When a person has high blood pressure (hypertension), blood is pumping against the artery walls with too much force. Without making important lifestyle changes, combined with the supervised treatment provided by the medical professionals at Altaire Clinic, the condition can lead to stroke, heart disease, or another type of cardiac condition. In the United States, hypertension is fairly common. Over 100 million Americans have high blood pressure. Because hypertension can be asymptomatic, many people aren’t even aware that their blood pressure is too high.
Fortunately, there are ways you can treat your high blood pressure, naturally. In some cases, a patient may require treatment that involves a combination of important lifestyle changes and blood pressure medication. In other cases, making dietary changes, incorporating exercise, learning how to manage stress, and ensuring you get the sleep you need, can be enough to help lower blood pressure levels.
How to Lower Blood Pressure Without Medication
When seated, a healthy blood pressure reading is less than 120/80. The systolic blood pressure reading is the level of pressure in the arteries during a heartbeat and it is the first number in a blood pressure reading. The second number is diastolic blood pressure. Diastolic blood pressure is the amount of pressure in the arteries between heartbeats. A reading over 120/80 is considered high or elevated.
Stage one high blood pressure begins at 130/80. Stage two is blood pressure that is 140/90 or higher. When the systolic blood pressure is over 180 the patient is at a very high risk of stroke, heart failure, or heart attack.
Unfortunately, when high blood pressure is left untreated, it can damage and stretch the arteries.
Lifestyle changes can help a person diagnosed with hypertension naturally lower their blood pressure level.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Your diet has a major impact on your overall health, including your blood pressure. Evidence has shown that making important dietary changes can be the most effective way to naturally lower your blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, you should focus on lowering daily sugar intake and salt intake, increasing daily potassium intake, and incorporating foods such as whole grains, dark chocolate, lean protein sources, and fresh fruits and veggies.
To help lower your blood pressure, eat healthy foods, such as:
- Lean sources of protein, including fish, nuts, poultry, and beans
- Whole grains, such as whole-grain bread and pasta, barley, oats, and brown rice
Additionally, studies suggest that there are specific foods that can lower blood pressure, including:
- Low-fat dairy products
- Olive oil
- Foods rich in magnesium and potassium
- Beetroot juice
- Dark chocolate
- Hibiscus, black, and green teas
Lowering sodium intake is very important. Consuming foods that are high in salt can increase sodium levels in the blood, increasing the volume of blood.
Instead of adding salt to your food, choose healthier options that can boost flavor, such as:
- Citrus juices
To manage blood pressure, avoid:
- High-fat dairy foods
- Caffeinated drinks including energy drinks
- Processed prepared foods
- Foods high in trans fat
Instead, focus on natural, whole foods. If you're shopping and you're unsure whether a particular food is healthy, when in doubt, always read the food label.
Limit Alcohol and Caffeine
If a person consumes three or more drinks per day, it can elevate blood pressure levels. Men and women who consume three or more drinks daily are at an increased risk of hypertension. Limiting your alcohol intake or abstaining from alcohol consumption can have a major positive effect on your blood pressure levels.
Reducing your caffeine intake can also have a similar positive effect on your blood pressure. Caffeine consumption can increase blood pressure levels in some patients. To naturally lower blood pressure, people diagnosed with hypertension must carefully manage caffeine levels or abstain from consuming products that contain caffeine.
Nicotine should be avoided in all forms, including smoking, chew, patches, and vaping. Nicotine restricts blood vessels. This restriction causes the heart to work harder, increasing blood pressure. Abstaining from nicotine can reduce a person’s risk of hypertension.
Stress hormones can constrict the blood vessels, increasing blood pressure. Focusing on techniques that can reduce stress can be an effective way to lower blood pressure naturally. Mindfulness techniques and deep breathing exercises can help lower the body’s reaction to stress.
Participating in regular physical activities five times per week can help lower blood pressure. Aerobic exercise training, swimming, lifting with light weights, and other forms of moderate exercises, thirty minutes a day, five days a week, can promote weight loss and lower blood pressure. Other forms of moderate activities can include gardening, raking leaves, cycling, jogging, or walking at a brisk pace. By following a regular exercise program that's tailored to your health and wellness goals, you can see a reduction in blood pressure while enjoying many other health benefits including elevated mood, a boost in confidence, an increase in energy, and more.
Make Sure to Get Good, Restful Sleep
A person’s blood pressure lowers when they sleep. If you don’t get enough sleep, blood pressure levels will remain higher, for longer. Lack of adequate sleep can also impact the body’s ability to control stress hormones, which can also affect blood pressure.
To improve sleep, stick to a regular schedule, avoid caffeinated or alcoholic beverages, avoid watching TV at bedtime, and use deep breathing techniques, mindfulness techniques, or other forms of meditation to relax before bed.
Contact Altaire Clinic Today to Schedule a Consult
People with prolonged high blood pressure may require both supervised medical treatment and healthy lifestyle changes, in addition to medication. If you are concerned your blood pressure is too high or you’ve been diagnosed with hypertension, contact the medical professionals at Altaire Clinic today to schedule an appointment. In many cases, hypertension is manageable, with the right lifestyle changes, and supervised treatment from an experienced medical professional. At Altaire Clinic, we look forward to meeting you and helping you on your path to wellness.