The normal blood pressure for human beings is 120/80 mm Hg. The higher number or the number on the top (120) is the systolic pressure, while the lower number (80) is the diastolic pressure. Systolic blood pressure is the highest pressure exerted by blood on the walls of the arteries as the heart contracts and pumps blood. On the other hand, diastolic pressure indicates the pressure in the arteries when the heart rests between beats. High blood pressure or hypertension is one of the major causes of heart diseases.
There are several factors that lead to hypertension, like stress, excess consumption of alcohol, smoking, obesity, old age, genetics, consumption of excess salt, etc. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can result in medical conditions such as heart attack, stroke, heart failure, metabolic syndrome, etc. Therefore, lowering high blood pressure immediately is necessary to prevent heart diseases.
Natural Ways to Lower High Blood Pressure
High systolic blood pressure can be lowered with the help of medication. However, there are several natural methods that are equally effective in lowering and preventing high blood pressure.
Have a Healthy Diet
Foods containing high amounts of cholesterol like egg yolk, liver, kidney, lobster, and fatty, processed foods (fast food, cheese, butter) increase blood pressure as the excess cholesterol builds up on the inner walls of arteries. Therefore, these foods should be avoided. You should rather have fresh vegetables, lean fish, lean chicken, fruits, egg white, and whole grains in your daily diet.
Secondly, excess of sodium (salt) in the diet indirectly exerts excess pressure on the heart, thereby making it pump harder. This increases the blood pressure. It is essential to reduce the amounts of high sodium foods in the diet like chips, crisps, processed foods, ketchup, cheese, processed meats, sauces, and pickles. You should also go easy on desserts and sweets.
Exercising regularly is believed to be one of the best ways of lowering high blood pressure naturally. Regular exercise (for 30-60 minutes every day) helps in strengthening your heart. The heart, therefore, requires less effort to pump blood. You can try cardiovascular exercises like walking, running, jogging, and swimming. You can also perform meditation, yoga, and aerobics.
Today it is observed that obesity and stress are the top causes of hypertension. When a person is overweight, he has a higher blood volume, which increases the blood pressure. Obese people are at an increased risk of developing hypertension and heart diseases. Therefore, you need to get rid of excess fat and maintain a proper body weight. Following a healthy diet and an exercise regimen can facilitate weight loss.
As mentioned above, stress is another prominent cause for hypertension. Stress takes a toll on the overall health of a person, prominently on the blood pressure and the heart. Stress can be reduced to a great extent by managing time and following relaxation techniques. Spending time with your loved ones, pursuing a hobby, watching a funny movie, etc., are some of the effective ways of alleviating stress.
Curb Alcohol Consumption & Smoking
Nicotine in cigarettes decreases the level of oxygen to the heart and also increases chances of blood clotting. Secondly, excess consumption of alcohol can increase the blood pressure drastically. Therefore, in order to lower high blood pressure and to prevent it altogether, you need to cut down on smoking and alcohol. Caffeine is believed to increase blood pressure, but, there is little evidence about the long-lasting effects of caffeine on blood pressure. It is wise to reduce the excess intake of caffeine.
* In case your doctor has prescribed medication for high blood pressure, you should continue taking those regularly. These lifestyle habits are in no way to be used as substitutes for medication and doctor's advice.
In case you have been diagnosed with hypertension, make sure that you monitor your blood pressure regularly. To sum up the above, remember that the most effective way to lower blood pressure is to have a healthy lifestyle. You should improve your dietary habits, and stay physically active.
Following these methods can help in preventing hypertension and heart diseases to a great extent. So, consult your doctor, and implement these methods immediately to have a healthy life. Take care!
Disclaimer: This article is meant only to provide information. It is in no way intended to replace doctor's advice.