High Blood Pressure, also called hypertension is a very common health condition across the world. Most people who suffer from it simply get treated with medication. Interestingly, it’s possible to lower your blood pressure without any medications. Take a look at how this can be achieved:
- Diet- Cook unsalted foods for yourself and when you are buying packaged foods-ensure that you opt for those that do not contain salt. Do not cut-out salt entirely from your diet as sodium helps in regulating the electrical processes in nerves & muscles. But excessive salt consumption leads to water-retention in the body. This also makes your body have much more fluid volume than necessary.
This means your heart has to work harder to ensure that excess volume gets pumped through the body. Resultantly, it increases the blood pressure. The next time you go grocery-shopping; ensure that you reach for foods that are labeled “unsalted” or “low sodium”. It’s also important to stay away from processed foods that replace sodium with potassium, as these can be even more harmful.
The foods that you should avoid are meats, canned soups, pickles, bacon, sausages, and bakery products. Also it’s important to avoid condiments like ketchup, chili sauce, mustard, soy sauce as well as all other sauces. Cut out chocolate, white carbs and caffeine from your diet and increase your fiber intake. Snack on fruits, legumes (peas and beans) and nuts as well as whole-grain products
- Natural Remedies– It’s a good idea to check with your doctor whether opting for certain natural remedies against medication, will work for you. It has been scientifically-proved that supplements such as fish oil, cayenne, olive oil, magnesium, ginger and garlic are very effective in lowering the blood pressure. Here are a few more remedies:
- Dilute 1 tsp of pure apple cider vinegar in a cupful of water and drink this 3 times a day
- Eat 1 clove of raw garlic every day. You can also have garlic tablets if you like
- Vitamins such as B12, 6 & 9 help in lowering the levels of homocysteine in the blood
- Tomatoes, tomato juice, oranges, dried fruits, onions and beans are other foods that can help reduce blood pressure
- Fish like salmon, mackerel & herring are rich sources of Omega-3 fatty acid and are extremely beneficial in reducing hypertension
- Minimize Stimulants– Stop smoking as nicotine affects blood pressure and it also has an adverse effect on your lungs. Over time you will find your blood pressure reducing and it will also help clear your lungs
- Lose weight- The more you weigh, the harder your heart has to work and this ups your blood pressure. It’s exactly like you having to carry a 10 kg bag of groceries all day long – you will find that you start breathing faster and that your heart also beats harder and you will be short of breath. That’s exactly how difficult it is for your body to keep carrying additional weight around. So- make every attempt to lose that weight now
- Stay away from alcohol & drugs- Consuming excessive amounts of alcohol and drugs damages the kidneys and liver. This results in a build-up of body fluids and causes the heart to beat harder which increases blood pressure in the body. Even certain OTC drugs like ibuprofen which is commonly used to treat headache and bodyache, retain sodium in the body which stresses the system further
- Meditation- It has been proved that de-stressing goes a long way in reducing blood pressure. The adrenal gland releases stress hormones that cause the cardiovascular system to work much harder which results in an increase in blood pressure.
Make a concerted effort to relax at the end of the day and practice slow breathing techniques right through the day too. Take a hot water shower just before bedtime- it helps in lowering the blood pressure for hours, at times, even right through the night
Last but not the least; ensure that you get some form of exercise during the day. Walk for 20-30 minutes at a very moderate speed either outdoors or on a treadmill if you have access to one. It’s also very important to monitor your blood pressure on a regular basis and follow these natural remedies to keep the hypertension monster at bay.