Hypertension is a serious condition that puts you in direct risk of heart attacks and strokes. It is also called the “silent killer” because it often doesn’t present any symptoms, which makes you a ticking bomb without even realizing it. Medication can be the first thing on your mind to lower blood pressure, but lifestyle changes and even some foods can also do it for you without risking any side effects.
Tricks and tips to lower blood pressure
If you want to avoid hypertension medications that often present important side effects, try out these tricks and get your health back on track.
The heart is a muscle that can also be trained to get stronger. When you exercise, the heart and breathe rates increase improving their stamina and resistance.
As the heart gets progressively stronger it will require less effort to pump the blood through the arteries, which then will suffer less pressure and consequently lower blood pressure.
Any kind of exercising will do. Do you like gardening? Do it! Take the stairs every time the opportunity arises, go for a power walk with friends, put some music on and pump the excitement while cleaning the house. The important thing is that you keep moving and that you like what you’re doing so you stick to it.
According to the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) the maximum intake of sodium by an adult per day shouldn’t exceed 2,300 mg. Salt tends to increase blood pressure in most people so you should try to avoid it.
The best way to do it, it’s either by preparing your own meals or by paying attention to labels. In the latter, you normally have not only the amount of sodium present in the food you’re buying, but also the percentage it represents of the recommended daily dose.
This will make it easier for you to control the intake without having to remove sodium completely from your diet. You can also increase your intake of potassium as it reduces to a certain degree the effects of sodium on blood pressure.
This tip only applies if you’re overweight to start with. The extra pounds you’re carrying also mean extra work for the heart to pump blood to the all body.
Most importantly, being overweight also means having more fat reserves than the ones your body requires. That fat can clog the arteries or embrace the heart, making it harder to beat.
Smokers are tired of hearing and reading this advice, but it still stands nonetheless.
Puffing a cigarette has the immediate effect of raising blood pressure and heart rate. The values will keep high for one hour, on average, and slowly decrease afterwards.
The problem is that smokers never stop with one cigarette. Depending on the number the persona smokes per day, blood pressure might be unable to come down at all. With time, it will take longer and longer for the pressure to be reduced even if you smoke less.
Reduce your stress
When you feel truly angry or stressed you can feel the blood pumping in your veins. You might even experience hot flashes or simply turn red. That’s your blood pressure skyrocketing.
So, if you want lower blood pressure you need to learn how to control your nerves. Try to stay away from triggers if possible. Adjust your expectations and prepare for last-minute changes in any plans. This way, when they happen, you won’t blow up in anger.
Consider meditation, particularly yoga or Tai-chi, as they help lower the stress hormone but are quite low-impact. Even breathing exercises like the ones you can do to fall asleep faster can help.
Eating more of one simple food that has the right properties to lower blood pressure won’t do much. Eating healthy and having a diverse diet, though, can help a lot.
Try to avoid sugars, sodium and carbohydrates and go for more veggies and high-protein foods. Here’s a quick list of food you should include in your diet:
- Garlic and garlic supplements
- Dark chocolate (yes!)
Be smart when changing your diet, though. If you change it all at once, you can suffer some side effects as the body need to suddenly readjust to the new changes in nutrients and quantities of these. Also, it will increase your chances of relapsing. Just ease down into it.
Get to know some other foods that can help you lower blood pressure and achieve a must healthier diet in the video below.