Nix Your Nicotine Addiction
Each cigarette you smoke temporarily raises blood pressure for several minutes after you finish. If youre a heavy smoker, your blood pressure can stay elevated for extended periods of time.
People with high blood pressure who smoke are at greater risk for developing dangerously high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke.
Even secondhand smoke can put you at increased risk for high blood pressure and heart disease.
Aside from providing numerous other health benefits, quitting smoking can help your blood pressure return to normal. Visit our smoking cessation center to take steps to quit today.
Drinking a glass of red wine with your dinner is perfectly fine. It might even offer heart-health benefits when done in moderation.
But drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can lead to lots of health issues, including high blood pressure.
Excessive drinking can also reduce the effectiveness of certain blood pressure medications.
What does drinking in moderation mean? The AHA recommends that men limit their consumption to two alcoholic drinks per day. Women should limit their intake to one alcoholic drink per day.
One drink equals:
How To Consume More Nitrates
There are nitrates in a vast variety of foods, either from vegetables or processed meats. The better of these two options is most definitely the vegetables, since they dont hold the same health risks that processed meat does. Organic vegetables, also, have been known to have a slightly lower amount of nitrates, but still enough to be beneficial. Beets, lettuce, spinach, and celery are all excellent sources of nitrates, and are known to have the highest concentration among other foods.
Like almost anything else in life, especially dieting, its important to consume things in moderation. Eating nitrate-rich foods exclusively for every meal may not be the best decision, so its recommended that you try to incorporate some of these foods in as many meals as you can. Naturally lowering blood pressure is important and so is your overall health. So, theres no better way to accomplish both of these tasks than by doing the most you can to produce nitric oxide in a natural way.
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 also eases tension in your blood vessels. However, diets rich in potassium may be harmful to individuals with kidney disease, so talk to 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:
17 ). Popular high-salt items include deli meats, canned soup, pizza, chips, and 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 labels. According to the U.S. 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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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.
Eat Garlic Or Take Garlic Extract Supplements
Fresh garlic or garlic extract are both widely used to lower blood pressure .
According to one clinical study, a time-release garlic extract preparation may have a greater effect on blood pressure than regular garlic powder tablets .
One 2012 review noted a study of 87 people with high blood pressure that found a diastolic reduction of 6 mm Hg and a systolic reduction of 12 mm Hg in those who consumed garlic, compared to people without any treatment (
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What Can I Eat To Lower My Blood Pressure
Theres actually a specific diet designed for heart health called the DASH Diet. It stands for dietary approaches to stop hypertension and was developed by the National Institutes of Health. Following the DASH Diet can lower blood pressure just as effectively as taking a pill, Dr. Osborne says. It highlights foods that are high in magnesium, potassium, and calcium, while limiting salt and sodium intake. Heres some of what youll eat on the diet.
- Dark chocolate in moderation
Some of the biggest things to eliminate are excess sodium , processed foods, sugar, condiments , bread, and cheese.
Apple cider vinegar has long been touted as a remedy for high blood pressure, but Dr. Osborne notes that no comprehensive clinical trial has been able to determine how effective it actually is. That being said, hes not against patients trying itif you find that taking apple cider vinegar every day keeps your blood pressure low, then keep doing it. Same for alcohol and caffeinated drinks, as long as youre having them in moderation.
People that drink modestly, so one to two drinks, may actually see a modest effect on cardiovascular events and may see modestly lower blood pressure, Dr. Osborne explains. However, if you drink anything more than that, it clearly elevates blood pressure.
How Soon After Quitting Smoking Will Blood Pressure Lower
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You Can Fight High Blood Pressure
While heart disease is still the No. 1 killer in the United States and around the world, death rates have decreased significantly. Earlier and better treatment of high blood pressure has played a key role in that decrease.
Written by American Heart Association editorial staff and reviewed by science and medicine advisers. See our editorial policies and staff.
What Is Good Blood Pressure
A good, normal blood pressure readingtaken while seated, with a blood pressure cuffshould be 120/80. The first number is the systolic blood pressure , and the second is the diastolic blood pressure . Anything over that is either considered elevated or high.
Those numbers apply across the board for adults over the age of 18, Dr. Osborne says. He notes that decades ago, good blood pressure numbers varied based on age, limits some people still cling to today. But in actuality, its all standardized to 120/80.
The vast majority of hypertension out there is in adults, he says. Its independent of age. It doesnt matter whether youre 21 or 81. The numbers are the same.
For adults, that is. For kids, its a little different. Blood pressure numbers are based on population and age, and are generally lower than with adults. Theres not a standardized set of guidelines for children, but certainly if you come across a kid that repeatedly has blood pressures that would be high according to the adult category, its high, Dr. Osborne explains.
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What Foods Can Lower Blood Pressure Immediately
Spinach, salad greens, soybeans, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, turnip greens etc. are some vegetables which are the foods to lower blood pressure quickly. Lentils like different types of beans viz. black, kidney, lima, navy, pinto, white beans, etc., supply rich amounts of potassium and folic acid that help in treating this health disorder.
What Is The Pritikin Program For Lowering Blood Pressure
The Pritikin Program, taught by the dietitians, exercise physiologists, physicians, and psychologists at the Pritikin Longevity Center, addresses all the adverse effects associated with hypertension by:
- Providing at least 5 servings of vegetables and 4 servings of fruits daily, which help ensure that you eat plenty of foods that are full of stomach-filling volume yet are low in calories, enhancing weight-loss efforts. Losing excess weight is one of the most effective ways to lower blood pressure in the short term. Eating plenty of nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables also means youll be eating excellent sources of potassium, magnesium, and calcium. Many studies have found that foods rich in these minerals help blunt some of the toxic effects of sodium.
- Cutting back on calorie-dense foods loaded with fat, sugar, and/or refined grains to promote weight-loss efforts.
- Limiting the consumption of sodium to a healthy level less than 1,500 mg daily for people under 50 years, less than 1,300 mg daily for those 50 to 69 years, and no more than 1,200 mg daily for people 70 years and older.
- Discouraging excess alcohol drinking .
- Adding a daily exercise regime that aids in weight loss and stimulates nitric oxide production, a beneficial chemical that relaxes muscles in the artery walls and lowers blood pressure.
- Getting an adequate intake of calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin D by consuming moderate amounts of nonfat dairy foods or soymilk, seafood, and a little sunshine.
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Limit Saturated And Trans Fats
The AHA recommend that people limit their daily intake of saturated fats. According to the AHA, saturated fats should make up no more than 120 calories of a 2000 calorie-per-day diet.
The AHA also recommend avoiding trans fats, which can increase bad cholesterol levels while decreasing good cholesterol levels. Like high blood pressure, trans fats increase a persons chances of developing heart disease and stroke.
Cut Back On Sugar And Refined Carbohydrates
Many scientific studies show that restricting sugar and refined carbohydrates can help you lose weight and lower your blood pressure.
A 2010 study compared a low-carb diet to a low-fat diet. The low-fat diet included a diet drug. Both diets produced weight loss, but the low-carb diet was much more effective in lowering blood pressure.
The low-carb diet lowered blood pressure by 4.5 mm Hg diastolic and 5.9 mm Hg systolic. The diet of low-fat plus the diet drug lowered blood pressure by only 0.4 mm Hg diastolic and 1.5 mm Hg systolic .
A 2012 analysis of low-carb diets and heart disease risk found that these diets lowered blood pressure by an average of 3.10 mm Hg diastolic and 4.81 mm Hg systolic .
Another side effect of a low-carb, low-sugar diet is that you feel fuller longer, because youre consuming more protein and fat.
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Reduce And Avoid Chronic Stress
Some stress in life is unavoidable. But if you feel stressed out and tense for much or all of the day, your habits might be affected. People with chronic stress are in danger of unhealthy coping habits like overeating and substance abuse. It can also be difficult to sleep if you are frequently or constantly stressed. All of these things can raise your blood pressure.
To keep your stress in check, make time for healthy activities. Spend some time every day in an activity that relaxes you, such as:
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 Can I Lower My Blood Pressure Without Prescription
Best Natural Ways to Lower Blood Pressure without Medications
- Eat a Healthy Diet to Lower Blood Pressure. By removing or limiting processed and refined foods from your diet, you
- Exercise to Manage Blood Pressure. Regular exercise and activity is one of the best ways for long-term reductions in
- Lifestyle Changes to Lower Blood Pressure. Studies show that alcohol
Enjoy Chocolate And Tea
And there are two bonus approaches to lower blood pressure: eating dark chocolate and drinking hibiscus tea.
Some research indicates that having a small amount of dark chocolate each day can help manage blood pressure. Also, several controlled studies have shown that drinking hibiscus tea can help reduce blood pressure. As with everything, these pleasures should be enjoyed in moderation just two or three cups of tea a day, and one small square of dark chocolate. After all, packing on pounds is a sure way to raise your blood pressure.
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What Is A Dangerous Level Of Blood Pressure
As far as specific numbers for high blood pressure, the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology released updated guidelines in November 2017. It can be broken down into two categories: elevated and high.
Elevated blood pressure ranges from 121/80 to 129/80. Its generally not treated, but serves more as a warning sign that it should be monitored and the patient might explore how to lower blood pressure by making some lifestyle changes.
High blood pressure starts at 130/80 or higherthats stage one. Stage two, or the worst degree, is 140/90 and above. If the upper limit of blood pressure is more than 180, thats where it starts getting really dangerous, increasing the likelihood of an immediate heart attack, heart failure, or stroke.