More than one billion people worldwide have high blood pressure. And though intaking your maintenance medicines religiously can help to manage your blood pressure level, there are several natural ways to keep it under control and thereby, lower your risk of severe complications and heart problems which could prove fatal. Having high blood pressure takes a lot of maintenance, but a change in your lifestyle could be a great starting point. Here are easy ways to combat high blood pressure:
Maintain a Healthy Weight
An overall healthy lifestyle makes a huge difference.
Overweight or obese people are more prone to potentially dangerous health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, cancers, and hypertension. Obesity itself is a complex disease, which may or may not be a result of an unhealthy lifestyle. But whatever the reason is, it all comes down to the fact that excess fat makes you more susceptible to sickness, and therefore should be shed off to lower your risk of these potentially fatal health problems.
Blood pressure usually increases as your weight does, as excessive fat makes it harder for your blood vessels to expand and contract, and put extreme pressure on your heart to pump blood.
A healthy body mass index (BMI) should range between 18.5 and 24.9. Keep your BMI along with this range, and you’ll see the doctor less often.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle by staying active. You don’t have to be a gym rat or enroll in a fitness class to achieve an active lifestyle. Regular exercise and walking for at least 30 minutes a day can help make your heart stronger and result in significant changes in your blood pressure.
Regular physical activity can help you prevent developing hypertension and other health problems. However, if you already have high blood pressure, exercising regularly can help lower your blood pressure and increase hormones that improve your overall health. Regular exercise is also more effective to combat high blood pressure when you have a balanced diet.
Watch What You Eat
When you have hypertension, watching what you eat becomes habitual. And it’s not merely because you want to maintain your diet balanced, it is more because what you eat might increase pressure on your blood vessels, triggering a hypertensive emergency.
Good thing several foods could help combat high blood pressure. Here are some that should be regulars on your diet:
1. Potassium-rich vegetables and fruits help eliminate sodium on your blood vessels.
- Leafy greens
- Sweet potatoes
- Romaine lettuce
2. Berries are full of polyphenols and natural compounds that are good for the heart.
3. Eat calcium-rich foods like dairy, milk, collard greens, beans, sardines, and tofu.
- Skim milk
4. Foods that have natural supplements also help lower your blood pressure.
- Whey protein
- Fish oil
- Dark chocolates
5. Magnesium-rich foods like legumes, chicken, meat, and whole grains help relax blood vessels.
6. Eat more foods that have protein and omega-3.
Watching what you eat means avoiding foods that can trigger hypertensive attacks. Sodium is your number one’s enemy when you have hypertension. Aside from salts, cut back on the foods listed below to prevent your blood pressure from increasing.
1. Bad news for coffee and tea lovers: It is advised that you cut back on caffeine when you have hypertension. Though no study could confirm the adverse effect of caffeine on your blood pressure, caffeine-sensitive people might suffer from palpitations that can cause a sudden, but a short-term spike in blood pressure.
2. Reduce sugar and carbs intake. According to recent studies, regular consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages was linked to higher blood pressure.
3. Eat fewer processed foods.
Quit Smoking and Limit Your Alcohol Intake
If you need a reason to stop smoking, then this is it. Every puff of cigarette smoke causes a spike in your blood pressure and significant damage to your blood vessels. It has been emphasized time and again that smoking is bad for your health.
Aside from smoking, people with hypertension should also consider giving up – or at least limiting their alcohol intake. Alcohol raises your blood pressure over time, and controlling the amount of alcohol that enters your body would keep your blood pressure down.
Take Your Maintenance Medicines Religiously
Though there are natural ways to control your blood pressure, taking medications as prescribed by your doctor is still essential. If your doctor deemed it necessary that you receive maintenance, then take them religiously and adequately.
Also, do not self-medicate as some medications can also provoke your blood vessels to act unnaturally.
Manage Stress Effectively
There’s a valid reason why your doctor is telling you to manage your stress as it is a crucial driver of increased blood pressure and could lead to severe heart disease. When you’re severely stressed, your body produces hormones excessively, and your heart rate increases. This can result in the contraction of your heart’s arteries and ventricles.
Doctors advise that you find various techniques for you to manage chronic stress. Among the many methods are listening to soothing music, meditation, and deep breathing.
Get Checked Regularly
As they always say, prevention is better than cure. Having your overall health checked regularly helps you detect potential health problems, about existing ones, and treat them during their early stages. The same goes for hypertension. When you have high blood pressure, you are more prone to potentially fatal complications. High blood pressure can also cause problems with your eyesight.
Hypertension generally develops over time and can develop into more life-threatening conditions if not treated. Here are some of the major conditions that are caused by high blood pressure:
- Heart attack or stroke
- Kidney problems
- Possible vision loss
- Metabolic syndrome
- Memory loss and comprehension problems
Though hypertension is affected by several other factors, your lifestyle brings the most impact on your health. Maintaining a balanced diet, an active lifestyle, and veering away from vices that only cause you harm might sound complicated and too much of a commitment, but mind you, it can save your life.