How to Combat High Blood Pressure

  • September 19, 2020
How to combat High Blood Pressure

Welcome to the second part of our Blood Pressure blog series..

High Blood pressure is no doubt a silent killer and if left untreated (uncontrolled), may raise several health issues including the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. But there’s good news. There are several things one can do to lower their blood pressure naturally. 

Here are a few natural ways to combat high blood pressure.

1. Walk and regular exercise. Exercise is one of the greatest things you can do to lower high blood pressure. Regular exercise can help make your heart stronger and more efficient at pushing blood, which ultimately lowers the pressure in your arteries (5).

2. Cut down salt intake. Though there are different perspectives on the association between salt intake and High blood pressure, the most striking research indicates that sodium intake should be reduced (6,7).

3. Reduce weight. Losing excessive fat can help to combat high blood pressure. Several studies reported that people who are overweight benefit from losing weight which can make a big difference to heart health (8).

4. Eat more Potassium-rich diet. Increasing the intake of Potassium in the diet (e.g. Milk, Yogurt, Fish, etc.) is another strategy to combat the problem of high blood pressure. Potassium-rich diets help your body get rid of sodium and eases pressure on your blood vessels (7).

 5. No to Smoking. To quit smoking is good for your all-around health. Smoking causes an abrupt but momentary increase in your blood pressure and an increase in your heart rate, which may eventually become a  key driver of high blood pressure (9).

6. Learn to manage stress. When you’re recurrently stressed, your body is in a relentless fight-or-flight mode. On a physical level, that means a faster heart rate and constricted blood vessels. So one can associate that an increased level of stress is directly associated with high blood pressure (10).

7. Eliminate added sugar and refined carbs from the diet. There are a number of studies showing a significant relationship between sugar and high blood pressure (1112). Refined carbs, such as the kind found in white flour change rapidly to sugar in your bloodstream and may lead to a series of health problems.

8. Eat dark chocolate. Yes, you heard right, dark chocolate has been shown in studies to lower blood pressure (13).

9. Getting sound sleep.  The research revealed that your blood pressure drops when you’re sleeping. People suffering from sleep deprivation, and especially those of middle-age, have an increased risk of high blood pressure (14).

10. Try Meditation and Yoga. Stress reduction techniques including meditation and yoga can help lower blood pressure as meditation and yoga have been shown to activate the parasympathetic nervous system that relaxes the muscles, slows down the heart rate, and lowers the blood pressure (15, 16).

Written by Dr. Shikha Sharma, Reviewed by Dr. Harshi Dhingra

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