Your blood pressure is an essential indicator of your overall health, which is why monitoring it regularly—and understanding what the numbers mean— is vital, especially if you’re at risk for hypertension or high blood pressure.
High blood pressure should never be ignored, as it can lead to health
complications, heart disease, retinopathy (eye disease), chronic kidney disease, and even death.
While medications may be necessary to lower your blood pressure, reducing high blood pressure at home is possible with some dedication. Even if you’re on doctor-prescribed medicines, you can take steps to reduce your blood pressure naturally.
Here are the ten powerful techniques to lower blood pressure.
Reduce your sodium intake.
Salt intake is high around the world. This is mainly due to the increased consumption of processed and prepared foods. One reason for this may be genetic differences in how people process sodium.
If you already have high blood pressure, it’s worth cutting back your sodium intake to see if it makes a difference. Swap out processed foods with fresh ingredients and try seasoning with herbs and spices rather than salt.
Drink less alcohol
Drinking alcohol can raise blood pressure and increase the risk of several chronic health conditions, including high blood pressure.
While some research has suggested that low to moderate amounts of alcohol may protect the heart, adverse effects may offset those benefits.
Eat more potassium-rich foods.
Potassium is an essential mineral that helps your body get rid of sodium and eases pressure on your blood vessels.
Modern diets have increased most people’s sodium intake while decreasing potassium intake.
To get a better balance of potassium to sodium in your diet, focus on eating fewer processed foods and more fresh, whole foods.
Cut back on caffeine.
If you’ve ever downed a cup of coffee before your blood pressure is taken, you’ll know that caffeine causes an instant boost.
However, there’s not much evidence to suggest that drinking caffeine regularly can cause a lasting increase. Still, if you suspect you’re sensitive to the effects of caffeine, consider cutting back to see if it lowers your blood pressure.
In people who are overweight, losing weight can make a big difference to heart health. According to a 2016 study, losing 5% of your body weight could significantly lower high blood pressure.
Among the many reasons to quit smoking is that the habit is a high-risk factor for heart disease. Every puff of cigarette smoke causes a slight increase in blood pressure.
The chemicals in tobacco are also known to damage blood vessels. Still, since both smoking and high blood pressure raise the risk of heart disease, quitting smoking can help reduce that risk.
Berries are full of more than just juicy flavour. They’re also packed with polyphenols, natural plant compounds that are good for your heart.
Polyphenols can reduce the risk of stroke, heart conditions, and diabetes and improve blood pressure, insulin resistance, and systemic inflammation.
Try meditation or deep breathing.
While these two behaviours could also fall under “stress reduction techniques,” meditation and deep breathing deserve specific mention.
Both meditation and deep breathing may activate the parasympathetic nervous system. This system is engaged when the body relaxes, slowing the heart rate, and lowering blood pressure.
Eat calcium-rich foods
People with low calcium intake often have high blood pressure. While calcium supplements haven’t been conclusively shown to lower blood pressure, calcium-rich diets do seem to be linked to healthful levels.
In addition to dairy, you can get calcium from collard greens and other leafy greens, beans, sardines, and tofu. Here is a list of calcium-rich
Eat foods rich in magnesium.
Magnesium is an important mineral that helps blood vessels relax. While magnesium deficiency is pretty rare, many people don’t get enough magnesium in their diet.
Some studies have suggested that getting too little magnesium is linked with high blood pressure, but evidence from clinical studies has been less clear.