If you are hypertensive (suffering from high blood pressure) and are wondering how do I naturally lower my blood pressure without using the medication, then you are in the right place. You may also be a caregiver to a hypertensive patient wondering if their dietary approaches or physical activity can lower blood pressure. I have the answer for that too.
In today’s article I will discuss what blood pressure is, what causes high blood pressure, how blood pressure medications work to lower blood pressure, and how you can naturally reduce high blood pressure. I can feel the tension, so without any further ado, let’s get to it!
How to Reduce High Blood Pressure Naturally at Home
High blood pressure can be lowered using medication and natural ways at home. Here are a few ways to lower blood pressure levels without medications:
How Do I Naturally Lower My Blood Pressure Without Medication?
Stress hormones released when you are anxious or overwhelmed can cause higher blood pressure over a specific time since it increases the speed at which your heart beats and narrow blood vessels. Binge eating, increasing the amount of alcohol consumed, and smoking to reduce stress will only exacerbate your issue instead of lowering blood pressure.
Stress reduction techniques like getting physically active, meditating, yoga, and journaling may help you manage stress better and more efficiently.
Diet Rich in Potassium
A study on individuals with hypertension showed that temporary potassium depletion increases arterial pressure and raises blood pressure. Potassium depletion induces sodium retention leading to higher blood pressure, which is not observed when sodium intake is low.
High potassium intake helps in the excretion of sodium in the blood through urine. It also helps in lowering the tension in your blood vessel walls which will also help lower blood pressure. Eating foods with more potassium like melons, avocados, and green leafy vegetables will help lower blood pressure naturally in a few weeks to a couple of months.
Consider taking potassium supplements if you are hypertensive. Research has shown that increased potassium intake reduces systolic blood pressure and diastolic pressure making it an effective non-pharmacological approach for lowering blood pressure.
Low serum potassium levels or low dietary intake of potassium are associated with an increased risk of insulin resistance. To lower the risk of insulin resistance, consuming potassium-rich foods increases glucose metabolism promoting insulin sensitivity. However, more research and clinical trials are needed to prove this phenomenon.
A sedentary life has been associated with an increased risk of heart disease and hypertension. Leisure-time physical activity, moderate intensity, and high-intensity exercises promote weight loss and regulate blood pressure.
Spend 30 minutes of your day doing some light exercises to be able to lower your blood pressure. Aerobic exercise increases blood flow increases palpitations gradually and stretches the heart and blood vessels. Running, walking, jogging, swimming and cycling are exercises you can do to help in lowering blood pressure.
Try a Low-Carb Diet
What you eat affects your blood pressure a great deal. A recent study showed that a Spanish ketogenic Mediterranean diet would be effective in cardiovascular problems and weight loss. A low-carb diet focuses on eating plain Greek yogurt, low-starchy vegetables, using healthy oils, and consumption of whole foods, that promote fat breakdown through ketosis.
In a Spanish diet, fish is the main component, so eating fish and fish oil will add omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids that can promote heart health. Whole grains are allowed in the DASH (Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension) diet, recommended by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), because they are high in fiber which can help control blood pressure.
However, whole grains are not allowed in the keto diet because they are high in carbs which contribute to weight gain and insulin resistance in people with metabolic syndrome. Pick whole grains that are low in net carbs like wild rice, barley, buckwheat, and bulgur, which are both keto-friendly and great on the DASH diet.
Wild rice is nutrient-dense but still contains carbs, so pay attention to your portion sizes. Large portions could provide too many carbs which are meant to be restricted on a keto diet.
You will also avoid sugar-sweetened beverages that have added sugar which can elevate your blood sugar levels and prevent ketosis. This combination of a keto diet and a Mediterranean diet will enable you to reap the benefits of both worlds.
No Drinking Alcohol or Smoking
Moderate alcohol consumption (13 drinks a week) increased the risk of developing high blood pressure. In patients with high blood pressure drinking alcohol increased diastolic and systolic pressure.
Too much alcohol increases the hormone renin that constricts blood vessels and reduces the amount of fluid excreted during urination increasing blood pressure. Alcoholism has been shown to double your risk of developing kidney disease. Getting rid of that glass will protect you from more than cardiovascular disease.
Alcohol consumption can cause dehydration, loss of magnesium and potassium, and gaining weight which leads to a rise in blood pressure. Even the two-drinks-per-day recommendation can be harmful to your health, especially when you’re on anti-hypertensive medications.
On the other hand, smoking causes an immediate but temporary increase in blood pressure. Cigarettes contain tobacco which damages vessel walls, narrowing arteries and causing inflammations. Once you quit smoking your chances of developing hypertension reduce within three years.
Reduce Your Body Weight
Obesity is a risk factor for hypertension. Obesity-associated arterial hypertension is caused by adipose tissue dysfunction resulting in oxidative stress and chronic inflammation.
Good dietary choices and increased physical activity can help you manage your weight. When you have less weight, your heart doesn’t have to pump as hard, and your arteries do not thicken. Thick arteries lead to increased blood pressure.
Losing weight through a ketogenic diet is a safe and healthy way to ensure you reach a healthy body weight. On keto, you will be on a diet that triggers ketosis, provides you with essential macro and micronutrients, and further helps improve insulin sensitivity.
Eat Less Salt
Salt attracts water in the body. Salt contains sodium which is needed in small amounts in the body. High salt intake increases blood pressure brought about by water retention, changes in arterial structure, and an increase in systematic peripheral resistance. You don’t have to completely do away with salt from your diet, just avoid foods that have a lot of salt like chips, salted nuts, and processed foods.
Dehydration causes the release of vasopressin which assists the kidney in water retention. This chemical will reduce urination and constrict your blood vessels increasing blood pressure.
Also, your body will release a high amount of stress hormones when you are dehydrated to help maintain blood flow. Make sure to stay hydrated throughout the day and even when you engage in physical activities.
Try Dark Chocolate
A study carried out in Jordan on normotensive individuals reported that a higher intake of dark chocolate was associated with lower blood pressure. Why dark chocolate you ask? This is because it contains a high amount of cocoa (pick those with 70% and above cocoa content) and fewer amounts of sugar when compared to other types of chocolate.
Another study on healthy adults on dark chocolate showed a decrease in blood pressure and an increase in insulin sensitivity. This is because dark chocolate contains flavanols with vascular protection properties since they are anti-oxidants and increase the bioavailability of nitric oxide.
Stay Clear of Processed Foods
Processed foods are high in trans fats and salt which are the greatest enemies of hypertension. Eating these foods increases your salt intake, which increases the risk of heart disease. These foods are also high in added sugar that inhibits weight loss in overweight and obese individuals.
Consuming processed foods will make you consume large quantities of saturated fat, which in excess compromises heart health. Eat fewer processed foods to reduce your intake of unhealthy fats.
Although low-fat dairy products are recommended because they contain lower amounts of saturated fat, I would recommend high-fat, low-carb dairy products like plain Greek yogurt and cheddar cheese when following a keto diet.
Foods containing saturated fats like coconut oil are good because they are rich in medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) that boost HDL cholesterol and help with weight loss. The saying too much of something is poisonous applies here too. Saturated fats can have a positive effect on your heart when consumed in moderation.
You asked, how do I naturally lower blood pressure? You now have your answer.
Tricks to Lower Blood Pressure Instantly Home Remedies
The natural ways to lower your blood pressure levels mentioned above control high blood pressure over a long period. But what can you do at home to lower your elevated blood pressure?
The 4-7-8 breathing exercise can be as effective as blood pressure medication when done for 5 to 10 minutes daily. How do you go about it, you ask?
- Exhale to empty your lungs, then inhale while silently counting to 4.
- Hold that deep breath to the count of 7.
- Release the breath through your mouth for a count of 8.
- Repeat this for 5 minutes, three times consecutively.
A retrospective analysis done to assess the blood pressure-lowering effects of high resistance inspiratory muscle strength training in adults resulted in the reduction of systolic blood pressure by 9 mmHg. Diastolic blood pressure was lowered by 4 mmHg.
A Warm Shower May Lower your Blood Pressure
Taking a 15-minute bath or shower can help relax muscle tension which in turn lower blood pressure. Plus, a shower can be very therapeutic!
We mentioned chronic stress as a way to raise blood pressure. So, to avoid this, being in a relaxed state of mind can lower your blood pressure immediately. In addition to a healthy lifestyle, your mental health should be a top priority to help manage high blood pressure, further reducing the risks of heart disease.
Managing stress can be as easy as reading a book or walking through your garden. Avoid stress triggers to reduce blood pressure.
What to Drink to Lower Blood Pressure Quickly
There are drinks you can consume with compounds that can lower high blood pressure. Anyone struggling to maintain normal blood pressure can incorporate these drinks into their diet, together with other healthy lifestyle changes of course!
Hibiscus tea has antioxidants that can protect you against inflammation and oxidative stress. A controlled trial done to assess the antihypertensive properties, without using high blood pressure medications showed that this tea was effective in lowering systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure.
It contains the flavonoids delphinidin-3-sumbubioside and cyanidine-3-sumbubioside which can help reduce blood pressure. Anytime you want to reduce systolic blood pressure, consider using this tea.
Berries have antioxidants that can be helpful to treat high blood pressure. A study done to examine the effects of berry consumption on cardiovascular risk factors resulted in the reduction of low-density lipoproteins (LDL-cholesterol), systolic blood pressure, fasting blood sugar, and body mass index (BMI). Berries like strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries are great for putting heart disease at bay.
For anyone asking, is green tea good for blood pressure? Yes, it is. It may contain caffeine, but it does not raise blood pressure. Green tea can be good for your cardiovascular system due to the phytochemicals in this tea.
Only a small amount of green tea can be effective at decreasing inflammation of smooth muscles of blood vessel walls which improves vasodilation. Reduce coffee consumption by replacing that rush hour traffic cup with a mug of green tea instead.
Other teas that can be good for high blood pressure are oolong tea, black tea, and chamomile tea. These can help lower the risk of uncontrolled blood pressure levels.
Does Lemon Lower Blood Pressure?
Citrus fruits like lemons are good for lowering blood pressure. Lemons contain vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals that can help reduce the risks of high blood pressure.
A study done in Japan to assess the effects of daily lemon juice intake on blood pressure showed that lemon juice ingestion reduces systolic blood pressure.
How do I naturally lower my blood pressure, you asked? Try a cup of hot water with lemon juice twice or thrice a week.
Your lifestyle choices can help you manage your blood pressure. How do I naturally lower my blood pressure? There are natural ways to control hypertension that require you to pick a healthier lifestyle.
Adhere to the dos and don’ts of regulating blood pressure and everything will fall into place. One other important thing I should mention is, you have to keep a close eye on your blood pressure, especially when you are taking up or dropping the habits stated above.
After reading this article, would you consider the natural ways of lowering your blood pressure without medication? Which natural remedies have you been using? How are they working for you so far? Would you consider going keto? Drop your answers in the comment section. Let’s talk!