20 Lifestyle Changes to Lower Blood Pressure Naturally

High blood pressure is a common problem these days. With hectic schedules and unhealthy diets, it is no wonder that more people are being affected by this condition. Also known as hypertension, high blood pressure is extremely dangerous as it increases the risk of heart and kidney diseases, heart failure and stroke. It is also dangerous as in most cases, it does not give any warning signs or symptoms. If you have high blood pressure, there are ways to lower it naturally and equally important, you can prevent your normal blood pressure from rising.

20 Lifestyle Changes To Help You Lower Your Blood Pressure

If you have normal blood pressure, the best way to make sure that it does not rise is to make healthy lifestyle choices. Changing your lifestyle can also help you lower your blood pressure if it is high. It is possible to lower blood pressure naturally; all you need are a few tips to help you out which include the following:

1. Maintain a healthy weight:

When you are overweight, it increases your risk of high blood pressure by two to six times. Even losing a small amount of weight can make a huge difference in the treatment and prevention of high blood pressure.

2. Exercise regularly:

Being physically active can reduce your risk of high BP by 20 to 50 percent compared to people who do not exercise regularly. You do not need strenuous workouts; even light activities can help if you do them daily.

3. Reduce salt intake:

Salt plays a major role in blood pressure levels. In many cases, people with high BP have been able to lower it by reducing their salt intake. When you cut back on salt. You can also prevent your blood pressure from rising.

4. Lower your stress:

As you know, stress can make your blood pressure go up and in time, it could cause hypertension. Find ways to lower your stress levels and this in turn will lower your blood pressure. It is important to take the time to relax and take a break from your hectic schedule.

5. Drink less alcohol:

Drinking too much alcohol can cause a spike in blood pressure. According to experts, systolic blood pressure can be brought down by 2 to 4 points when women limit their alcohol intake to 1 glass per day and men, 2 drinks.

6. Lower your sodium intake:

Even a small reduction in your sodium intake can bring your blood pressure down by 2 to 8 mmHg. Take less than 2,300 mg of sodium per day, or less than this, to make sure that your blood pressure comes down.

7. Eat more potassium-rich foods:

This is an essential mineral that plays a huge role in the maintenance of blood pressure levels. You should consume at least 2,000 to 4,000 mg of potassium every day. Eat more bananas, potatoes, tomatoes, kidney beans, sweet potatoes, etc.

8. Limit caffeine intake:

According to research, consuming 500 mg of caffeine can increase blood pressure by 4 mm Hg. It increases blood pressure because it tightens the blood vessels and increases the effects of stress, which causes your heart to pump more blood. Caffeine also stimulates the nervous system and the agitated nerves then increases heartbeat, which in turn increases blood pressure.

9. Increase omega-3s:

As you know, omega-3 fatty acids help in reducing the amount of fats known as triglycerides, which play a role in the increase of blood pressure and cholesterol levels. They also help in keeping your heart healthy. To get more omega-3s, make sure that you eat fish at least twice a week.

10. Drink more tea:

You should drink 3 to 4 cups of tea every day to help control high BP. In a recent study, it was found that subjects who drank 3 cups of hibiscus tea every day for 6 weeks had their systolic blood pressure decreased by 7 points. It also showed low heart rates and pulse pressure.

11. Do not overwork:

According to research, working for over 41 hours in a week increases hypertension risk by 15 percent. When you overwork, it makes it difficult for you to follow a healthy diet and lifestyle. Manage your schedule so that you can be stress-free and in turn, check your blood pressure.

12. Practice meditation and deep breathing exercises:

One of the most effective ways to lower blood pressure is deep breathing exercises. By practicing meditation and deep breathing techniques, a stress hormone that elevates rennin is reduced. Rennin is a kidney enzyme that raises blood pressure. Deep breathing for 5 minutes every morning and night can help lower blood pressure and prevent hypertension.

13. Check your snoring:

According to research, people who suffer from sleep apnea have high levels of aldosterone, which is a hormone that increases blood pressure. This makes it important for you to consult a doctor if you have a snoring habit. Getting treatment quickly is vital as sleep apnea is a major cause of hypertension.

14. Listen to more music:

If you want to know how to control blood pressure, one of the best ways is to relax and listen to some music. According to studies, listening to soothing music for at least 30 minutes every day can lower blood pressure by 3.2 points. It helps in busting stress, thus improving your well-being and lowering blood pressure.

15. Stop smoking:

Did you know that every cigarette that you smoke causes your blood pressure to rise even several minutes after you stub it out? By quitting this habit, you can get your blood pressure back to normal. It will also help in increasing your life expectancy substantially.

16. Get chiropractic adjustments:

According to research, you can lower your blood pressure by with a simple adjustment from a chiropractor. A study found that participants who received a chiropractic adjustment had a decrease in systolic pressure by 17 points and diastolic pressure by 10 points. Visit a chiropractor at regular intervals to maintain your blood pressure.

17. Consume dark chocolate:

There is great news for chocolate lovers! Dark chocolate can help in decreasing blood pressure levels. It is rich in flavonols that give blood vessels more elasticity. Research has shown that consuming dark chocolate on a daily basis can cause a significant decrease in blood pressure. For the best benefits, you should consume at least ½ an ounce of chocolate with 70 percent cocoa every day.

18. Increase your fiber intake:

As you know, fiber is an important nutrient that benefits your health in many ways. Since it helps immensely in improving digestion, it is highly effective in controlling blood pressure levels. Whole grain products, nuts, green leafy vegetables, fruits like apples, oranges, plums, mangoes, etc., legumes like peas and beans, etc. should be included in your diet.

19. Take hot baths:

According to research, one of the best ways to lower blood pressure levels is to take hot showers or baths. A 15-minute hot bath or shower can help in reducing your blood pressure levels for several hours. Take one before you go to bed to retain low blood pressure for the entire night or at least a couple of hours.

20. Eat a healthy diet:

You should eat a diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low fat dairy products and low in cholesterol and saturated fats can decrease your blood pressure by approximately 14 mmHg. This diet for high blood pressure is called the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, or DASH.

As you can see, it is possible to lower blood pressure levels naturally. You do not need expensive medications. By making positive lifestyle changes, you can not only lower your blood pressure, but effectively prevent hypertension as well.

Reviewed By:

Dr. Kaushal M. Bhavsar (MBBS, MD)

Assistant Professor in Pulmonary Medicine, GMERS Medical College, Ahmedabad