Hypertension, or high blood pressure, places people at a higher risk for a heart attack, heart disease, stroke and other complications depending on the cause of the hypertension. However, many people are uninformed of the natural methods they can use to decrease their blood pressure, rather than immediately resorting to medication.
We’ve compiled a list of natural remedies, beginning with more well-known methods (a reminder doesn’t hurt) and then progressively addressing the lesser-known methods.
What’s “normal?” The ideal blood pressure reading, according to the Mayo Clinic, is 120/80 mm Hg or lower.
How do you get there?
1. Lose Weight
The more overweight a person is, the greater the probability they have high blood pressure. This is due to a change in a person’s anatomy, physiology, and an increase of several hormones.
2. Limit Sodium
Most food contains at least some sodium from table salt. However, foods on the following list have a dangerously high amount and should be avoided:
- Soups and gravies
- Sauces, dressing and condiments
- Cured meat (bacon, salami, etc.)
- “Snack” food (everything in the chip/cracker aisle)
A recommended diet includes fruit, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat protein.
3. Eliminate Caffeine
Coffee and its benefits have been debated over and over again. However, it is hard to ignore the results of credible studies. Duke University Medical Center found that three 8-ounce cups of coffee increased blood pressure by 4 mm Hg. It does so by tightening/narrowing the blood vessels.
Renin is an enzyme in the kidneys that raises blood pressure and is caused by stress hormones. Do not underestimate the power of minimizing the amount of stress in your life and taking the time to breathe and simply relax.
“For fast-acting relief, try slowing down.” Lily Tomlin, comedian
For some people, high blood pressure is caused by a mineral deficiency, and a crucial mineral for a healthy heart is potassium. To help illustrate that point, the unexpected death of people with anorexia, or another condition which causes them to starve, is caused by heart failure from a potassium deficiency.
The good news for those with the most common type of high blood pressure, isolated systolic hypertension, is that a vitamin-like antioxidant, called Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), has proven to lower the systolic number by up to 17 mm Hg. CoQ10 is naturally found in all cells of the body, but for people suffering from hypertension, a CoQ10 supplement can increase its bioavailability.
For people with a family history of high blood pressure or heart disease, it is highly recommended to schedule an appointment for a diagnostic cardiac catheterization. This test evaluates the exact health of your heart, arteries and valves.