Hypertension, or high blood pressure, could lead to serious health consequences if left uncontrolled over time. Hypertension is known to contribute to heart attack, stroke, and a myriad of other complications within the human body. However, there are a number of ways to manage blood pressure levels without the use of medications. Here are some tips to reduce blood pressure naturally.
One tip that could prove beneficial in combating hypertension is the consumption of herbal tea. Specifically, herbal hibiscus tea has helped lower blood pressure levels in people with mild hypertension, according to a Tufts University study. Participants in the study, who were age 30 to 70, who drank three cups of hibiscus tea daily lowered their blood pressure (BP) levels by as much as seven points after six weeks of observation. The tea had the greatest effect in those participants with the most elevated blood pressure levels. Their systolic BP, which is the pressure exerted on the arteries when the heart contracts and pushes blood through the arteries to the rest of the body, went down by 13 points. The systolic blood pressure is also recognized as the top number of an individual’s blood pressure reading. Whereas the diastolic blood pressure is the pressure in the arteries when the heart rests between beats. The diastolic BP is also recognized as the bottom number of an individual’s blood pressure reading.
Another tip to reduce blood pressure involves reducing the salt intake in a person’s diet. This tip is crucial for those with hypertension, however, it is not always easy to control salt consumption, especially when dining out. To avoid the saltiest restaurant meals, it is a wise idea to view restaurant options online and get an idea of what sodium-rich foods and dishes to avoid. Recent surveys found that restaurants such as Red Lobster and Olive Garden ranked high among most sodium-rich dishes. Meanwhile, Subway, McDonald’s, and Burger King had reduced the sodium in many of their offerings. However, other fast food establishments, such as KFC and Jack in the Box, had actually increased the salt content in several of their offerings.
Other tips to reduce blood pressure levels naturally and prevent hypertension include incorporating yogurt into a person’s diet. The probiotics in yogurt and other fermented foods (like some cheeses) can actually help lower blood pressure levels, according to recent studies. Therefore, yogurt every day may help keep the doctor away, particularly if it is labeled as “live and active cultures.”
Walking is another tip to ward off hypertension and control blood pressure levels. In fact, some studies have suggested that three brisk 10-minute walks a day worked better to lower blood pressure than one, longer 30-minute walk. Researchers wanted to find an effective exercise approach that would fit more easily into people’s lifestyles but still be beneficial.
Another essential tip in preventing hypertension is to never underestimate the power of fruits and veggies. Fruits and veggies are loaded with potassium, which is a crucial mineral the body needs to maintain a healthy blood pressure level. One of the worst things for individuals with hypertension is to have a diet that is high in salt and low in potassium. In fact, it can double the odds for fatal heart disease, according to research done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The good thing is plenty of foods that people love are high in potassium, such as potatoes (sweet and regular), tomatoes, bananas, orange juice, cantaloupe, nuts, and beans.
Just to prove there is justice in the world, there is also a terrific tip for all chocolate lovers. Turns out, a square of dark chocolate a day can also help lower blood pressure. It should be noted it is the variety of dark chocolate, which contains 50 to 70 percent cocoa, that has been proven beneficial to several health issues. In fact, a recent Harvard study found that chocolate lowered blood pressure in all participants, but most notably in those individuals with hypertension.
Other simple tips to reduce blood pressure levels naturally and prevent hypertension include switching to decaf coffee, yoga and meditation, low-impact and aquatic exercise, or even finding a new hobby might help. Hypertension could lead to serious health consequences if left uncontrolled over time. While high blood pressure is known to contribute to heart attacks, stroke, and a number of other complications within the human body, there are a number of ways to manage blood pressure levels without the use of medications. However, it is always best to consult a physician before beginning a new exercise program, or if an individual suspects their blood pressure might be uncontrolled.
By Leigh Haugh