Eat Garlic Or Take Garlic Extract Supplements
Fresh garlic or garlic extract are both widely used to lower blood pressure.
A meta-analysis found that for people with high blood pressure, garlic supplements reduced their systolic blood pressure by up to about 5 mm Hg and reduced their diastolic blood pressure as much as 2.5 mm Hg .
According to a 2009 clinical study, a time-release garlic extract preparation may have a greater effect on blood pressure than regular garlic powder tablets .
How Much Beet Juice Should I Drink A Day
For the best results, drink one to two cups. And if youre looking for sustained reduction in blood pressure, drink at least that much on a daily basis. Beets are generally safe for consumption, but due to their high levels of oxalate content, they carry the risk of contributing to kidney stone formation.
Eat Some Dark Chocolate
Yes, chocolate lovers: Dark chocolate has been shown to lower blood pressure.
But the dark chocolate should be 60 to 70 percent cacao. A review of studies on dark chocolate has found that eating one to two squares of dark chocolate per day may help lower the risk of heart disease by lowering blood pressure and inflammation.
The benefits are thought to come from the flavonoids present in chocolate with more cocoa solids. The flavonoids help dilate, or widen, your blood vessels .
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Ask An Expert: Lowering Blood Pressure Without Pills
“I was recently diagnosed with high blood pressure. I’d like to lower it without medications, if I can. What are the best non-drug ways to reduce blood pressure? Is it possible to do this without popping pills?”
Answer from Craig Walsh, M.D., M.P.H., cardiologist with Providence St. Vincent Heart Clinic and the Providence Heart and Vascular Institute, and Miles Hassell, M.D., director of Providence Integrative Medicine:
Making healthful changes in your eating and exercise habits is an excellent first step to dealing with your high blood pressure. Your efforts will show results in just a few weeks. Even if your levels don’t go down as far as needed, your drug therapy may involve fewer drugs and at lower doses.
If you haven’t already done this, it’s also a good idea to talk with your doctor about all of the prescription and over-the-counter medicines you take. Some, including common pain relievers and decongestants, can elevate blood pressure.
Research studies have shown that the following strategies can lead to modest but lasting decreases in blood pressure. The payoff is big: Healthy blood pressure reduces your risk of stroke, heart failure and kidney disease.
For strength training, use light weights and do multiple repetitions. Your muscles should tire after 10 to 15 reps.
Physical activity yields a two-fer benefit for your blood pressure: Exercise is great for arterial health, and it builds muscle and burns stored fat to keep you at an ideal weight.
How Long Does It Take To Lower Blood Pressure
Each and every one of us is different. So, how long it takes to lower your blood pressure will depend on how high your levels are, the medication you’re taking to lower it, and how carefully you’re following the treatment plan prescribed for you by your doctor. Read more about how to safely lower your blood pressure in this overview.
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Do Beets Juice Unclog Arteries
A shot of beetroot juice can boost blood flow, reduce arterial stiffness and boost nitrate absorption nine-fold, a study from the University of the Sunshine Coast has found. She said dilated blood vessels indicated that the arteries were performing better with evidence of more nitric oxide.
How Much Exercise Do You Need To Do
Its recommended that you get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a week. But that 150 minutes can be broken up into more manageable chunks throughout the week.
You can start your exercise in 10-minute increments if youre just getting started back into an exercise routine, recommends Gray.
And consistency is key. It may take one to three months before you notice any difference in your blood pressure.
You also want to make sure youre working out hard enough. For moderate-intensity exercise, you want to aim for about 50% of your max heart rate. Another simple way to figure out if you need to push yourself a little more is the talk test.
If youre on a treadmill or walking, youd only be able to get out a few words, says Gray. You definitely wouldnt be able to sing or easily have a full conversation.
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The New Guidelines On High Blood Pressure
Under the old guidelines, you had to have a blood pressure reading of 140 or 90 mmHg . The former number is systolic pressure, the maximum pressure of a heartbeat The latter is diastolic pressure, the pressure between beats. Thirty-two percent of Americans exceeded one or both of the old pressure figures. But now, the American Heart Association segments hypertension into stage one , and stage two . Pescatello says that the new guidelines are meant to increase awareness of the problem of high blood pressure. Most of these people with hypertension who do hit the lower threshold can be treated with a lifestyle intervention, such as physical activity and dietary changes, she says.
Even if youre active every day, you could still be at risk for hypertension. Fixed risk factors, according to the AHA, include psychosocial stress, premature birth, low birth weight, chronic kidney disease, family history, increased age, low socioeconomic status, male sex, and obstructive sleep apnea. For people with hypertension, Pescatello recommends a home blood pressure monitor, which can cost less than $100. It can tell you a lot of good information about your own blood pressure, she says, which you can share with a physician when you go in for your yearly physical.
Exercise is shown to lower blood pressure. Check out Aaptivs workouts here.
Common Lisinopril Side Effects
Its common for the first dose of lisinopril to cause dizziness. If that happens once, dont be concerned. However, if it happens consistently, you should contact your healthcare provider.
Generally, lisinopril is well tolerated. In clinical trials, less than 6% of people discontinued the medication due to side effects.
Common side effects of lisinopril include:
- Chest pain
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Alcohol And Blood Pressure
A 2018 study, echoed by the World Health Organization , concluded that no amount of alcohol is safe for consumption, as alcohol leads to a loss of healthy life. Drinking frequently or binging on a large amount of alcohol in a small period of time can lead to health problems.
Drinking alcohol may also increase blood pressure for a short amount of time even in healthy people. If you drink too much over time, chronic hypertension can develop.
Are There Any Otc Medicines That Lower Blood Pressure
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Heart Disease Best To Avoid Marijuana
Smoking marijuana carries many of the same cardiovascular health hazards as smoking tobacco, which is a major cause of heart attack, stroke, and heart failure. Until we have a clearer picture of the connection between marijuana and heart diseases, people with a heart condition or at risk of heart attack or stroke due to hypertension should consider avoiding smoking marijuana of any kind. These recommendations are in alignment with Harvard Health.
Eat More Potassium And Less Sodium
Increasing your potassium intake and cutting back on salt can also lower your blood pressure .
Potassium is a double winner: It lessens the effects of salt in your system and eases tension in your blood vessels. However, diets rich in potassium may be harmful to people with kidney disease, so talk with your doctor before increasing your potassium intake.
Its easy to eat more potassium. So many foods are naturally high in potassium. Here are a few:
- other processed snacks
Foods labeled low fat are usually high in salt and sugar to compensate for the loss of fat. Fat is what gives food taste and makes you feel full.
Cutting down on or even better, cutting out processed food will help you eat less salt, less sugar, and fewer refined carbohydrates. All of this can result in lower blood pressure.
Make it a practice to check nutrition labels. According to the Food and Drug Administration , a sodium listing of 5 percent or less on a food label is considered low, while 20 percent or more is considered high (
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What Medications Are Used To Treat High Blood Pressure
Four classes of high blood pressure medications are considered first line when starting treatment. Sometimes other medications are coupled with these first-line drugs to better control your high blood pressure. First-line, pressure-lowering medications are:
- Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors block the production of the angiotensin II hormone, which the body naturally uses to control blood pressure. When angiotensin II is blocked, your blood vessels dont narrow. Examples: lisinopril , enalapril or captopril.
- Angiotensin II receptor blockers block this same hormone from binding with receptors in the blood vessels. ARBs work the same way as ACE inhibitors to keep blood vessels from narrowing. Examples: metoprolol , valsartan or losartan.
- Calcium channel blockers prevent calcium from entering the muscle cells of your heart and blood vessels, allowing these vessels to relax. Examples: amlodipine , nifedipine , diltiazem .
- Diuretics flush excess sodium from your body, reducing the amount of fluid in your blood. Diuretics are often used with other high blood pressure medicines, sometimes in one combined pill. Examples: indapamide, hydrochlorothiazide or chlorothiazide.
Lower Your Levels Without Medication
While many people use medications to lower their blood pressure, lifestyle changes are usually recommended, too. Eating a healthy diet, maintaining your weight, and getting regular exercise are good ways to prevent high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease, but they can help treat these problems, too. While lifestyle changes alone can’t cure high blood pressure, they can improve how well your medications work and help you avoid additional complications.
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Try These Medicinal Herbs
Herbal medicines have long been used in many cultures to treat a variety of ailments.
Some herbs have even been shown to possibly lower blood pressure. However, more research is needed to identify the doses and components in the herbs that are most useful.
Always check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking herbal supplements. They may interfere with your prescription medications.
Heres a partial list of plants and herbs that are used by cultures throughout the world to lower blood pressure:
- black bean
- river lily
- Avoid daytime naps.
- Make your bedroom comfortable.
The 2010 national Sleep Heart Health Study found that regularly sleeping fewer than 7 hours a night and more than 9 hours a night was associated with an increased rate of high blood pressure.
Regularly sleeping fewer than 5 hours a night was linked to a significant risk of high blood pressure long term .
How Can I Lower My Blood Pressure Naturally Over Time
Now that weve discussed why theres no fail-proof, safe, and fast way to lower blood pressure, remember, there are still many ways to lower your blood pressure over time. Here are some simple recommendations:
Exercise most days of the week. Exercise is the most effective way to lower your blood pressure. Being physically active at least 30 minutes a day most days of the week goes a long way toward keeping or getting your blood pressure under control.
Consume a low-sodium diet. Too much sodium causes blood pressure to rise. The AHA recommends keeping your daily sodium intake to less than 2 grams, but keeping it less than 1.5 grams is even better! The DASH diet provides a low-sodium eating plan for you to use as an example.
Limit alcohol intake to no more than 1 to 2 drinks per day. Drinking more than average1 drink for women and 2 drinks for mencan cause your blood pressure to rise. Plus, alcohol can cause you to pack on the pounds, which can also lead to an increase in blood pressure.
Make stress reduction a priority. Stressful situations can cause your blood pressure to go up temporarily. But if you continue to be stressed, your blood pressure can remain high. Find calming activities you can do every day to help you relieve stress. Coloring, walking outside, listening to relaxing music, and even taking a warm bath can help you keep you lower your stress levels.
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When Treatment Is Recommended
Everyone with high blood pressure is advised to make healthy lifestyle changes.
Your doctor will carry out some blood and urine tests, and ask questions about your health to determine your risk of other problems:
- if your blood pressure is consistently above 140/90mmHg , but your risk of other problems is low you’ll be advised to make some changes to your lifestyle
- if your blood pressure is consistently above 140/90mmHg and your risk of other problems is high you’ll be offered medicine to lower your blood pressure, in addition to lifestyle changes
- if your blood pressure is consistently above 160/100mmHg you’ll be offered medicine to lower your blood pressure, in addition to lifestyle changes
What Are Some Concerns About Taking Blood Pressure Medication
If you find yourself resisting blood pressure medication, its important to think about why you might be reluctant to start medication. Make a list of your concerns and take them to your next appointment. Its very normal to have questions and concerns about a chronic health condition like high blood pressure. Your healthcare providers can help to talk through these and make a treatment plan with you that fits your needs.
Some of your concerns may include:
Will I have to be on this medication for the rest of my life?
What are the side effects?
Will I get dependent on this?
Will I be able to afford this medication?
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Hypertension: What You Need To Know As You Age
You cant see high blood pressure, also called hypertension. And most ofthe time, you cant feel it. But if youre among the 78 million Americanswith hypertension or are one of the 70 million with prehypertension, its important to understandits effects on your healthand to take action today to bring your numbersdown to healthier levels.
Blood pressure is the force of blood against the inner walls of yourarteries. It has normal fluctuations throughout the dayfalling when yourerelaxed or asleep, rising naturally in the morning, and increasingtemporarily when youre under stress, excited or exercising. But when yourresting blood pressure level rises too high, it can scar, stiffen and/orweaken blood vessels. This effect can double your risk for aheart attack quadruple your odds for astroke raise your risk forheart failure, vision loss, kidney problems,dementiaand circulation problems such asperipheral artery disease weaken your bones and contribute toerectile dysfunctionin men.
Some Other Good Moves
Some studies suggest that calcium and potassium supplements lower blood pressure. Because the scientific data are mixed, we can’t recommend a dosage or confidently say that calcium and potassium will reduce blood pressure.
For some people, 500 mg of vitamin C and 400 to 800 mg of magnesium oxide are helpful.
Chocolate lovers can celebrate this finding: About an ounce a day of seriously dark chocolate thats chocolate with a cocoa content of at least 70 percent tends to improve blood pressure.
Breathing techniques, such as yoga and meditation, can relax the blood vessel walls and reduce blood pressure. A device called Resperate uses timed breathing three times weekly to effectively help many people reduce blood pressure, as well.
After you’ve worked on these lifestyle modifications for three or four weeks, ask your health care provider to recheck your blood pressure. Most people can expect to see clear, sustainable improvement.
An aside: We don’t much like taking medications, either. But if you end up needing blood pressure medicine to achieve a healthy blood pressure, don’t be discouraged. The medicines are effective and safe, and they present only mild side effects, if any. Studies comparing older and newer blood pressure medicines found that one of the oldest and cheapest classes of drugs was as good as, or better than, the newer, more expensive ones.