High blood pressure affects many adults with most of them being unaware about it. When two or more consecutive readings above 140/90 mmHg are observed the person is said to have hypertension. You needn’t worry if you have recently found that you have hypertension, as there are many natural remedies for controlling this ‘silent killer’. Here are some of the natural methods of reducing your blood pressure:
- Lifestyle Changes — This includes losing weight, exercising, and quitting smoking. Regular exercising can also include activities like walking, biking and gardening which are great blood pressure reducers. Cutting down on alcohol also reduces blood pressure. Women should avoid taking more than one drink a day and men should restrict themselves to two drinks, per day. Stress can also lead to increase in blood pressure levels. According to the American Society of Hypertension, listening to soothing music for half an hour a day can reduce blood pressure. Transcendental Meditation, Yoga and muscle relaxation techniques also help in lowering blood pressure. Yoga helps reduce stress. There are some specific asana suitable for those looking to reduce their blood pressure. These include forward bends like virasana and upavista konasana and uttasana and savasna. A good sleep of 8 hours can help to beat stress levels.
- Reduce Salt Intake — The American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition (August 2008) has confirmed the role of sodium in raising blood pressure. You should avoid high sodium diet to keep blood pressure under control.
- Increase intake of Potassium — According to studies published in the Journal Of Clinical hypertension (July 2008), eating potassium rich foods can help reduce blood pressure. Good sources of potassium include soybeans, tomato sauce and paste, spinach, beet greens, bananas and lentils. Potatoes are not only a rich source of potassium but they also contain a blood pressure lowering compound called kukoamines. Tomatoes also contain kukoamines, but in lower concentrations.
- Increase Magnesium Intake — Magnesium rich foods are helpful in controlling your blood pressure. An increased magnesium intake is also related to a reduced risk of stroke and pre-eclamsia. Good magnesium sources such as brown rice, almonds, hazelnuts, spinach and milk should be included in the diet.
- Calcium rich foods like milk, yoghurt, cheese, broccoli, and Chinese cabbage are also known to reduce blood pressure.
- Stevia — The Sweet Herb — Available only as a dietary supplement in the US, this herb does not have any calories or carbohydrates but may help in lowering your blood pressure.
- Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA) — Omega-3 fatty acid ALA foods such as walnuts, flaxseeds, soybeans and canola oils also help in reducing high blood pressure.
- Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) and Eicosapentaeonic Acid (EPA) – Cold water fish such as salmon, tuna, herring and mackerel that are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EHA may also reduce blood pressure. Fish oil is a great blood pressure reducer. Non-fish eaters can have margarine or peanut butter for similar effects. Intake of Vitamin E is also important for controlled blood pressure.
- Garlic supplements can be effective blood pressure reducers.
- Dark Chocolates are not only good for health but also help in reducing blood pressure. The flavanol component in food supplements having high levels of cocoa such as chocolate confectionary and cocoa drinks is also known to reduce high blood pressure.
- Vitamins as Blood Pressure Reducers — There are many vitamins such as Vitamin C, E, B5, B6 and folic acid that help reduce high blood pressure. Increased vitamin intake can reduce the plaque building on the artery walls. A diet rich in fruits and vitamins is important for controlling hypertension.
With proper diet and exercise, you can prevent problems such as high blood pressure. For those with high blood pressure, certain lifestyle changes can help keep your blood pressure under check and reduce the need for medication.