• Eating healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-sodium meals can help lower blood pressure naturally.
• Regular exercise can reduce hypertension by improving circulation and strengthening the heart muscle.
• Participating in hobbies like playing guitar or gardening can help reduce stress levels to keep blood pressure in check.
• Practicing relaxation techniques such as meditation and yoga can also help lower blood pressure.
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is one of the most common health issues in the world. It affects millions and can lead to other health issues if left untreated. In the United States alone, nearly half of all adults (47%, or 116 million) have hypertension.
Fortunately, there are ways to control high blood pressure without relying on medication. Explore some of these methods and how they can help you keep your blood pressure levels in check.
Eat Healthy Foods
Eating healthy foods is one of the best ways to lower blood pressure naturally. Certain foods are especially beneficial for controlling hypertension. They contain compounds that help lower blood pressure, such as omega-3 fatty acids, potassium, magnesium, and dietary fiber. Here’s your guide to eating healthy to control high blood pressure:
Increase Your Intake of Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables such as apples, oranges, bananas, spinach, and kale are rich in essential vitamins and minerals. Eating plenty of them can help keep your blood pressure levels within a healthy range. These whole foods also contain fiber which can help reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke.
Reduce Your Intake of Sodium
Excess sodium can cause your blood pressure to rise. The American Heart Association recommends consuming no more than 2,300 milligrams (mg) of sodium daily, or one teaspoon. To keep your salt intake in check, avoid processed foods and restaurant meals high in sodium.
Increase Your Intake of Potassium
Potassium helps counterbalance the effects of sodium and can help lower blood pressure when consumed in adequate amounts. Potassium-rich foods include bananas, potatoes, spinach, avocados, dates, oranges, prunes, and raisins.
Choose Whole Grains Over Refined Grains
Whole grains are a good source of dietary fiber, magnesium, and other nutrients that can help control high blood pressure. Examples include oats, brown rice, quinoa, and barley. Refined grains such as white bread and pasta have removed most of their nutrients, which reduces food’s natural blood-pressure-lowering benefits.
Exercise is another great way to manage high blood pressure naturally. Regular exercise helps improve circulation, strengthens the heart muscle, reduces stress levels, and increases endorphins—all of which can help reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure or keep it under control if you already have it. Here’s a simple exercise regimen you can try to help you manage your hypertension:
- Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercises, such as walking or swimming, five days a week.
- Add strength training and stretching exercises twice a week to mix things up.
- Take 10-minute breaks during long periods of sitting.
Learn New Hobbies
Participating in activities that you enjoy can also help lower your blood pressure. Learning new hobbies and taking up relaxing activities can help reduce stress levels and improve overall health. Here are some of the hobbies that may help you manage your blood pressure:
Playing a musical instrument helps reduce stress and anxiety, which can help lower your blood pressure. If you’re new to music, consider taking some beginner guitar lessons. By enrolling in classes, you’ll learn how to play and enjoy a new environment that can help you relax and forget about your worries.
Gardening is one of the most therapeutic activities there is. Not only does it provide physical activity, but it also helps reduce stress levels by immersing you in nature. It’s also a great way to get your daily dose of sunlight and fresh air. Taking in a much-needed breather can help lower your blood pressure.
Relaxation techniques help reduce stress levels while increasing your awareness of your body and how it responds to various stimuli—allowing you to better monitor your health and recognize any warning signs that may indicate an increase in your blood pressure levels. Here are your options:
Meditation and Mindfulness
Mindfulness involves being present at the moment and focusing on your breath, thoughts, and emotions. When practiced regularly, it can help improve overall mental health and reduce stress levels. It can also help decrease inflammation and lower your risk of developing high blood pressure. Try mindfulness for a few minutes daily to see how it helps you manage your blood pressure.
Yoga combines physical activity with breathing exercises, meditation, and relaxation. It’s one of the best ways to reduce stress and relax the body. Regularly practicing yoga can help improve circulation and lower your risk of developing hypertension.
Managing high blood pressure doesn’t always involve strictly taking medications. By doing these basic techniques, you can better control your blood pressure levels without being dependent on them. With a little effort and dedication, you can have a healthier heart in no time.