The serious health problems caused by high blood pressure, and the outward symptoms being difficult to detect, have given it a reputation as a silent killer. I will highlight the best ways to lower your blood pressure naturally, which may provide viable alternatives to prescription drugs.
Blood pressure is the force exerted by the flow of blood through the main arteries. In a person with high blood pressure or hypertension, this force is greater than normal and causes the arterial walls to narrow and thicken. This then puts extra strain on the heart.
Having hypertension is the single biggest trigger of heart disease and stroke. It is therefore very important that this condition is properly managed. Prescription drugs can be used to dilate the arterial walls and so lowering their resistance to blood flow. However, along with its intended results, medication may cause a number of unwanted side effects.
So if you have hypertension, I will show you the best ways you may lower your blood pressure naturally, using non-medicinal treatments and lifestyle changes.
Introduce regular exercise to your life
Routine exercise continues to be one of the most effective ways to help lower blood pressure because the physical activity strengthens the heart. This makes it easier to pump blood with less effort.
Researchers have found the combination of endurance and dynamic resistance, to be very effective in reducing blood pressure. This was supported by research published online December 2018 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. The studies analysed the results of 40,000 people, assessing the effects of structured workouts and the impact of prescription drugs on blood pressure. [https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/early/2018/12/05/bjsports-2018-099921]
- Strength training with weights
- Push ups
- Walking lunges
- Hamstring stretch
- Torso twists
- Leg swings
When you are just starting out with your exercise regieme, it is important to build it up slowly. Maybe begin initially with 10-15 minutes and then gradually build up. The AHA [American Heart Association] recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes or 2.5 hours of moderate to vigorous activity per week. Or you could say 30 minutes a day, five days per week.
Bringing your blood pressure below 120/80 eliminates any need for blood pressure medications and reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease. You can lower blood pressure today, by practising simple exercises. To learn more and test these exercises for yourself, click here:
Introducing Supplements into your diet
Food supplements are concentrated sources of nutrients that are taken as a dietary top-up. But as the word itself suggests, a supplement is not meant to replace the variety of foods that are important to a heathy diet. Scientific research has shown that some nutritional supplements can be beneficial to lowering your blood pressure.
 Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is found in foods of animal origin and is known as the “sunshine vitamin”. Due to the fact that that it is produced in the skin, from the energy of the sun.
Research undertaken in Denmark in 2012, studied the link between vitamin D supplements and its effect on blood pressure. For 20 weeks participants were either given 3,000 IU per day of vitamin D or simply a placebo pill. Results showed that the people taking the supplement were able to lower their blood pressure, more than those who had taken the placebo. The only drawback with these results, was that all the participants were taking hypertensive medication, so it is not conclusive that Vitamin D supplementation was the reason for the reuction in blood pressure.
An experiment conducted in Italy 2013 was able to draw on the same conclusions. There results also reflected a link between the use of Vitamin D supplements and blood pressure reduction.
Please refer to the link below, which goes into some depth about the links between hypertension and the use of Vitamin D. Highlights numerous research that has been undertaken, which you may find interesting. [https://www.vitamindcouncil.org/health-conditions/hypertension/#.XIu_DCj7TIU]
Magnesium relaxes the muscles that control blood vessels, allowing blood to flow more freely. This then helps to maintain a balance between potassium and sodium in the blood.This has a positive effect on your blood pressure.
Research conducted by Klass et al 2012, has shown that people who take magnesium supplements for 3 months, lowered their blood pressure compared with other participants who did not take the supplement.
 Folic acid
Folic acid is necessary for every function in the body, that requires cell multiplication. The body cannot store folic acid for a very long time, so it is important to be able to replenish your supply daily. Cooking or even long storage can destroy up to half the folic acid in food, therefore using supplements maybe the best way to ensure that your body is getting enough.
A study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, highlighted the results of 11,000 Chinese hypertensive patients. Each was given their daily blood pressure tablet as well as the B vitamin. It was concluded that a high proportion ( 73%) of these were less likely to suffer a stroke, in comparison to those who were not given the vitamin supplement. [https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/956354/folic-acid-tablets-reduce-high-blood-pressure-stroke-risk]
Garliac belongs to the onion family and is one of the best known and most used medicinal plants. Despite its strong odor, its health-giving and preventive properties make it well worth suffering the effects.
Scientists, showed a significant reduction in blood pressure, among people taking garliac supplements. [https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/146/2/389S/4584698]
Give up smoking
It is well documented that smoking has an adverse affect on your health. Nicotine is one of many toxic chemicals found in tobacco. It acts as a transquilizer but also stimulates the release of adrenaline into the bloodstream. This can cause a rise in blood pressure. Therefore, to lower your blood pressure, you need to seriously consider quitting smoking.
A lot of people are turning to the use of electronic cigarettes from conventional smoking, in order to quit the habit. The problem is that there is clear similarity between the deterimental vascular effects of both products.
Research documented in the Journal of Hypertension (2018) studied the effect of electronic cigarette smoking on blood pressure in hypertensive patients. Results showed a significant increase in blood pressure, among these patients. This has also been backed up with other research that has studied the effect of smoke on young to middle aged subjects. They were able to draw the conclusion that these hypertensive patients were accelerating the damage to their cardiovascular system, be continuing to smoke. [https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1358863X16647509]
Reduce stress in your life
To achieve success in lowering your blood pressure, it is important to reduce your stress levels. There is no direct link between stress and long term hypertension, but will have a positive impact on your general health and cardiovascular system.
According to Kulkarni et al 1998, research has shown stress does not directly cause hypertension, but can have an impact on its development, because it leads to repeated blood pressure elevations.[https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9894438] During these stressful episodes, the body responds by releasing large amounts of hormones, which cause vasconstriction of the blood vessels. This could then lead to a hypertensive diagnosis being made.
This is a great article, that goes into some depth about the correlation between stress and hypertension. https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure/changes-you-can-make-to-manage-high-blood-pressure/managing-stress-to-control-high-blood-pressure.
Avoid excessive alcohol consumption
A study conducted among 17,000 adults showed that moderate alcohol consumption – seven to thirteen drinks per week, substantially increases a person’s risk of high blood pressure. These findings contradict previous studies that have associated moderate drinking with a lower risk of some forms of heart disease. However, other research has failed to analyse hypertension among these moderate drinkers.
Alcohol is high in calories, therefore drinking it in large quantities can result in substantial weight gain which can then have a detrimental affect upon your heart.
It is adviseable to avoid alcohol or to cut down its consumption to moderate levels, in order to help lower blood pressure and reduce health risks associated with your heart.
The UK Chief Medical Officers have published guidelines regarding safe drinking limits. Please refer to the link below.
Eating fresh fruit and vegetables
A diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables can lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk to heart disease and strokes. Evidence continues to grow to support these findings. Research published online, pooled dietary data from 187,000 people for an average of 20 years. People who ate more fruit and vegetables were less likely to develop hypertension compared to those people who rarely ate those foods. [https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160406181538.htm]
Fresh vegetables and fruit are very high in potassium. It is the potassium content in these food groups, that contribute to a reduction in blood pressure. This effect holds true even when sodium intake remains high (though reducing sodium produces better results).
The kidneys help to regulate your blood pressure by balancing the amount of fluid stored in your body. The levels of sodium and potassium in the body, are used to maintain the optimum amount of fluid stored. Eating a high salt diet reduces the ability of the kidneys to remove the water. This can be counter-acted by eating more fruit and vegetables, which will increase your potassium levels and restore the delicate balance. This aids the kindneys to function effectively and to lower your blood pressure. [https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/316823.php]
A final word…
In this blog, I have discussed lifestyle changes that can be explored further, that may help you to lower your blood pressure.
Hypertension is a major problem that puts you at risk of heart disease and strokes. Therefore by reducing your blood pressure, you will improve your cardiovascular system and general health.
Medications are prescribed to treat hypertension, but there are many lifestyle changes that can be adopted, that have the potential of lowering your blood pressure.
Hypertension is a serious condition and expert medical advice needs to be sought and discussions had, before you go ahead and start adopting change. This is particularly important, if you are already taking prescribed medication. You need to be aware that some supplements may interact with drugs you are taking.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this blog and have found it to be informative.
I would welcome your comments.