Once you are diagnosed with high blood pressure, you doctor will prescribe you with medications to keep your blood pressure within healthy levels. But taking medication is not the only way to lower blood pressure. Some lifestyle and diet changes can go a long way in helping to lower blood pressure naturally.
Of course this does not mean that you stop taking the medication without your doctor's advice. But small changes in your diet and lifestyle can help you to control blood pressure. These changes are nothing drastic but you will need to be disciplined enough to stick to them to see results. Given below are some of the ways by which you can lower blood pressure without using medication.
Lowering Blood Pressure without Medication
Reduce Sodium Intake
If you are wondering how to lower blood pressure without medication, then a very good way to do so is to reduce the amount of salt that you consume. Most people have the habit of mindlessly adding salt to their food even before they taste it. If you have this habit, then it is time to kick it.
Cut down on processed and junk food as these contain the highest amount of sodium. Preserved foods also contain high sodium content so it is best to avoid them altogether. Think twice before you reach for the salt shaker and try to flavor your food with lime juice, salt free seasoning and fresh herbs instead.
Reduce Caffeine Intake
Love your morning cup of coffee? Then it is time to cut back on your caffeine intake. While experts are still debating the relationship of caffeine with rising blood pressure levels, some studies have shown that habitual coffee drinking can spike blood pressure
If you cannot do without coffee, then have decaf coffee instead. Also, keep in mind that coffee is not the only source of caffeine. Most fizzy drinks and colas have a high amount of caffeine that can raise blood pressure levels. A good alternative to coffee and colas is green tea which is full of antioxidants.
Start an Exercise Regimen
This is an advice that you must have heard several times and not paid much heed to. If you have high blood pressure, then one of the best ways to keep it under control is to exercise regularly. Not a gym lover? No problem.
Studies have shown that even moderate exercises like walking, yoga and simple pilates workout can help in reducing high blood pressure. The advantages of doing exercises like yoga and tai chi is that it relaxes your body and mind which helps to lower the levels of stress, which in turn brings down your blood pressure. Starting a workout program is a natural way to lower blood pressure quickly.
Eat Potassium Rich Food
A diet rich in potassium can help in lowering high blood pressure. Both potassium and sodium needs to be balanced in your body. High sodium intake leads to water retention and hypertension.
Consuming a potassium rich diet helps to flush out excess sodium from the body, thus lowering high blood pressure. Some potassium rich foods that lower blood pressure are sweet potatoes, spinach, asparagus, bananas and cantaloupe.
Lose Extra Weight
If you are overweight or if your BMI (Body Mass Index) is more than the stipulated level, then you should try to lose those excess pounds. This is especially true if you are carrying extra flab around your waistline.
Visceral fat is one of the most dangerous of all fat and it increases your risk of having heart diseases and diabetes. Getting a trimmer waistline will help you in reducing high blood pressure to a great extend. Just make sure that you undertake a weight loss program under the guidance of your physician.
Limit Alcohol Intake
If you are suffering from hypertension and you want to know how to lower blood pressure without medication, then the best thing that you can do is reduce your alcohol intake. If you drink too much alcohol, then you will need to bring it down to no more than one quarter of a drink per day. Too much alcohol causes blood pressure to rise sharply increasing the risk of stroke.
The biggest contributor to rising stress levels is work related stress. Long working hours and personal problems, raises stress which can lead to a sharp increase in blood pressure. Although these blood pressure spikes do not last long but it puts you at a risk of having hypertension.
Try to find ways to reduce stress like doing light physical activities, listening to music or indulging in your favorite pastime. This will help you to deal with stress and lower your blood pressure.
High blood pressure can be controlled by making some simple lifestyle and dietary changes. To lower blood pressure without medication, start having a healthy and balanced diet coupled with an effective exercise regimen. Remember that high blood pressure has no symptoms, so get your blood pressure checked periodically.