High blood pressure is called a “silent killer” for good reason. It usually has no symptoms, but it is a major risk of heart disease and stroke. These diseases are one of the leading causes of death in the United States.
Diastolic pressure. The bottom number indicates the pressure between the heartbeats when the heart is resting.
Your blood pressure depends on the amount of blood drawn from your heart and the resistance to arterial blood flow. The narrower your artery, the higher your blood pressure.
Blood pressure below 120/80 mm Hg is taken into account traditional. A blood pressure of 130/80 mm Hg or higher is considered to be hypertension. If your number is above normal but below 130/80 mm Hg, it is a category of elevated blood pressure. This means you are at risk of developing high blood pressure.
In a 2013 study, sedentary elderly people who participated in aerobic exercise training had an average blood pressure reduction of 3.9% and a reduction in systolic blood pressure of 4.5%. These results are as good as some blood pressure drugs.
How much activity should you work for? A 2013 report by the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the American Heart Association (AHA) recommended 40 minutes of moderate to intense physical activity, 3 to 4 times a week.
If finding 40 minutes at a time is a challenge, then when the time is divided into three to four 10 to 15 minute segments in a day, there may still be benefits.
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) made a similar recommendation.
But you don’t have to take part in the marathon. Improving the level of activity can be as simple as:
Walk instead of driving
Participate in team sports
As long as you do this often, you should work at least half an hour of moderate activity every day.
An example of a moderate activity that can have a major impact is Tai Chi. A review of the effects of tai chi and hypertension in 2017 showed a reduction in systolic blood pressure of 15.6 mm Hg and a decrease in diastolic blood pressure of 10.7 mm Hg compared with those who did not exercise at all.
A review of exercise and blood pressure reduction in 2014 found that there are many sports combinations that lower blood pressure. Aerobic exercise, resistance training, high-intensity interval training, short-term exercise throughout the day, or walking 10,000 steps a day can lower blood pressure .
3. Reduce sugar and refined carbohydrates
A low-carbohydrate diet lowers blood pressure by 4.5 mm Hg diastolic blood pressure and 5.9 mm Hg systolic blood pressure. Low-fat diet plus weight-loss drugs lowers blood pressure by only 0.4 mm Hg diastolic blood pressure and 1.5 mm Hg systolic blood pressure.
An analysis of low-carbohydrate diets and heart disease risk in 2012 found that these diets reduced blood pressure by a mean 3.10 mm Hg diastolic blood pressure and 4.81 mm Hg systolic blood pressure.
4. Eat more potassium and a small amount of sodium
Increasing potassium intake and reducing salt also lowers blood pressure.
Potassium is a double winner: it reduces the effects of salt in the body and relieves blood pressure. However, a potassium-rich diet may be harmful to individuals with kidney disease, so consult your doctor before increasing your potassium intake.
It is also easy to eat more potassium — so many foods have a high potassium content. Here are some:
Low-fat dairy products such as milk and yogurt
Fruits such as bananas, apricots, avocados and oranges
Vegetables such as sweet potatoes, potatoes, tomatoes, vegetables and spinach
Please note that individuals react differently to salt. Some people are sensitive to salt, which means higher salt intake will increase their blood pressure. Others are not sensitive to salt. They can ingest high levels of salt and excrete in the urine without raising blood pressure.
5. Eat less processed foods
Most of the extra salt in your diet comes from processed foods and restaurants, not at home salt shakers. Popular high-salt foods include deli meats, canned soups, pizzas, chips and other processed snacks.
Do a practice of checking labels. According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a sodium content of 5% or lower on a food label is considered low, while 20% or higher is considered a high level.
6. Quit smoking
In the long run, chemicals in tobacco can increase blood pressure by destroying the walls of blood vessels, causing inflammation and reducing arteries. A hardened artery can cause an increase in blood pressure.
Even if you are in secondhand smoke, the chemicals in your tobacco can affect your blood vessels. A study showed that children in second-hand smoke at home had higher blood pressure than non-smoking households.
7. Reduce excess stress
We live in a time of tension. Workplace and family needs, national and international politics — they all contribute to stress. Finding ways to relieve your stress is important to your health and blood pressure.
There are many different ways to successfully relieve stress, so find the right method for you. Practice taking a deep breath, walking, reading a book or watching comedy.
Listening to music every day can also reduce systolic blood pressure. A recent 20-year study showed that regular use of the sauna reduces deaths from heart-related events (21). A small study showed that acupuncture can reduce systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Mindfulness and meditation, including transcendental meditation, have long been used and studied — as a way to reduce stress. A 2012 study pointed out that more than 19,000 people in a Massachusetts college program have participated in meditation and mindfulness programs to reduce stress.
Yoga usually involves breathing control, posture and meditation techniques, as well as reducing stress and blood pressure.
The 2013 yoga and blood pressure assessment found that the mean blood pressure was reduced by 3.62 mm Hg diastolic blood pressure and 4.17 mm Hg systolic blood pressure compared with untrained people. Research on yoga exercises, including breathing control, posture, and meditation, is almost twice as large as yoga exercises that do not include all three elements.
9. Eat some dark chocolate
Yes, chocolate lovers: semi-sweet chocolate has been shown to lower vital sign.
But dark chocolate should be 60% to 70% cocoa. A review of dark chocolate research found that eating one or two square feet of dark chocolate a day can reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering blood pressure and inflammation. These benefits are believed to come from flavonoids found in chocolate with more cocoa solids. Flavonoids help to dilate or dilate blood vessels.
Herbs have long been used to treat various diseases.
The following is a partial list of plants and herbs used by cultures around the world to lower blood pressure:
Black Bean (Castanospermum australe)
Cat Claw (Uncaria rhynchophylla)
Celery juice (Apium graveolens)
Chinese hawthorn (Crataegus pinnatifida)
Giant ds (Cuscuta reflexa)
Indian plantago (golden psyllium)
River lily (Crinum glaucum)
Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa)
Sesame oil (Sesamum indicum)
Tomato extract (Lycopersicon esculentum)
Tea (Camellia sinensis), especially green tea and oolong tea
Umbrella bark (Musanga cecropioides)
11. Be sure to keep a good, restful sleep
When you sleep, your blood pressure usually drops. If you sleep well, it will affect your blood pressure. People who suffer from sleep deprivation, especially those in middle-aged people, are at increased risk of developing hypertension.
For some people, it is not easy to get a good night’s sleep. There are many ways to help you get a restful night’s sleep. Try setting a fixed sleep schedule, spending time relaxing at night, exercising during the day, avoiding naps during the day, and making your bedroom comfortable.
The National Sleep Heart Health Study found that sleep less than 7 hours a night and more than 9 hours a night, which is associated with an increased prevalence of hypertension. Frequent sleep less than 5 hours per night is associated with a significant risk of long-term hypertension.
12. Eat garlic or take garlic extract supplements
Fresh garlic or garlic extracts are widely used to lower blood pressure.
A 2012 review noted that a study of 87 hypertensive patients showed a reduction in diastolic blood pressure of 6 mm Hg and a reduction in systolic blood pressure of 12 mm Hg compared with those who did not receive any treatment.
For those who consume an average of 100 grams of protein per day, the risk of developing hypertension is 40% lower than that of a low-protein diet (33). The risk of people who add regular fiber to their diet is reduced by 60%.
However, a high protein diet may not be suitable for everyone. People with kidney disease may need to be cautious, so please tell your doctor.
In most types of diets, it is quite easy to consume 100 grams of protein per day.
High protein foods include:
A 3.5 ounce (s) squid can contain up to 22 grams (g) of protein and 3.5 ounces. Chicken breast may contain 30 grams of protein.
Regarding vegetarian choices, most of the beans in the half cup contain 7 to 10 grams of protein. Two tablespoons of peanut butter is available in 8 grams.
In addition to possibly lowering blood pressure, this protein complex from milk may have multiple health benefits (36).
15. Drink less alcohol
Moderate drinking is very important. For every 10 grams of alcohol consumed, alcohol can raise blood pressure by 1 mm Hg . The standard beverage contains 14 grams of alcohol.
What constitutes a standard drink? A 12-ounce beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits.
Moderate drinking has a maximum of one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.
16. Consider reducing caffeine
17. Taking prescription drugs