Why Does Hypertension Matter
If you are in this 130/80 range, reducing your blood pressure can help protect you from heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, eye disease, and even cognitive decline. The goal of the new guidelines is to encourage you to treat your high blood pressure seriously and to take action to bring it down, primarily using lifestyle interventions. “It is well documented that lifestyle changes can lower blood pressure as much as pills can, and sometimes even more,” says Dr. Fisher.
Making those changes can be challenging. More than one woman has woken up in the morning committed to healthy eating only to be derailed by a plate of cookies on a table in the office or a dinner out with friends.
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 .
A 2010 study of 14,310 people found that individuals without hypertension who ate more dark chocolate had lower blood pressure overall than those who ate less dark chocolate (
For some people, getting a good nights sleep isnt easy. There are many ways to help you get restful sleep. Try setting a regular sleep schedule, spend time relaxing at night, exercise during the day, avoid daytime naps, and make your bedroom comfortable .
The national Sleep Heart Health Study found that regularly sleeping less than 7 hours a night and more than 9 hours a night was associated with an increased prevalence of hypertension. Regularly sleeping less than 5 hours a night was linked to a significant risk of hypertension long term .
Acupuncture To Help Reduce Blood Pressure Fast
One of the natural remedies for hypertension to reduce your dependence on medication is acupuncture.
Acupuncture therapy every second day for a month helped to lower dangerously high blood pressure. On average acupuncture lowered systolic blood pressure by 18 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure by 7 mmHg.
Other trials have found that acupuncture is an effective natural remedy for mild hypertension.
Learn how acupuncture can also help to improve your mood and lower stress levels.
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How To Stock Your Kitchen Healthily:
Download our free FoodSwitch app. It can help you make healthier choices when shopping. By scanning the barcode of a product the app will tell you how much salt, sugar and fat it contains and find similar but healthier alternatives.
Find out more about the foods that are high in salt, sugar and fat and the healthier options available.
Get more ideas for healthy eating from our meal plan in Positive Pressure, our members magazine.
How Long Does It Take To Come Down
The length of time it takes to lower blood pressure will vary from person to person.
In addition, some methods for lowering blood pressure will work for some people, but not for others. A person should start seeing changes within a few days to weeks of making the necessary lifestyle and dietary changes.
High blood pressure rarely causes symptoms. People may only discover that they have high blood pressure during a routine visit to their doctor, or after developing complications, such as a heart attack or stroke.
Some symptoms that may be indirectly related to high blood pressure include:
- blood spots in the eyes
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Indulge In Dark Chocolate
The sweet is rich in flavanols, which relax blood vessels and boost blood flow, and research suggests that regular dark chocolate consumption could lower your blood pressure. Experts havent determined an ideal percentage of cocoa, says Vivian Mo, M.D., clinical associate professor of medicine at the University of Southern California, but the higher you go, the more benefits youll get. Chocolate cant be your main strategy for managing blood pressure, Mo saysbut when youre craving a treat, its a healthy choice.
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I used to think these dramatic drops in blood pressure were something that happened to only a very few people, continues Dr. Fruge, but Ive been here at Pritikin for more than 15 years, and I see results like these every week. This isnt a miracle. Its simply what happens when we start taking good care of ourselves.
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Lose Weight To Manage Hypertension Naturally
Getting and maintaining a healthy body weight puts less strain on your heart and helps to lower blood pressure.
Getting enough exercise and enjoying a healthy, well-balanced cardiac diet help to lose weight and also treat hypertension. One study found that combining the DASH diet with exercise had a positive effect on both body weight and elevated blood pressure.
One study involving over 13,000 obese individuals found that losing weight was a major factor in reducing the risk of uncontrolled hypertension.
Losing weight can also help to lower high blood pressure quickly. Over a 10-week period, people who lost 5% of their body weight experienced a notable drop in blood pressure.
You can start on a program to lower your blood pressure today if you take measures to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight.
How To Lower Blood Pressure In Minutes
Disclaimer: Results are not guaranteed*** and may vary from person to person***.
High blood pressure can hit at any time, and the results can be devastating. When an acute jump occurs, knowing how to lower blood pressure in minutes can be the difference between life and death.
This is especially true if youre one of the 75 million American adults suffering from hypertension , or one of the other 75 million with prehypertension. When a boost hits, its good to know how to make blood pressure go down quickly.
Your blood pressure rises and falls throughout the day, and this is completely normal. Stress, anxiety, exercise, and activity can all lead to increases, while relaxation, getting ready for bed, and sleep can all bring it back down.
But not all high blood pressure is safe, and the longer it stays at a high rate, the more health risks you assume. Risks include acute responses like sweating, fainting or shortness of breath, and more severe issues like heart disease and heart attack can arise. So when stress hits, knowing how to lower blood pressure quickly can be a great health benefit.
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Increase Activity And Exercise More
In a 2013 study, sedentary older adults who participated in aerobic exercise training lowered their blood pressure by an average of 3.9 percent systolic and 4.5 percent diastolic . These results are as good as some blood pressure medications.
As you regularly increase your heart and breathing rates, over time your heart gets stronger and pumps with less effort. This puts less pressure on your arteries and lowers your blood pressure.
How much activity should you strive for? A 2013 report by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association advises moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity for 40-minute sessions, three to four times per week .
If finding 40 minutes at a time is a challenge, there may still be benefits when the time is divided into three or four 10- to 15-minute segments throughout the day .
The American College of Sports Medicine makes similar recommendations .
But you dont have to run marathons. Increasing your activity level can be as simple as:
- using the stairs
- going for a bike ride
- playing a team sport
Just do it regularly and work up to at least half an hour per day of moderate activity.
One example of moderate activity that can have big results is tai chi. A 2017 review on the effects of tai chi and high blood pressure shows an overall average of a 15.6 mm Hg drop in systolic blood pressure and a 10.7 mm Hg drop in diastolic blood pressure, compared to people who didnt exercise at all .
Maintain A Healthy Weight
Having overweight or obesity increases strain on the heart muscle and can lead to a rise in blood pressure.
The AHA recommend that people keep their body mass index between 18.5 and 24.9. If a persons BMI is too high, they should take steps to reduce their weight.
According to the AHA, a loss of just 10 pounds in weight is enough to reduce blood pressure readings in people who have overweight.
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Put Some Dash In Your Lunch And Dinner
Dont worry were not back in gym class again. While dashing is indeed a good way to get some vigorous exercise, its also about what youre eating, too.
DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. Its a high blood pressure diet specifically designed to focus on foods that reduce blood pressure that is, foods rich in calcium, potassium and magnesium as well as low in sodium and fat.
Drugs Vs Lifestyle Change
First, keep in mind that drugs have limited success. Most studies on diuretics and other blood pressure-lowering drugs suggest they lower the risk of cardiovascular events among those with blood pressure between 140/90 and 159/99 by 15 to 20%.3 The problem is, with this range of blood pressure, the risk of cardiovascular-related deaths has increased by 300 to 400% compared to people with normal blood pressure.
So, while treating hypertension with drugs is generally better than no treatment, it is far from a cure, asserts Dr. Fruge.
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What Else Can Help
In addition to adding hypertension-lowering drinks to your diet, you can try the following to help lower your blood pressure:
- Get moving. Incorporating physical activity into your daily routine may be as effective at lowering blood pressure as some medications. The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes per week of moderate activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous activity for health benefits.
- Shed excess pounds. If youre overweight or obese, your heart has to work harder to pump blood throughout your body. Even losing just a few pounds can help lower your blood pressure.
- Check out the DASH diet. The DASH diet, which was specially designed to prevent and treat hypertension, emphasizes unprocessed foods like fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.
- Quit smoking. Each cigarette you smoke triggers a short-term increase in your blood pressure. Over the long-term, tobacco use can harden your arteries which, in turn, can lead to high blood pressure.
- Limit stress. Chronic stress can contribute to high blood pressure. Avoid stressors when you can, and try to find healthy ways to manage your stress. While not all sources of stress can be eliminated, setting aside time for relaxation may help calm your mind and lower your blood pressure.
Get Moving And Shed A Few Pounds
“The more you exercise, the better off you will be, and your blood pressure will drop accordingly,” says Dr. Berger.
You don’t have to suddenly start training for a triathlon to see positive effects on your blood pressure. From jogging to cycling to Zumba classes, engaging in moderate-to-high intensity exercise for about 30 minutes five days a week can help.
In terms of lowering your systolic blood pressure through weight loss, Dr. Weintraub says that recommendations vary, depending on your baseline weight. But as a general rule of thumb, losing 8 percent of your body weight can have significant benefits.
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Home Remedies For Managing High Blood Pressure
What is high blood pressure?
Blood pressure is the force at which blood pumps from the heart into the arteries. A normal blood pressure reading is less than 120/80 mm Hg.
When blood pressure is high, the blood moves through the arteries more forcefully. This puts increased pressure on the delicate tissues in the arteries and damages the blood vessels.
High blood pressure, or hypertension, affects about half of American adults, estimates the American College of Cardiology.
Known as a silent killer, it usually doesnt cause symptoms until theres significant damage done to the heart. Without visible symptoms, most people are unaware that they have high blood pressure.
Get In Nature More + Get Sunlight
Did you know that spending more time in nature could lower your blood pressure? I know what youre thinking – it cant be that simple, can it?
Well according to some research, exposure to green spaces can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, stress, high blood pressure, as well as type II diabetes and premature death.
Additional studies link sunlight exposure to lowering blood pressure. One study, published in the Journal of the American Heart Associationshows incident solar UV radiation is associated with lower systolic blood pressure.
This, of course, doesnt mean you should spend your days sunbathing at the beach. On the contrary, overexposure to UV rays could actually do you more harm than good. Spending just 20 minutes each day strolling in the park should do the trick. Make sure to not over do it and be sure to avoid the hottest part of the day.
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Drink A Glass Of Water
In some cases, dehydration can cause high blood pressure. When youre dehydrated, the amount of blood in your body decreases, but in contrast, the peripheral resistance increases.
To avoid this, whenever you start feeling the symptoms of hypertension, try to drink 1 or 2 glasses of water. This will help you restore full blood in the body and lower blood pressure fast.
Whey Protein For High Blood Pressure
Whey protein is good for helping to manage elevated blood pressure levels.
One double-blind study found that taking 59 g of whey protein a day helped to lower blood pressure naturally over an 8-week period. Researchers also noted improvements in levels of cholesterol.
You can learn more about why taking whey protein can be good for your heart and blood pressure.
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Pick Dark Chocolate Berries Or A Banana Instead
In addition to reading nutrition labels, consider switching up your daily treats by choosing one of these tasty alternatives:
- Dark chocolate. Dark chocolate has many flavonoids, a natural antioxidant that can cause your blood vessels to open more widely to support better cardiovascular health.
- Berries. Berries are a rich source of polyphenols, another kind of antioxidant that helps reduce inflammation and lower blood pressure.
- Bananas. Bananas have a lot of potassium, which helps counteract the effects of sodium and reduces tension in your blood vessels.
As with all things, moderation is key. Chocolate, berries and bananas still contain sugar and you dont want to go on a snack attack. But making smart changes to your snacking habits are easy ways to work in foods that can help reduce your blood pressure and satisfy your hunger.
Dash To The Finish Line With Balanced Eating
If you are limiting your intake of high sodium foods, then whats on the menu instead? The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension has been scientifically studied and shown to help lower blood pressure through a flexible and balanced pattern of eating. The plan is packed full of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes. These are great sources of minerals like potassium, calcium, and magnesium that can balance the sodium in your diet, bringing down your blood pressure. The DASH meal plan also has smaller amounts of lean protein, fats, dairy, and minimal sweets. Here are some examples:
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Easy Things You Can Do To Lower Your Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is dangerous. It can lead to many health problems, including heart attack, stroke, heart failure, angina, coronary artery disease, peripheral artery disease, kidney disease, vision loss, sexual dysfunction and more.
Fortunately, high blood pressure can often be prevented or controlled.
Here are some easy things you can do to lower your blood pressure or help prevent high blood pressure in the first place.
Set small, easily attainable goals, and when you reach them, set bigger ones. Step by step, you will take control of your health and your blood pressure.
Seek Help For Snoring
Loud, incessant snoring is a symptom of obstructive sleep apnea , a disorder that causes brief but dangerous breathing interruptions. Up to half of sleep apnea patients also live with hypertension, possibly due to high levels of aldosterone, a hormone that can boost blood pressure. Fixing sleep apnea could be helpful for improving BP, says Robert Greenfield, M.D., medical director of Non-Invasive Cardiology & Cardiac Rehabilitation at MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute.
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