Also known as hypertension, high blood pressure affects about 30% of Americans, causing hundreds and thousands of deaths every year. While the dangerous health condition doesn’t have any apparent symptoms, it shouldn’t be ignored or taken lightly at any cost. High blood pressure is a serious health risk that often leads to heart problems such as heart disease, heart stroke, or heart attack, and in severe cases, death.
Here are 10 proven ways to lower your blood pressure and keep it down.
One of the best things you can do to keep your blood pressure normal is exercise daily. As you regularly exercise, your heart health improves drastically. The arteries of your heart get stronger, and your heart pumps blood with less effort. All of this results in lower blood pressure.
According to a 2013-study by the American Heart Association (AHA) and American College of Cardiology (ACC), you should strive for a 40-minute exercise three to four times a week. You can engage in a moderate-intensity to high-intensity exercise. Research shows that walking for 30 minutes a day can control your high blood pressure.
Start Losing Weight
Only if you’re overweight.
Various studies support that following weight-loss diets help reduce blood pressure. Making realistic changes to your diet plan can help you lose extra pounds easily. Consult a dietician that can create an exclusive diet plan for you. In this way, you will shed extra calories without losing out on essential nutrients that are beneficial for your health.
Stop Eating Sugar
And everything sweet.
Consuming sugar and refined carbohydrates can increase your weight and spike up your blood pressure. Both these cases can prove to be dangerous for your heart health, which is why you should follow a strict low-carb diet. This means avoiding sugar-loaded drinks, desserts, and sugary sauces such as ketchup, sweet chili sauce, barbecue sauces, and the likes. If you’re having canned food, make sure to check it doesn’t contain sugar in any form.
Easier said than done.
But if you truly aim to keep your blood pressure normal, you will need to stop smoking at some point. This is because tobacco in cigarettes can temporarily increase your blood pressure by injuring your heart vessels and arteritis. A study concluded that children living in a smoker’s home tend to have a high blood pressure level than those in non-smoker’s homes.
To seriously quit smoking, try nicotine replacement therapy, chew on sugarless gum to avoid tobacco craving, or distract yourself by involving in physical activity.
Curb Your Drinking
Besides smoking, you should cut back on alcohol as well.
Consider drinking less alcohol to prevent raising your blood pressure. Ideally, women should consider drinking alcohol one drink a day while men two drinks a day.
Keep Stress at Bay
Stress management is crucial to prevent high blood pressure. One of the best ways to lower your stress symptoms is by keeping a healthy and positive attitude.
You need to make yourself understand that certain events can’t be controlled. When in a stressful situation, try relaxation techniques such as meditation, tai-chi, or yoga. Make these stress-busting activities a daily part of your routine. Take some time out to do things you love, whether it is cooking, painting, reading, etc. Indulging in activities you enjoy the most is a brilliant way to get rid of stress symptoms in next to no time.
Eat Cocoa or Dark Chocolate
However, make sure you have them in small amounts.
Large quantities of cocoa or dark chocolate can damage your heart. These natural goodies are packed with flavonoids that are known for relaxing blood vessels, so having cocoa or dark chocolate can help lower blood pressure instantly.
Consider Natural Supplements
One of the easy ways to lower blood pressure is having natural supplements as part of your regular diet. Natural supplements that help decrease blood pressure are:
- Fish oil
- Sesame oil
- Whey protein
- Aged garlic extract
- The maritime pine bark extract
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Your blood pressure gets back to normal when you are sleeping. If you are sleep-deprived, it will affect your overall blood pressure. Try setting a specific sleep schedule to sleep on time regularly. Relax at night, make your environment comfy and quiet, meditate or do some light exercise so that you can fall asleep better and quickly.
Ideally, you should get at least 7 – 8 hours of sleep every day. If you are unable to, compensate for it by taking a 1-hour nap in the afternoon.
Eat High-Protein Foods
According to a 2014 study, people who consumed more protein suffered from a lower risk of high blood pressure than those who followed other sorts of diets. Some of the healthiest and most delicious high-protein foods include:
- Fish – Salmon, tuna, etc.
- Chicken breast
- Greek Yogurt
- Cottage cheese
Most people struggle with the inability to control high blood pressure on a day to day basis. However, as you can see from this post, managing blood pressure isn’t as difficult as you may think. Following the easy ways to lower your blood pressure (discussed here) can help you maintain a healthy heart and reduce the risk of heart problems.