High blood pressure is a very common health condition that should be considered as a serious threat to the overall health. It is also called ‘the silent killer’ because it does not cause any visible symptoms or warning signs until the complications develop.
High blood pressure, also referred to as hypertension, increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and even kidney failure.
Hypertension is characterized by systolic blood pressure (its high value) over 140mmHg and diastolic blood pressure (the low value) over 90 mmHg. According to the data of the World Health Organization, one billion people worldwide have high blood pressure and the situation is only getting worse. It is estimated that by 2025, 1.5 billion adults will be living with hypertension.
People suffering from hypertension often need medication to regulate their blood pressure. However, certain diet and lifestyle changes can significantly contribute to improving this condition. Many people control their blood pressure naturally and they do not need any drug therapy.
Here are some effective natural ways to regulate your blood pressure:
1. Eat Bananas
Bananas are a rich source of potassium, and doctors explain how potassium is especially beneficial for people suffering from high blood pressure. Bananas are not the only food that will improve your condition, and try to eat more unpeeled baked potatoes, fresh orange juice and low-fat yoghurt.
2. Reduce The Salt Intake To 5 Grams Per Day
The blood pressure in some people is very sensitive to sodium. You should know that the largest amounts of sodium are consumed through salt, so by limiting the amount of salt some individuals can actually lower the blood pressure. Use spices instead of salt when you prepare your favorite dishes. Processed foods often contain a lot of salt, so carefully read the labels on the products.
3. Eat Dark Chocolate That Contains At Least 70% Cocoa
Eating dark chocolate is a yummy method you can use to lower the blood pressure. Scientists have repeatedly proven that by eating chocolate that contains at least 70% of cocoa people with hypertension can significantly reduce the blood pressure. The recommended daily dose is 100 grams.
4. Exercise For 30 Minutes in Most Days Of The Week
Choose any sport activity you may like and do it at least 4-5 days a week, for at least half an hour. Depending on your options, you can choose walking, cycling, running, swimming or aerobics.
Cardiologists argue that people who changed their lazy lifestyle and started doing aerobic exercises successfully lowered the blood pressure by 4-9 mmHg.
5. Maintain a Healthy Body Weight And Pay Special Attention To The Waist
Obesity is often associated with high blood pressure. If you have any problems with the weight, make an effort to lose the excess pounds. As you lower the weight, you will decrease your pressure at the same time. Keep in mind that people who have a lot of belly fat are at greater risk of hypertension.
The size of the stomach should not be greater than 35 inches for women, and 40 for men, otherwise the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease would be significantly higher.
6. Enjoy Small Amounts of Alcohol And Never Overdo It
Alcohol in small amounts can be beneficial and it can also reduce the blood pressure by 2-4 mmHg. However, when consumed in large quantities, alcohol will not only provide no benefits, it will also have a negative effect. Never drink more than one drink daily if you are a woman and two if you are a man.
This means that 150ml of wine a day is quite enough and within the limit. If you have not consumed alcohol by now, do not start consuming it in an effort to reduce the blood pressure.
7. Forget The Cigarettes And Do Not Become a Victim of Passive Smoking
Increased blood pressure is one of the most dangerous effects smoking has on health. Inhaling the cigarette smoke increases the blood pressure by 10mmHg and keeps it high for an hour after you have smoked a cigarette.
If you are a passionate smoker and you smoke constantly keep in mind that your blood pressure stays high throughout the whole day. Passive smoking should be also considered as a threat to the overall health.
8. Reduce The Caffeine, Do Not Drink More Than Two Cups of Coffee a Day
It is still not confirmed with certainty whether consuming caffeine increases the blood pressure in the long run or if it only has a short-term effect. Despite this, medical experts recommend reducing the intake of caffeine through coffee or other beverages. Do not consume more than two cups of coffee per day.
9. Relax With Classical Music
Calming melodies of classical music can act as a therapy for people with high blood pressure. Experts recommend a 30-minute relaxation daily. Listen to classical or another type of relaxing music and breath deeply to control the hypertension.
10. Reduce The Stress
Stress is the major cause of many diseases. Experts warn that there is a big connection between stress or anxiety and blood pressure.
When you are under stress, the body produces hormones that temporarily increase the blood pressure, because they cause rapid heart rate and narrow the blood vessels.
Therefore, strive to reduce the stress in your life. The techniques of deep breathing and physical activity can really help you to reduce the anxiety and tension. Many health experts recommend yoga or meditation as effective ways to minimize stress.
Since high blood pressure shows no symptoms, regular checks are more than important. Diabetics should be especially careful, because 60% of them have high blood pressure.