Reduce Your Stress Levels
Elevated stress levels can easily lead to an increase in blood pressure which could result in other health problems. This is why you need to try your best to ensure that you manage the situation.
There are different exercises you can take on to help you achieve this. You could engage in meditation and breathing exercises that will help you center yourself and refocus.
The goal is to manage your stress levels then you can later deal with the underlying factors that led to that.
You should also consider adjusting your expectations and focus on the things you can control. This will help you avoid stressful situations and triggers that could lead to an increase in blood pressure.
Reducing Your Salt Intake
The American Heart Association recommends no more than a teaspoon of salt a day for adults. That may sound alarmingly small, but there are many painless ways to reduce your sodium intake.
Reduce canned and processed foods. Much of the salt you eat comes from canned or processed foods like soups, convenience meals, and fast food.
Cook more meals at home. Preparing your own meals gives you more control over your sodium intake. Use fresh ingredients whenever possible and cook without salt.
Use spices as alternatives to salt. Try fresh herbs like basil, thyme, or chives, or dried spices such as allspice, bay leaves, or cumin to flavor your meal without sodium.
Substitute reduced sodium versions. Choose your condiments and packaged foods carefully, looking for foods labeled sodium free, low sodium, or unsalted.
See Heart-Healthy Diet Tips to learn more.
The effects on your blood pressure
- Adopting the DASH diet, eating plenty of fruit and vegetables, and reducing your consumption of unhealthy fats can lower your blood pressure by about 11 mm Hg.
- Cutting back on sodium by about 1,000 mg per day can reduce your blood pressure by 5 to 6 mm Hg.
- Increasing your potassium intake from food to 3,500-5,000 mg can knock 4 to 5 mm Hg off your reading.
- Limiting your alcohol intake to two drinks per day if youre male, or one drink per day if youre female can lower your reading by about 4 mm Hg.
Habits That Prevent Hypertension
Salt can be a cause of hypertension. So watch that your daily intake of salt does NOT exceed 2300 mg per day. It is also very good to walk or do some sport. Remember not to eat too many sausages, beers or cured cheese. These foods have high levels of amines that promote hypertension.
Among the foods that improve your blood pressure are watermelons, kiwis, bananas, blueberry juices and skim milk. Hibiscus tea, coconut water, tofu and soy will also be very helpful. Generally, a healthy and balanced diet is one that will help you prevent dangerous rises in pressure.
If you think this article might be useful for other people, do not hesitate to it. There are lives at stake that, simply by making this information known, you can save.
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Keeping Blood Pressure Levels Healthy
Tracking your blood pressure levels using a monitor gives you a feel for where you are at, and allows you to see if you are making improvements, maintaining your present levels, or getting worse. But how can you actually take steps toward improvements? Here are a few recommendations for reducing your high blood pressure:
Consider Cutting Back On Caffeine
Caffeine raises your blood pressure, but the effect is temporary.
In a 2017 study, the systolic blood pressure of 18 participants was elevated for 2 hours after they drank 32 ounces of either a caffeinated drink or an energy drink. Blood pressure then dropped more quickly for the participants who drank a caffeinated drink .
Some people may be more sensitive to caffeine than others. If youre caffeine-sensitive, you may want to cut back on your coffee consumption, or try .
Research on caffeine, including its health benefits, is in the news a lot. The choice of whether to cut back depends on many individual factors.
One older study indicated that caffeines effect on raising blood pressure is greater if your blood pressure is already high. This same study, however, called for more research on the subject .
If your blood pressure is very high or doesnt decrease after making these lifestyle changes, your doctor may recommend prescription drugs.
They work and will improve your long-term outcome, especially if you have other risk factors (
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What Is Blood Pressure
Bloodpressure is the force your blood exerts on the walls of your arteries. If yourarteries become narrow or stiff the heart has to work harder to pump blood tothe organs. So you dont want to make it work extra unnecessarily. Thus youmust maintain your BP in a healthy range.
Hereis what the BP reading refers to:
|Blood Pressure Category|
|> 180||> 110|
Itscrucial to check your blood pressure with your doctor to successfully lower your blood pressure with a few lifestyle modificationsand proper medications.
Here aresome lifestyle changes you need to make keep your blood pressure numbers down.
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 .
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Sodium Intake And Blood Pressure Values
Available evidence suggests a direct relationship between sodium intake and blood pressure values . Excessive sodium consumption has been shown to produce a significant increase in BP and has been linked with onset of hypertension and its cardiovascular complications . Conversely, reduction in sodium intake not only decreases BP levels and hypertension incidence, but is also associated with a reduction in cardiovascular morbidity and mortality . A large meta-analysis showed that modest reduction in salt intake for four or more weeks causes a significant fall in BP in both hypertensive and normotensive individuals, irrespective of sex and ethnic group, and larger reductions in salt intake are linked to larger falls in systolic BP . However, the current health policies have not reached an effective achievement for the reduction of dietary sodium in the population and the positive effects of a reduced sodium intake on BP levels tend to decrease with time, owing to poor dietary compliance.
In this paper, we have reviewed the evidence regarding the effects of sodium intake on arterial function, and their implication in the pathogenesis of hypertension. We have first addressed the debate on salt-sensitivity, in light of recent evidence, and then discussed the effects of sodium handling on arterial function and structure.
Add Potassium To Your Diet
Looking for ideas on how to reduce blood pressurequickly at home? Include potassium-rich foods in your diet. It helps to flushout excess sodium out of the body and lowers your blood pressure. High amountsof potassium may be harmful to patients with kidney disease.
Good sources of potassium are
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Tips For Making Healthy Lifestyle Changes
If you suffer with high blood pressure, its easy to feel intimidated by the changes you need to make in order to improve your health. While some people may only need to work on one or two areas to reduce their blood pressuregetting more exercise or quitting smoking, for examplemost of us find that we need to improve our habits in at least 3 or 4 areas. But even if you smoke, drink heavily, are overweight, stressed out, sedentary, and eat nothing but junk and processed food, that doesnt mean you have to tackle everything all at once. Making lots of different lifestyle changes at the same time can be overwhelming. And when we feel overwhelmed, its easy to opt for doing nothing rather than doing something.
Start gradually and make one or two changes to begin with. Once those changes have become habit, you can tackle one or two more, and so on. For example, you may decide to start by giving up smokingand adopting some relaxation techniques to help with the stress of quittingthen move on to losing weight or improving your diet.
Lose the all or nothing thinking. Doing something, no matter how small, is always better than doing nothing. If youre eating healthy food during the week, for example, then resorting to takeouts at the weekends, your blood pressure and overall health will still be in better shape than if you were eating takeout every day.
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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How Many Calories Are In Alcoholic Beverages
Drinkaware explained alcohol contains around seven calories a gram, which hold no nutritional value.
One four percent pint of beer is equivalent to 182 calories one glass of 13 percent of wine is 159 calories.
The charity emphasised that alcoholic drinks are high in calories, which means drinking alcohol can lead to weight gain.
If someone is overweight and regularly drinks alcohol, they should find that their weight falls noticeably by reducing the amount they drink each week, Drinkaware noted.
Obesity is a major health risk for a number of conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
All three conditions diabetes, heart disease, and stroke can take years away from a persons life.
Obesity can also lead to other health issues, such as fatigue, breathlessness and low confidence.
What Is The Normal Range For Blood Pressure
Blood pressure numbers less than 120/80 mm Hg are considered normal, according to the American Heart Association.
Blood pressure numbers from 120 to 129 systolic and less than 80 mm Hg diastolic are considered elevated. People in this range are likely to develop high blood pressure unless steps are taken to control the condition.
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Eat More Foods High In Magnesium
A small study in the International Journal of Hypertension found magnesium supplementation can reduce blood pressure in small amountsNguyen H, Odelola OA, Rangaswami J, Amanullah A. A Review of Nutritional Factors in Hypertension Management. International Journal of Hypertension. 2013 698940. . Talk to your doctor before taking magnesium supplements, especially if you have kidney disease. You can also safely incorporate high-magnesium foods into your diet. Dr. Desai recommends foods like leafy green vegetables and unsalted almonds.
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 .
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Try Meditation Or Deep Breathing
While these two behaviors could also fall under stress reduction techniques, meditation and deep breathing deserve specific mention.
Both meditation and deep breathing may activate the parasympathetic nervous system. This system is engaged when the body relaxes, slowing the heart rate, and lowering blood pressure.
Theres quite a bit of research in this area, with studies showing that different styles of meditation appear to have benefits for lowering blood pressure .
Deep breathing techniques can also be quite effective.
In one study, participants were asked to either take six deep breaths over the course of 30 seconds or simply sit still for 30 seconds. Those who took breaths lowered their blood pressure more than those who just sat .
Try guided meditation or deep breathing. Heres a video to get you started.
Bottom line: Both meditation and deep breathing can activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps slow your heart rate and lower blood pressure.
High Blood Pressure And Daily Activity
Check with your doctor before starting a new activity or increasing your level or intensity. Be active safely. Build up your levels of activity gradually.
Try to do at least 30 to 45 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most, if not all, days of the week. This can be done in bouts of 10 minutes or longer, if that is more convenient.
Physical activity is any form of bodily movement performed by our large muscle groups. Moderate-intensity physical activity , such as brisk walking or cycling, is enough to provide health benefits.
Walking is a great activity for all ages. You may like to join one of the Heart Foundations community walking groups.
Some types of exercises, such as body presses and lifting heavy weights, can raise your blood pressure. Avoid these if you have high blood pressure.
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Monitoring Your Blood Pressure
Once you understand how healthy blood pressure is defined, the next step is to buy a home blood pressure monitor so that you can keep track of your own levels. If your doctor is concerned about your blood pressure levels, he or she will recommend a schedule to take readings.
How often will you be asked to check? Usually it is recommended that for the first week or so, you take your blood pressure twice a day, once in the morning, and once in the evening. After you have done that, you usually can switch to taking it just a couple of times a week, or even a couple of times a month. Again, your doctor will work with you on this.It is important to know how to take your blood pressure properly to ensure that you are getting accurate readings. To learn more, be sure to check out our detailed blog post on the topic.
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.
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Consider Taking Vitamins And Supplements
Research shows that a few vitamins and minerals may be helpful in lowering blood pressure. But talk to your doctor before taking any. Make sure they know everything you take.
- Vitamin C: This has antioxidants that protect the linings of your blood vessels. Orange juice is a good source, as are fruits like kiwi and strawberries, and vegetables like broccoli, kale, tomatoes, and sweet red peppers. Adults should get 400 mg per day.
Potassium: This helps your body get rid of sodium through your pee. Men should aim for 3,400 mg a day, and women around 2,600. Itâs found in fruits like bananas and prunes and vegetables like potatoes, tomatoes, and artichoke.
Vitamin D: This helps make the enzyme renin, which is linked to blood pressure health. You can get vitamin D from fatty fish, like salmon or mackerel, or milk. You also can absorb vitamin D from sunlight or take it in a supplement.
How To Help Maintain Healthy Blood Pressure
Youre never too young to start watching your blood pressure. Thats especially true considering the only way to know if you have high blood pressure is to have your blood pressure tested.
In honor of National High Blood Pressure Education Month, were sharing practical advice that people of all ages can follow to take care of their tickers. Whether youre facing 50 or already a senior, have high blood pressure and want to lower it or want to maintain your blood pressure at a healthy level, changing your day-to-day habits can help you reach your goal.
Learn how you can help maintain a healthy blood pressure at any age by downloading our Guide to Healthy Blood Pressure. As always, check with your physician if you have any concerns about your health. For some individuals, medication might be necessary to help maintain healthy health blood pressure levels.
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