Depending on the level of your blood pressure, you may need to take medication to get it under control.
Once high blood pressure (HBP) is under control with medication, you can try using lifestyle techniques to lower your blood pressure and reduce your need for the medication.
A medical professional can check your blood pressure.
Blood pressure is usually divided into categories, which include:
- Normal blood pressure: below 120/80
- Pre-hypertension blood pressure: 120-139/80-89
- First stage hypertension: 140-159/90-99
- Second stage hypertension: 160/100 and above
Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet.
This is a medically designed and studied diet plan focusing on reducing blood pressure.
It was shown the significantly lower both numbers measured with your blood pressures.
The diet is high in vegetables, fruits, low-fat dairy products, whole grains, and lean proteins.
It is also low in sodium, added sugars, and fats.
#1: Don’t add excess salt to your foods.
Avoid adding more than a pinch of salt to your food when you cook it and don’t add salt once you are getting ready to eat.
Salt makes your body retain fluid, which can lead to an increase in blood pressure.
#2: Avoid eating processed foods to Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally
Processed foods are typically loaded with salt and other additives, such as the preservative sodium benzoate
Read labels and buy low-salt, low-sodium, or unsalted foods.
Foods that commonly have a ton of salt in them are prepared, canned, and bottled foods.
Also, avoid prepared condiments, such as prepared mustard, salsa, chile sauce, soy sauce, ketchup, barbecue sauce, and other sauces.
#3: Eat a moderate, lean diet to Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally
Focus on moderation and eating a balanced diet.
Try eating a plant-based diet with lots of fruits and vegetables.
Try to have at least 1 meal each day that mainly consists of fruits and vegetables.
#4: Reduce foods that are high in sugar
This means you should avoid candy bars and processed carbs.
Eat healthier meats like chicken or fish.
If you have a craving for sugar, eat a piece of fruit instead of a piece of candy.
#5: Increase your fiber intake.
Fiber won’t lower your blood pressure on its own, but it helps to regulate your digestion and keep you healthy in general.
Most vegetables are high in fiber, especially those with leafy greens.
Many fruits, nuts, and legumes (beans and peas) are also rich in fiber, as are whole-grain products.
#6: Eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
Consume fish twice a week or more, as they will provide you with omega-3 fatty acids, lower fats called triglycerides, and promote overall heart health.
Fish is high in protein, and many types of fish, including salmon, mackerel, and herring, also have high levels of omega-3 fatty acids.
The omega-3 fatty acids are highest in the oils of the fish, so if you eat canned fish, don’t discard the oil.
Eat it along with the fish!
#7: Increase your intake of dietary potassium.
Too much potassium can be harmful, but some are necessary.
You may need more potassium if you are active, and less if you are elderly or sick.
Some foods that are naturally high in potassium include:
- Tomatoes/tomato juice
- Fresh and dried fruits
#8: Talk to your doctor about adding supplements to your diet.
Many natural remedies have scientific evidence to show that they can lower high blood pressure, but you should never attempt to replace your blood pressure medication without talking with your doctor.
The top supplements that may assist in lowering blood pressure are coenzyme Q10, omega-3, fish oil, garlic, curcumin (from turmeric), ginger, cayenne, olive oil, nuts, black cohosh, hawthorn, magnesium, and chromium.
Ask your doctor if these are safe for you to take.
#9: Stop smoking to Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally
Stimulants in cigarette smoke, like nicotine, can increase blood pressure.
If you stop smoking, you may be able to lower your blood pressure, help your heart to become healthier and reduce your chances of getting other diseases, including lung cancer.
#10: Consume less caffeine.
Stopping drinking coffee, soda, and other caffeinated beverages will lower your blood pressure.
Even 1 or 2 cups of coffee can raise blood pressure to an unhealthy level, so it’s best to cut it out completely.
If you are a person who drinks a lot of caffeine (more than 4 caffeinated drinks a day), you may need to taper yourself off caffeine to prevent withdrawal symptoms, such as headaches.
#11: Lose weight to Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally
Carrying around extra weight causes your heart to work harder all the time and this increases your blood pressure.
By losing this extra weight, through changes to your diet and exercising more often, your heart won’t have to beat as hard and you’ll lower your blood pressure.
#12: Avoid recreational use of drugs and alcohol.
Excessive use of drugs and alcohol can damage many organs in the body, including the liver and the kidneys. This may contribute to high blood pressure.
#13: Reduce chronic stress to Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally
If you are under chronic stress where you produce that stress hormone every day, then your cardiovascular system will naturally go into a state where it is overworking.
This overworking happens because the stress hormone increases your pulse, respiration, and heart rate.
Your body thinks you need to either fight or run and is naturally getting your body ready to do one of those things.
#14: Meditate to calm yourself and reduce your blood pressure.
Take time every day to calm yourself, as this can reduce your overall stress.
Simply observing and slowing the respiration rate produces a significant reduction in blood pressure.
When you are meditating, you can simply focus on breathing deeply and slowly.
Do this until you fall asleep or you feel relaxed.
#15: Take a walk or do some other type of exercise every day.
Walk every day for at least 20 to 30 minutes at a moderate speed of about 3.0 mph (4.8 km/h).
Study after study has demonstrated that the mere act of walking has a suppression effect on hypertension.
Can’t walk outside? Use a treadmill inside.
#16: Supplement diet with some plant remedies.
Although not scientifically verified, there are several remedies which are thought to help hypertension:
Taking garlic extract is supposed to help prevent heart disease.
High BP and cholesterol are also said to be affected by garlic.
Hibiscus can act as a diuretic and may have actions that mimic medications such as ACE inhibitors and hypertension medications.
You can also try ginger tea, which is used in India to naturally reduce BP.
Drinking coconut water, which contains potassium and magnesium, can help with normal muscle function.
Taking Fish oil, which is a concentration of omega-3 fatty acids, may help with fat metabolism and reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.
- If your BP stays at or above 140 mmHg over 90 mmHg (140/90) while watching your pressure and using these tips, you should see your doctor.
- Recognize the need for medication.
- Frequently, lifestyle changes are not enough to reduce BP to healthy levels.
- In many cases, prescription medications must be used. In this situation, the most effective anti-hypertensive regimen is a combination of both lifestyle changes and medication.
Take charge of your Health and Happiness!
Dr. Malik Haruna King