Hypertension (high blood pressure) cannot be cured. You may, however, rather consider natural remedies for high blood pressure to manage it.
Usually, when you suffer from high blood pressure, the medical profession prescribes medication. Even so, it may just serve you better to first try natural remedies for high blood pressure. It is much healthier when your blood pressure is brought under control in a natural way.
Why is High Blood Pressure Bad?
High blood pressure causes pressure on the walls of your arteries which may damage both blood vessels and organs. The prevalence of hypertension (high blood pressure) is often called the “silent killer” as there may not be any symptoms to alert a person of the condition. It is predicted that in 2025 about 1.56 billion people worldwide will be affected by high blood pressure.
While the number one silent killer is heart disease, there are other diseases also labeled as silent killers such as diabetes, pancreatic cancer, renal cell cancer, etc.
When blood pressure is not controlled, there is a greater risk for complications that may lead to heart disease, heart failure, or stroke. It is therefore imperative for high blood pressure to be detected early and managed.
Some of the natural remedies for high blood pressure you can try include:
The quickest and best way to get the blood flowing through your arteries is by doing exercises or participating in activities that get the heart pumping and make it stronger.
Regardless of what type of exercise appeals to you most, make sure you go at it long enough to benefit your heart. Exercises that may appeal to you are:
- participating in some sports activities such as football, soccer, rugby, tennis, etc.
- pilates (the moves may reduce artery stiffness)
- aerobic exercises that usually involve the whole body (swimming, running, jogging, walking, rowing, jumping, use of an elliptical trainer, dancing, stair stepper, cycling (outdoor or stationary), and kickboxing)
Using exercise as one of the natural remedies for high blood pressure you need to make it part and parcel of your new lifestyle. It is recommended to get 150 minutes of moderate exercise every week or 75 minutes when participating in vigorous exercise.
2. Lower salt/sodium intake
Avoiding processed foods, fried foods, canned foods, and junk foods will already help in reducing your salt intake, but you must consciously decide to rather eat foods low in sodium and season food with herbs and spices. If you must use salt opt for natural salts such as Himalayan or sea salt. Steer clear from table salt. The daily salt intake for adults should not exceed 6g, which is about 1 teaspoon.
3. Include potassium in your diet (and reduce the effects of sodium)
Potassium helps to naturally reduce the effects of sodium on blood pressure. When consuming adequate amounts of potassium it works to relieve the pressure on blood vessels.
Potassium intake plays a vital role in the regulation of blood pressure. The higher the intake, the more sodium is lost through urination which makes it one of the best natural remedies for high blood pressure. Low potassium intake adversely affects blood pressure by causing it to rise.
The daily potassium intake for adults is recommended at 4700mg.
Potassium-rich foods include:
- medium banana (420mg)
- 125ml (half a cup) of sweet potatoes 475mg)
- avocado (100 grams contains 485mg potassium)
- apricots (100 grams 259mg potassium)
- cantaloupe (100g has 267mg potassium), etc.
Other potassium-rich foods are fat-free yogurt, halibut, molasses, mushrooms, oranges, peas, potatoes, prunes, raisins, spinach, tomatoes, tuna, nuts and seeds, lima beans, etc.
4. Consume less alcohol
When consuming alcohol in a moderate fashion, i.e. one drink (10g) for women and 2 drinks (20g) for men on a daily basis, it may have a cardiovascular benefit.
Drinking alcohol, irrespective of the type increases blood pressure. The greater the number of alcoholic beverages consumed the higher the risk for elevated blood pressure that may become chronic in nature.
5. Reduce caffeine intake
If your main daily fluid intake comes from tea, coffee, and caffeinated drinks, it is important to limit these to 4 cups even if you do not have high blood pressure. More than this, which is about 1 liter, may result in increased blood levels. According to the FDA, 400mg of caffeine per day is safe. Drink more water, alternating between caffeinated drinks and water.
6. Manage stress levels
When a person finds him/herself in a stressful situation, their body produces hormones. The surge in hormones (only temporarily) causes an increase in blood pressure which lets the heart beat faster and also brings about a narrowing in the blood vessels.
While there is no scientific proof that stress can cause long-term hypertension, the hormones produced when a person is stressed can cause damage to the arteries which may lead to heart disease.
Some of the ways to you can keep stress levels down are:
- get sufficient sleep
- try meditation
- taking deep and slow breaths that can relax you
- remove activities from your daily schedule that are not important but take up your time
7. Lose weight
When a person is overweight they increase their risk for high blood pressure to develop. As a person’s weight increases their blood pressure goes up. Losing weight puts less strain on the heart. Being overweight means the heart has to work much harder to pump blood through the body.
Just changing what you eat can already result in weight loss. A low-fat diet that includes fiber, fruit, vegetables, drinking lots of water, and getting adequate exercise will result in dropping those extra pounds.
Foods that reduce blood pressure quickly (and are good for better health) are amaranth, berries, beans, beets, carrots, celery, chia seeds, greek yogurt, lentils, pistachio nuts, spinach, and tomatoes.
8. Eat dark chocolate
Due to the high cocoa content in dark chocolate, it is rich in flavonoids which are found abundantly in the cocoa solids of the cocoa bean. Eating dark chocolate certainly is a tasty way to lower blood pressure. Just make sure the cocoa content of the chocolate is between 50 and 70 percent and eat it in moderation (of course).
9. Cut down on added sugar
There is a growing body of research showing a link between added sugars and high blood pressure. These sugars are absorbed directly by the body and cause blood glucose to rise quickly. This also applies to refined carbohydrates, because due to the lack of fiber, these carbohydrates are quickly converted and absorbed into the blood as glucose.
The higher the blood glucose, the more insulin the body will have to make to absorb the glucose. And these high insulin levels ultimately cause an increase in blood pressure.
10. Add berries to your diet
Strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries are packed with natural compounds known as flavonoids that are good for your heart. For example, polyphenols can reduce the risk of stroke, heart disease, and diabetes, and they lower blood pressure.
11. Practice deep breathing
Breathing exercises that involve taking deep breaths in and out can be quite effective. By paying close attention to your breathing, your heart rate goes down and you become calmer. This ultimately leads to lower blood pressure.
12. Increase your calcium intake
To ensure healthy blood pressure it is necessary to maintain adequate calcium levels. Calcium is vital in the tightening and relaxation of blood vessels when required.
As people age, the daily recommended dosage increases. 1000mg daily is usually sufficient for most adults. A daily intake of 1200mg is recommended for females older than 50 end males older than 70 years.
You can get calcium by eating dark leafy greens and tofu, as well as dairy products.
13. Magnesium supplementation
Magnesium is an important mineral needed for the regulation of many different body systems such as blood pressure, muscle and nerve function, and blood sugar.
Just like calcium, magnesium also helps blood vessels relax. A magnesium deficiency is quite rare, but according to the NIH (National Institute of Health), older people do not get sufficient magnesium from their diets.
The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for adults aged 19 and older is 400-420 mg for men and 310-320 mg for women. You can include magnesium in your diet by eating extra vegetables, dairy products, legumes, chicken, meat, and whole grains.
If you have high blood pressure, taking magnesium supplements can help lower your blood pressure. However, there are some things you should keep in mind when choosing a supplement. First, make sure that the brand you choose contains at least 400 mg of elemental magnesium per serving. Also, check the label to ensure that the product does not contain any ingredients that interfere with magnesium absorption.
In reviewing the results obtained from nine clinical trials on the effect of probiotics on blood pressure it was found that probiotic consumption brought about a significant reduction in blood pressure levels.
While the benefits of probiotics are plenty, it is worth noting those probiotics with multiple strains yielded better results than those with a single strain, especially in people with blood pressure higher than 130/85.
You are encouraged to talk to your doctor before taking dietary supplements. Any mention in this article of a specific product does not represent an endorsement of that product.