High blood pressure is a dangerous symptom to have. It is the number one risk leading to stroke, and also causes heart disease due to the increase in work the heart has to do to pump blood through the arteries.
Heart-related matters should be taken care of by a healthcare professional. However, there are some things people can do to maintain their high blood pressure at a healthy level. Below are twelve best high blood pressure remedies and treatments:
A balanced diet is a great first step when looking for high blood pressure remedies. Keep the proteins lean – meaning try to avoid red meat if possible, or at least only have red meat in a couple of meals a week. Keep the carbs complex – whole grains instead of simple carbs. Finally, keep the veggie count high.
2. Regularly eat cocoa or dark chocolate
The good news is you don’t have to give up chocolate completely. While you’ll have to put away the sugar-heavy milk chocolate bars you may be used to, all is not lost. It has been found that dark chocolate and cocoa contain flavonoids, which help blood vessels to dilate.
Just as exercise makes your muscles stronger, it also makes your heart stronger. Exercising is one of the best high blood pressure remedies. The recommended amount is about 30 minutes a day of moderate exercise – like walking. Even just this recommended amount of exercise will make a big difference, but studies show that the more the better.
4. Have some berries
The polyphenols in berries are heart-healthy plant compounds that also happen to have positive effects on many different heart-related conditions, notably, high blood pressure. Including berries in a balanced diet can be helpful, but keep moderation in mind as well when introducing these into your diet.
5. Up the calcium intake
Calcium is another nutrient that can have positive effects on high blood pressure. However, a lot of dairy can also be high in fat and sugar, so if you’ll be getting your calcium from dairy, make sure to opt for options that do not contain a lot of added sugar, and which contain the most whole ingredients. Alternatively, leafy greens like collard greens are also incredibly high in calcium, and vegetables that are high in calcium also contain many other nutrients – so you’re getting more bang for your buck when you eat them.
6. Lose weight
While this will most likely naturally come from a balanced diet and exercise, it is important to note that extra pounds are proven to be directly related to high blood pressure. It doesn’t have to be significant weight loss either, any amount will help in decreasing your blood pressure.
7. Cut the sugar and carbs
Even one sugary beverage a day can be a make or break point for high blood pressure, and simple carbs like white flour and even potatoes convert very quickly into sugars in your body, and can be just as harmful as a sugary snack or soda. Replace these things in your diet with healthier options.
8. Reduce sodium intake
Sodium is very hard on the heart, and any amount of reduction you can make to your current intake will be beneficial to you. Some tips on doing this effectively: stay away from processed foods – sodium is often used as a preservative; check food labels to help guide your decisions; and finally, don’t add salt to your meals.
9. Increase potassium intake
Interestingly enough, potassium can help to reduce the effects that sodium has on a person’s blood pressure. Pair sodium reduction with a boost in potassium – most frequently found in fruits and vegetables like avocados, spinach, and bananas.
10. Decrease drinking
Drinking too much alcohol is also very hard on the heart. However, there is a bit of contradiction to this rule because having a small amount of alcohol – red wine in particular – can actually contain some health benefits. However, any more than one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men is too much, and intake should be reduced.
11. Reduce stressors
Stress can contribute to high blood pressure, especially in people who use unhealthy habits like smoking, eating high-fat foods, or drinking to help them de-stress. One way to reduce stress is to try to remove stressors from your life. Another is to try relaxing activities like yoga, deep breathing exercises or meditation.
12. Quit smoking
Everybody knows that smoking isn’t good for them, but did you know it can also have negative effects on your heart as well? A person’s blood pressure is raised while smoking and this state remains for many minutes after. As well, smoking increases a person’s risk for heart disease, as does high blood pressure, so it is a good idea to cut as many heart disease risks as possible, especially if you are already struggling with high blood pressure.