Here is how to reduce high blood pressure naturally.

Go for Healthy Diets

Switching to a diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy product can lower your blood pressure by up to 11 mm Hg if it’s high. This type of eating plan is referred to as the Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet. You can take a long time to adapt to a certain mode of eating but the below tips can bring you a step closer to that:

  • Have a food diary: Write down what you will eat for a full week which to help you understand your eating habits. Check on how you eat, how much, when and why.
  • Shop smartly: Read the food label as you’re shopping to ensure you are sticking to healthy food.
  • Boost your potassium intake: Potassium helps to counter-interact effects of sodium on blood pressure. Sources such as fruits and vegetables can improve your potassium level.

Exercise Regularly

Regular exercising strengthens your heart encouraging efficiency when pumping blood, hence lowering pressure in the arteries. Taking 150 minutes to do moderate exercise like walking, or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise like running every week can bring your blood pressure down. What’s more, exercising reduces blood pressure even further as stated by the National Walker’s Health Study. Generally, walking 30 minutes daily can lower your blood pressure tremendously. And your heart health will be improved.

Cut on High Sodium Intake

The amount of salt in processed and prepared foods is very high around the world. This has led to increased sodium consumption in half of the population today. The effects of high sodium intake vary with different people. Those with high blood pressure and those with normal levels all seem to have a sensitivity to salt. All in all, limit your sodium to 2,300 mg a day or less. Also, swap out processed foods with fresh ones and try seasoning with herbs and spices, rather than salt especially if you have issues with high blood pressure. However, the above daily salt recommendations make sense for people who are salt sensitivity.

Manage Your Stress

Stress is a key contributor to high blood pressure. Whenever you have chronic stress, your body goes to a fight mode which means a faster heart rate and constricted blood vessels. Stress might also push you into drinking alcohol or eating unhealthy food which negatively affects your blood pressure. Multiple studies have explained how managing stress levels can help reduce high blood pressure. Here are two recommendations from the studies:

  • Listen to soothing music: Taking time to listen to calming music when you’re stressed helps relax your nervous system. Research says that it’s an effective complement to other blood pressure therapies.
  • Work less: A stressful working condition and working long hours are linked to high blood pressure.

Cut on Caffeine

Try and drink caffeine then immediately check your blood pressure levels, you will notice that caffeine causes an instant boost. But this isn’t enough to suggest that regular caffeine intake causes a lasting increase in blood pressure. As a matter of fact, those who drink caffeinated tea and coffee tend to have a lower risk of heart disease, including high blood pressure. For the non-regular caffeine drinkers, it might affect them strongly. Therefore, if you suspect that you’re caffeine sensitive, cutting back on it can help reduce the high blood pressure.

Limit Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol can be both useful and harmful to the body. Research says that alcohol can raise blood pressure up to 16 percent. Low to moderate consumption of alcohol is said to protect the heart, but sometimes that benefit is offset by the negative effect. Limiting your alcohol to one drink per day in women and two a day in men can potentially lower the blood pressure. Plus, excess consumption of alcohol can reduce the effectiveness of blood pressure medications.

Conclusion

High blood pressure affects a large group of people around the whole world. While we might use drugs to treat it, there are other natural ways that can really help. Controlling your blood pressure through the above ways can ultimately reduce your blood pressure level.

All images by Pixabay

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