How To Lower High Blood Pressure Naturally
If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, but are hesitant to start taking medication to correct your high blood pressure because of fears of side effects, you may be wondering about how to lower high blood pressure naturally. A blood pressure reading is made up of two numbers, systolic, or the pressure when the heart is beating, and diastolic, or the pressure when the heart is between beats. A healthy adult should have a systolic reading of under 120 and a diastolic of under 80. If your blood pressure is elevated, here are some strategies you can employ to lower your high blood pressure naturally.
Watch your diet. The government recommends a healthy eating approach to lowering high blood pressure naturally that they call DASH, or dietary approaches to stop hypertension. They recommend diets rich in fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy that limit saturated fat, total fat, and cholesterol. A secondary dietary approach labeled DASH-sodium also calls for hypertension patients to reduce sodium consumption. Those patients who reduced their sodium intake to less than 1,500 mg per day saw the greatest change in their blood pressure levels.
- Lose weight. Excess weight contributes to high blood pressure, and studies show that just a 10-pound weight loss can help reduce high blood pressure naturally.
Exercise. Exercising for just 30 minutes a day five days a week can lower your blood pressure by five to ten points, equaling the effect of many blood pressure medications.
- Limit alcohol. Alcohol in excess can cause high blood pressure. Alcohol is also extremely calorie dense and the weight gain it causes can contribute to high blood pressure.
- Quit smoking. As if you needed another reason. Nicotine acts as a vasoconstrictor, tightening the walls of your blood vessels, and causing a temporary elevation of blood pressure.
- Eat a banana. Diets rich in potassium have been shown to lower high blood pressure naturally.