The blood vessels in our body aid in carrying blood from heart to the body organs and nourishes them with the necessary nutrition. Pressure exerted by blood upon the walls of the blood vessels during the contraction and expansion of heart is known as blood pressure. The standard blood pressure of a healthy person is usually less than 120/80 mmHg.
If the walls of the blood vessels are stiff, it may increase the pressure, which if consistent, is called as high blood pressure or hypertension. In this case, the heart tends to work harder to pump blood to the vessels increasing the blood pressure to as high as 140/100 mmHg. In the long run, the heart muscles may get tired, and hypertrophied due to the additional work. Gradually, the heart may start malfunctioning, as a pumping organ.
The risk factors for hypertension majorly include family history, sedentary lifestyle, obesity, high salt intake, high fat, high sodium diet, and smoking. Some people may develop hypertension for no obvious cause, this is termed as primary hypertension. Some people may develop hypertension, secondary to any underlying cause such as kidney disease, this is called secondary hypertension. In these cases, the blood pressure comes back to normal once the underlying cause is treated.
Hypertension is called a ‘silent killer’ as it can slowly cause irreversible damage to the body organs. Therefore, people with high blood pressure should receive timely treatment for managing their blood pressure. Most people get to know about their blood pressure level, only during a routine check-up, which is a very unhealthy practice. People, who have high risk of hypertension, should get their blood pressure checked regularly.
Given below are the tips to be followed to control blood pressure naturally:
Watch your waistline
Attaining a healthy weight is the first step towards controlling hypertension. Shed your extra pounds, cut down excess fat around your waistline! A gradual decrease in weight can lower the blood pressure to a great extent. So, cut down on calories, increase your physical activity and consume a proper diet to attain a healthy weight.
Work out regularly
Brisk walking can lower your blood pressure by nearly 8 mmHg. It enables the heart to efficiently use oxygen in order to reduce the effort required to pump blood to the body organs. Start working out for at least 30 minutes each day to permanently reduce blood pressure.
Have fruits and vegetables every day. The anti-oxidants in fruits and vegetables help scavenge the chemicals that are produced as a byproduct of metabolic reactions. These chemicals, if not eliminated, may harm the body. Add protein and healthy fats such as omega-3 fats to your diet. Fish, walnuts, flax-seeds, and etc. are a rich source of omega-3 fats.
Eliminate the unhealthy food and drinks
Limit your salt intake to 2.5 grams per day. Sodium retention leads to fluid retention, which ultimately raises the blood pressure. Processed food and pickles drastically increase sodium consumption which leads to hypertension. Ideally, the food must be cooked without salt; it should be added at the time of eating, which ultimately limits the amount of salt consumption.
Caffeinated drinks can exacerbate your condition, so try to eliminate them gradually to prevent withdrawal symptoms. Drink moderately if you cannot completely stay away from alcohol. Caffeine can be replaced with green tea, which rapidly boosts good health.
Exposure to sun
It is indeed true that exposure to sun can control your high blood pressure by stimulating the production of vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency can increase the parathyroid hormone levels causing high blood pressure.
Learn to manage stress
There is a crucial connection between stress and blood pressure. Stress hormones can indirectly act on the blood vessels to increase your blood pressure. If you are constantly under stress, the level of the stress hormones rapidly increase, causing a lot of damage to the blood vessels. Measures such as listening to music, singing, dancing, and talking to friends or family members tend to reduce stress and help manage high blood pressure. Practicing yoga and meditation every day can lower your stress hormones.
Put efforts to make these changes in your lifestyle and you can witness the results within few weeks. So drop your pressure control pills and start following these natural ways to control hypertension.
- Mohsenipouya H, Majlessi F, Shojaeizadeh D, Foroushani AR, Ghafari R, Habibi V, Makrani AS. Health-related variables and predictors of Health-promoting Lifestyle in cardiovascular disease patients. Electron Physician. 2016 Apr 25;8(4):2274-80.
- Vergara-Castañeda A, Castillo-Martínez L, Colín-Ramírez E, Orea-Tejeda A. Overweight, obesity, high blood pressure and lifestyle factors among Mexican children and their parents. Environ Health Prev Med. 2010 Nov;15(6):358-66.