One in three Americans has high blood pressure, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But thankfully, blood pressure can usually be lowered and managed through simply making better lifestyle choices.
And just as lowering your cholesterol naturally is better than using statins, lowering your blood pressure is best done without relying solely on medication. Let’s look how to decrease your blood pressure through natural methods.
Blood pressure is the amount of force your blood pushes against the walls of your blood vessels. A healthy blood pressure is below 120/80.
Systolic blood pressure, the top number, is the pressure when the heart beats. Diastolic blood pressure, the bottom number, is the amount of pressure when the heart is resting between beats.
Along with high cholesterol and being overweight or obese, a high blood pressure diagnosis, also known as hypertension (over 130/80), is a major risk factor for heart disease or stroke. And because it typically has no symptoms of signs, it’s often known as the “silent killer.”
One of the best things you can do for heart attack prevention is maintain normal blood pressure with the following lifestyle changes.
Foods with antioxidants like polyphenols and flavonoids have many beneficial health effects, including lowering blood pressure [*].
Focus on foods high in potassium too. Potassium is an electrolyte needed to balance out too much sodium, relax blood vessel walls, and help naturally decrease blood pressure. Good sources of potassium include:
Restaurant food, fast food, and even grocery store pre-made meals are usually loaded with sodium. Eat at home as much as possible so you can control the ingredients, focusing on whole, unprocessed foods, organic fruits and vegetables, and free-range meats.
These common vices can increase blood pressure and even lower your life expectancy! If you smoke, it’s time to work on quitting.
While a moderate amount of alcohol—one drink per day for women and two for men—can potentially lower blood pressure, more can actually raise blood pressure by several points and even reduce the effectiveness of blood pressure medications.
Exercising consistently can be very effective at reducing high blood pressure (by about 5-8 points).
Find aerobic exercise you enjoy and can do daily, such as walking or jogging, swimming, cycling, high-intensity interval training, or even dancing. Also include strength training exercise at least two days per week.
Stress can elevate blood pressure too. Find ways to include more relaxation in your life, such as taking time off work, praying regularly, and making time for activities you enjoy.
If you’re overweight or obese, even a small amount of weight loss helps. Losing as little as 10 pounds can make a difference and begin to ease the strain on your heart.
The above lifestyle changes can help you lose weight in a way that is sustainable. Following a healthy eating plan like Keto Zone diet is also great for effective weight loss.
High blood pressure can be scary, but making these daily heart-healthy choices can go a long way towards transforming your health—starting today!