Blood pressure is a key indicator of your health. At the extreme ends of the spectrum — with very high and very low blood pressure — you could be at risk of a serious medical condition.
Low blood pressure is generally less concerning and is more easily treatable, while high blood pressure — or hypertension — can lead to a heart attack, stroke and a myriad of other life-threatening issues. It’s also more difficult to manage as it could be caused by a few different factors, many of which need to be continually addressed over time.
You can manage your blood pressure levels by making lifestyle changes, like kicking bad habits, adjusting your diet and making time for exercise. So what are the most effective ways to lower blood pressure naturally?
What Is High Blood Pressure?
Blood pressure is measured using a sphygmomanometer — a machine you’ll struggle to pronounce, but one you’re probably familiar with. It measures the pressure within your arteries with an inflatable cuff that’s placed around your arm and reads diastolic and systolic pressures.
The Canadian Hypertension Society defines high blood pressure as anything over 140/90mmHg, which means a reading of “140 over 90” when you get your blood pressure results would be considered “high”. In biological terms, this means that your heart is exerting a lot of force to pump blood around your body, which might be an indication of several possible physiological inefficiencies or problems. Optimal blood pressure is anything between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg.
Is High Blood Pressure Dangerous?
High blood pressure is often undetected as it requires regular monitoring, but it can seriously impact your health and even result in life-threatening issues. Often referred to as a “silent killer”, high blood pressure could result in major cardiac problems — including heart disease, heart attacks and heart failure — as well as several other serious health issues like strokes or aortic aneurysms.
It’s also linked with kidney disease, which might be slower to make itself known, but it’s equally detrimental to health. In many cases, problems with your kidneys can actually cause high blood pressure in the first place. No matter which comes first, it’s imperative that you do what you can to lower blood pressure to maintain good overall health.
How to Lower Blood Pressure Naturally
Fortunately, there are several ways you can start lowering your blood pressure immediately by making changes to your lifestyle:
1. Eat a Balanced Diet
A balanced diet is absolutely essential to maintaining good health, but many of us don’t get the necessary nutrition from the food we eat. The typical modern diet is filled with processed foods that fail to nourish our bodies, and when coupled with the worrying rates of soil degradation, you have a recipe for disaster.
Some foods will contribute to high blood pressure. Others will help bring your blood pressure down. Various fruits and vegetables that reduce blood pressure include:
On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are innumerable foods that have a negative impact on your blood pressure:
- Butter and margarine
- Whole milk dairy products
- Fatty or processed meats
- Fried food
- Salted snacks
- Fast food
Moderating your intake of foods that are bad for your blood pressure while increasing the number of foods that will positively impact your health is an excellent way to lower the risk of hypertension. Cutting back on sugar and refined carbohydrates can also reduce the risk of insulin resistance, a factor that can contribute to high blood pressure.
2. Reduce Your Sodium (Salt) Intake
A diet high in salt can lead to increased blood pressure. Too much salt disrupts the natural sodium balance in the body, causing fluid retention. This increases the pressure exerted against the walls of your blood vessels, putting your body’s circulatory system under unnecessary strain.
Health Canada recommends limiting your sodium intake to 1500 milligrams (mg) per day and not exceeding 2300 mg per day. That’s approximately one teaspoon of salt, so there’s not a lot of room for it in your diet. Avoiding adding salt during cooking and replacing high-sodium snacks with more nutritious foods can greatly reduce your overall sodium intake.
Potassium supplements are also effective in regulating your blood pressure. They can offset some of the excess sodium within the body, and with an increased potassium intake, you’ll pass more sodium through urine. However, if you have a pre-existing kidney condition such as kidney disease, your potassium levels need to be carefully managed and shouldn’t exceed your regular intake.
3. Take a Blood Pressure Supplement
Several natural supplements have been developed to help you manage your blood pressure without medical intervention. Specific herbs and organic, whole-food ingredients like garlic — as mentioned earlier — can help you manage your cardiovascular and circulatory health.
Bell Lifestyle Products Blood Pressure Formulation Combo has been proven effective in reducing blood pressure naturally. Its combination of non-GMO ingredients and health-enhancing herbs makes it a simple and convenient supplement that can dramatically improve your cardiovascular health.
Your heart is responsible for pumping blood around your body, so maintaining good cardiovascular health should be a priority, particularly if you struggle with hypertension. Strauss Heart Drops are specially formulated to improve and maintain heart function, which can contribute to improved cardiovascular health and help lower blood pressure.
4. Minimize Stress
If you’re prone to feeling stressed or anxious, it can harm your physical health as well as your mental wellbeing. Too much stress contributes to high blood pressure, so managing your mindset is incredibly important, especially if you are having a hard time at work or struggling with the demands of busy family life.
Meditation and talking therapy are amazingly effective at helping you manage your responses to stressful situations, but you can also use natural herbal remedies to reduce symptoms of stress in your day to day life.
5. Take Up Regular Exercise
Exercise can keep your blood pressure levels in check. The American Heart Association recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes — or two and a half hours — of moderately intense exercise per week. If you haven’t exercised much before, that may seem like a lot, so don’t dive in at the deep end and cause yourself an injury or overwork yourself — start steady and slowly build up your fitness.
If you already struggle with high blood pressure, it’s better to stick to low or moderately intense exercise and avoid activities like sprinting or heavy weightlifting, as these short, high-intensity exercises may do you more harm than good.
6. Limit Alcohol Consumption
It’s been reported that alcohol consumption has increased since the COVID-19 outbreak over a year ago, which comes with a variety of health and well-being concerns for Canadians. Increased alcohol consumption is linked to numerous health conditions, from various cancers to liver disease. While there is no “safe” level of alcohol intake, minimizing the amount of alcohol you consume has a positive effect on your blood pressure levels and your overall health.
7. Quit Smoking
Smoking tobacco is harmful to your respiratory health. Your heart and lungs need to work together to supply oxygen to all areas of the body, and smoking reduces the efficiency of these systems. The smoke isn’t the main issue though, as nicotine — a stimulating and addictive component of cigarettes — raises your heart rate, narrows your arteries and contributes to increased blood pressure. This also makes blood clots more likely to occur, which could result in a stroke or a heart attack.
Should You Be Concerned About Blood Pressure?
The most crucial factor in managing your blood pressure is consistent monitoring and dedication to positive lifestyle changes. By checking your blood pressure regularly, you’ll be able to see whether or not the lifestyle changes you’re making are having the desired effect on your blood pressure levels, helping you achieve a better quality of life.
If you’re worried about your blood pressure, speak to a medical professional and discuss your options. Everyone’s body is different, and your situation may require a unique approach. If you’re looking for a natural, simple and effective way of managing your blood pressure levels or preventing high blood pressure, we carry a whole range of easy-to-take blood pressure supplements that can help you on your journey towards a healthier life.
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