According to statistics, high blood pressure or hypertension is a major contributor to a whopping 15 percent of deaths in the United States and the percentage is comparable in many other countries all over the world. The contrast in all these is that high blood pressure is controllable.
Hypertension does not cause any symptoms, but is a major risk factor for a number of deadly cardiovascular diseases including aneurysms, heart attack and stroke. Because of these risks, it is imperative that high blood pressure is diagnosed early and measures taken to lower it.
There are a number of medications that can lower blood pressure but these are associated with certain side effects making them difficult to comply with. For those who have been diagnosed with the problem, one question lingers in their minds; can I lower my blood pressure naturally? The answer is confident yes, you can. Several natural remedies are available for lowering blood pressure.
Here are some of the important and effective ways in which you can lower your blood pressure naturally:
Perform high intensity cardio workouts
High intensity exercises such as sprinting help to improve the functions of the heart by promoting efficient use of oxygen. This means your heart will not have to pump as hard as before to overcome the barrier presented by the narrow blood vessels. You can have a 30-minute high intensity workout 3 or so times a week. You will see your blood pressure come down faster than you think.
Eat more of potassium-rich foods
Potassium has direct effect in reducing blood pressure. Luckily, there are several potassium-rich fruits and vegetables, which you can add to your diet. Experts in preventive medicine recommend that you eat between 2000 and 4000 mg of potassium to realize blood pressure lowering effects. The richest sources of potassium include bananas, cantaloupe, orange juice, sweet and Irish potatoes, honeydew melon, peas, kidney beans and dried fruits such as raisins and prunes.
Cut down on salt consumption
High blood pressure can be either salt (sodium) sensitive or insensitive. For those with sodium sensitive high blood pressure cutting down on salt consumption can lower blood pressure. However, it is impossible to tell whether your hypertension is sodium sensitive or not. To be on the safe side, cut down on your sodium consumption to less than 1500 mg (half a teaspoonful salt). Processed foods contain a lot of salt and so you need to avoid them too.
Consume moderate alcohol
Research indicates that moderate alcohol consumption is protective of the heart and can actually lower your blood pressure. Light drinking has been shown to lower blood pressure more than abstaining from alcoholic drinks altogether. It is important to keep alcohol consumption at low levels because high levels will exacerbate the problem.
Stay stress free (as much as possible)
Stress is a major player in the causation of hypertension. Stress can be triggered by many things including long hours of work, family problems, relationships and responsibilities among other triggers. Try as much as possible not to be stressed. If you are unable then seek for health from psychologists to help you deal with stressful situations.
Use of alternative medicine and breathing exercises
Many other natural remedies for lowering blood pressure such as alternative medicine, meditation, yoga, and tai chi can help reduce the blood levels of stress hormones and therefore lower blood pressure. Relaxation and deep breathing exercises can also help.