The American College of Cardiology and The American Heart Association released new treatment guidelines for blood pressure last November. According to ACA and AHA, the threshold kept for High Blood Pressure is 130/80 mm Hg from 140/90 mm Hg. The threshold is lowered, moreover, there will only be a small increase in those who will be prescribed medication. Lifestyle changes like diet and exercise are recommended just after diagnosis. How to control high blood pressure naturally? Let’s discuss today.
How to control High Blood Pressure Naturally
High blood pressure is considered the first sign of your health condition. Ignoring the high blood pressure may further lead to serious health risk. Hence, it is necessary to take precautionary measures to control it. More focus should be on long-term ways rather than quick fixes to control high blood pressure. Here are 8 lifestyle changes you can make to lower your blood pressure.
1. Regular Monitoring
Regular monitoring can help to diagnose high blood pressure. Morning and evening hours are considered as peak hours when blood pressure gets elevated. We should be thoroughly aware of the new guidelines for treatment of high blood pressure. So that we can take necessary steps to control it further. The regular checks can offer a thorough insight of your health condition.
2. You are what you eat!
- Choose fresh fruit and vegetables. Vegetables should be rinsed before they are prepared.
- Use fresh ingredients or foods with no added salt.
- Avoid convenience foods such as canned soups and vegetables, pasta and rice mixes, frozen dinners and gravy sauce mixes.
- You should have two or three servings of protein each day. Take Bakery products twice a day. Use vinegar, Lemon juice, Herbs and spices without salt.
- No Carbs. No Sugar.
3. Cut down on Sodium.
Many of us are used to high salted foods. It takes time to get used to the low salt diet. Moreover, use of less sodium is certainly best. Less salt consumption enhances body response to blood pressure medications. Diets high in sodium increase blood pressure levels. Generally, intake of 1500 mg to 2000 mg of sodium per day is moderate. Don’t keep food items for more days in the refrigerator as it raises sodium content.
|Food Item||Sodium content in Milligrams|
|All Fresh fruits||1 to 15|
|Bread Items||120 to 250|
*These are ranges. Sodium content may vary. Only selected items mentioned.
4. Exercise. Just do it.
Exercising makes blood pressure medications more effective. Benefits of exercise can be achieved with workouts of just 15 to 30 minutes a day. Exercising boosts your metabolic rate and muscle mass. It helps to reduce body fats which makes your heart stronger. A stronger heart can pump more blood with less effort. If your heart can work less to pump, the force on your arteries decreases, lowering your blood pressure.
5. Say No to Alcohol
If you have high blood pressure, avoid alcohol or drink alcohol only in moderation. Moderate drinking is generally considered to be:
- Two drinks a day for men younger than age 65
- One drink a day for men age 65 and older
- One drink a day for women of any age
Alcohol contains calories which contribute to unwanted weight gain. It is a risk factor for high blood pressure. After alcohol, side effects of some blood pressure medications can be observed.
6. Quit Smoking
Smoking constricts blood vessels and causes inflammation, decreases oxygen to the heart, increase heart rate. This increases Blood pressure further. And may lead to heart attack and stroke. Hence quit smoking now.
7. Caffeine is Bad
Even if you don’t have high blood pressure, caffeine can cause a sudden increase in your blood pressure. Frequent caffeine consumption causes temporary blood vessel constriction which further increases Blood pressure. Also, it may lead to more secretion of adrenaline which raises Blood pressure. Cut down more intake of Coffee, Colas, Chocolates, Ice-creams and several energy drinks.
8. Stress Management
The sustained level of stress or emotional breakdown and depression can lead to damaging of blood vessels, arteries and heart. During stress, our body responds with a surge of hormones. This surge may cause a rise in blood pressure.
We can not suddenly get out of sustained stress. Moreover, we can cope up with it to reduce complications. Coping with stress, follow few points; Slow down, Relax, Enjoy Life, Take it easy, Go outside, Spend time in the hobby, get support from your family and loved ones. Stay Emotionally strong!!
Remember, high blood pressure should not stop you living your life. Also read New treatment guidelines for Blood pressure.