The blood circulatory system is responsible for purifying oxygen depleted blood and supplying oxygen rich blood to the body organs. In the process, blood is continuously pumped in and out of the heart, thus exerting pressure in the arterial and venous walls. Blood pressure can be defined as the force exerted by the circulating blood against the walls of the blood vessels. It is considered as one of the most vital signs for determining the overall health and well-being of an individual.
Blood Pressure: An Overview
The amount of pumped blood and resistance to arterial blood flow are factors that determine the blood pressure. While assessing the blood pressure, there are two forces that are taken into consideration, namely, systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure. The former corresponds to the pressure exerted when the heart contracts or pumps blood to the body cells and tissues, while diastolic blood pressure is the force exerted between two beats or when the heart is at rest.
Blood pressure is measured by using a device called sphygmomanometer, with its value expressed in millimeters of mercury (mmHg). It is represented as a fraction, with the systolic blood pressure at the numerator and diastolic at the denominator. A blood pressure reading lower than 120/80 mmHg is considered normal, while a lower or higher figure generally implies hypotension or hypertension respectively.
Lowering Blood Pressure Naturally
In the present scenario, high blood pressure, also known as hypertension is a major health problem worldwide. Though the exact causes of high blood pressure are not known, medical research reveals that lifestyle or the way of living contributes in developing hypertension to a great extent. Some of the risk factors for hypertension include age, poor diet plan, excessive alcohol intake, lack of physical activities, and obesity.
The following are certain natural ways to lower blood pressure that can be undertaken in order to avoid the complications associated with high blood pressure.
High blood pressure is related to excess weight or obesity. A majority of obese people suffer from hypertension. Losing weight and/or maintaining weight to normal recommended levels will effectively lower blood pressure.
Perform Physical Activity
A sedentary or less active lifestyle is a major risk factor for causing high blood pressure. Regular exercise, at least 30 minutes per day is recommended to bring down the blood pressure to normal, safer levels.
Scientific studies claim that stress also contributes in developing high blood pressure. Hence, managing stress by practicing healthy coping methods, like, yoga and meditation help in combating hypertension.
Consume Healthy Diet
Changing unhealthy dietary and eating habits is effective in lowering blood pressure. Consume healthy foods which include fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and foods containing low-fat and low cholesterol.
Reduce Sodium Intake
Excess sodium content in the diet can elevate blood pressure levels. Hence, cutting down on sodium intake as much as possible helps in reducing the blood pressure up to 2 - 8 mmHg. The more the amount of sodium reduced, the lower will the blood pressure be.
Limit Alcohol Consumption
Alcohol, if taken in excess amount, increases the blood pressure and reduces effectiveness of hypertension medications. Considering this, it is always advisable to limit alcohol consumption in order to lower the blood pressure levels.
Another factor contributing to high blood pressure is the nicotine present in tobacco products. Tobacco narrows the blood vessels, resulting in hypertension. Hence, cessation of smoking and other tobacco products will greatly help in lowering blood pressure.
In addition to these methods, other natural ways to lower blood pressure is getting adequate sleep, consuming fiber-rich foods, and reducing caffeine intake. It is also advisable to regularly monitor the blood pressure as doing this will help in proper planning of the diet and exercise in order to control the blood pressure to normal, recommended levels.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.