When you hear that you have a medical condition, it is normal to instantly worry. You fear what it means for the rest of your life and worry that you will be on pharmaceutical drugs forever. Drugs are not just problematic for the hormonal balance in your body but can also cause an issue for your wallet.
Naturally, you want to find a home remedy or two to help manage your condition. Depending what the condition is, that can be easier said than done. The good news about hypertension is a lot of the health problems associated with it can be prevented through herbal and natural remedies. You can even reverse the condition depending on the reason for it!
Now you just need to figure out the best way to get rid of and manage your hypertension. Here are seven home remedies that you need right now.
Understanding Hypertension and the Risks
Before you look at the home remedies, you need to understand what hypertension is. Hypertension is another name for high blood pressure. Doctors class high blood pressure at 140/90 mmHg or higher, although some people can be affected at lower levels. If your normal blood pressure reading tends to be on the low side, your doctor may alert you to a problem at a slightly lower “high” level.
Hypertension affects around 90 million adults in the United States alone, and it is known as a silent killer. That is because you won’t know that you have the problem if your doctor will not check your
blood pressure. Most people have no symptoms at all, but by the time the condition is found there is already significant damage to the body.
When left without treatment, high blood pressure can cause many complications in the body. You are at a higher risk of heart attacks and stroke, but you can also suffer from kidney damage and mental illness. Doctors will want you to handle your high blood pressure as soon as possible, so will automatically work with you on a treatment plan.
While many doctors prescribe medication, many know that people cannot afford them or just do not want them. There are other ways to handle hypertension. If your blood pressure is on the low side of high, you may find your doctor does not even want to prescribe medication right away, hoping that a home remedy or lifestyle change will help to treat the problem.
Here are the seven ways you can reduce hypertension and improve your overall health.
Exercise More Daily
Let’s start with something that has proven effects on hypertension: exercise. I know when you hear this word you likely think about the high school gym sessions or running in the cold. You will instantly think about the exercises that you hate. The great news is you do not have to do them to manage your high blood pressure.
Do something that you enjoy. What you really want to do is increase your heart rate. Get your blood pumping and you will see your blood pressure drop. In fact, 30-60 minutes of exercise a day can reduce the blood pressure by 4-9 mmHg. And you can do it all by getting out for a walk or going for a swim. Even yoga can help you reduce your blood pressure.
You will find it harder to get into a routine if you have not exercised for a while, but it is not impossible. Take it slow, doing two or three days of light exercise first. As you build up your strength and abilities, you will find that you can do a lot more during the week and before you know it you will be exercise five times a week.
Do not just focus on cardio workouts. While you want to get the blood pumping, you also want to do some muscle strengthening. Try some bodyweight workouts, weightlifting, and other similar exercises. Building lean muscle will naturally help support the overall health.
Start Following the DASH Diet
The food you eat will affect your blood pressure. We have changed our diets negatively in recent years. More people eat processed and packaged foods that are packed with added salt and sugar.
It is time to make a few changes to your diet. You do not need to completely cut out your favorite treats, but make a change to the amount of them that you eat. Opt for more fruits and vegetables daily and reduce the foods that are high in saturated fats.
There is a diet out there that has shown proven benefits to those with high blood pressure. It is known as the DASH diet, which stands for the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. The idea to manage your condition is even in the name!
At first, the diet can seem restrictive at first. You will need to change the dairy products you eat and add more lean meats and nuts to your meal plan, providing you are not allergic of course. You will want to focus on more whole grains and fruits and vegetables while reducing the fatty meats, fatty dairy products, and saturated fats you consume. Following the DASH diet to the letter is the best way to gain the benefits, especially when you first start.
When you start seeing the results, you will want to stick to the diet. Try to stick to it for six weeks. It takes six weeks to form a habit, so your new lifestyle will soon become easier to follow.
Stop Adding Salt to Your Food
While some sodium is necessary for a healthy diet, you want to keep the levels to a minimum. Too much sodium will increase your blood pressure. With too much sodium, your body starts to retain fluid and that is what leads to the increase in the blood pressure.
You do not need any more than 1,500mg of sodium per day. It may surprise you to hear that that is just half a teaspoon or so of sodium. You will get the sodium you need through your food allowed on the dash diet.
Even if you do not eat processed foods, there is a chance that you will add salt to your cooking. Look at most recipes and you will see that salt is used as a seasoning ingredient. You do not need salt to add flavor. Spices and herbs are much healthier for you.
Many companies are now offering a low-sodium alternative. This is the case for most broths, canned soups, and tinned vegetables. Look out for theses and then double check the labels that the sodium levels are kept to a minimum.
Change Your Drinking and Smoking Habits
It is time to change the amount you smoke and drink. If you currently have a nicotine habit, get rid of it completely. Even if you are not going to do it to reduce the risk of lung cancer and other breathing problems, do it to reduce your blood pressure. Alcohol does not need to be cut out completely, but you will want to keep your intake to a minimum.
Let’s start with smoking. When you smoke, your blood pressure increases after you have finished. This is only temporary, but the amount you smoke can cause a permanent increase in blood pressure. If you already have high blood pressure and you smoke, you increase the risk of developing other health conditions.
Second-hand smoke can also cause a problem. You still take in the smoke, which causes the slight elevations in blood pressure.
When it comes to alcohol, a little can be good for you. Studies have shown that a glass of red wine a night can offer some health benefits to the heart. It is when you drink excessive amounts that you affect the health negatively. The amount of toxins in your body increases, meaning your liver must work more. Your whole body ends up out of sync.
And if you take medication for your high blood pressure, you can stop them from being effective. While they are supposed to lower your blood pressure, they do nothing, and the alcohol raises the blood pressure instead.
Women should limit their intake to just one a day. That is about 1-2 units a day.
Reduce Your Waist Size
While you will hear your doctor telling you to lose weight, that is not all you need to do for reducing hypertension. You want to reduce your waist size.
People with larger middles are more at risk of many health problems. They carry visceral fat, which sits around the organs and affects their ability to work properly. If you have this type of fat, your blood pressure will increase, and you can find it hard to manage it in the future, even with medication. Doctors recommend having a waste of 35 inches or less for a healthier body.
You will want to focus on losing weight elsewhere in the body. Losing just 10 pounds can help to lower your blood pressure considerably. Losing more will further help your condition. You put less stress on the various parts of the body, reduce the amount of work your heart must do and feel healthier overall because of the lower weight.
By following the DASH diet and a good exercise plan, you should find that your weight naturally reduces. You do not need to join a club or follow those quick fix crash diets. Focus on healthy eating and you will protect your overall health.
Reduce Your Stress Levels
Sodium is not the only reason your blood pressure is increasing. Your stress levels are also problematic. It is normal to struggle with stress in today’s world. We are constantly needed for something. Whether it is the ding of our phone or the requirements of work, there is something that will set our blood boiling. The best thing you can do is slow down a little.
Take a breather before you react. Allow yourself time to be completely tech-free and have some me time. Step away from the responsibilities and find ways to de-stress.
When you stress, you increase your heart rate. Your adrenaline gets pumping, but you do not have a way to release it. It is why many people who are stressed like to exercise it out. The exercise uses up the adrenaline as energy.
If you struggle with stress, you can look at natural ways to reduce the levels. Try some meditation or yoga. With yoga, you do get the best of both worlds: meditation and exercise. You will support both mental and physical health.
For those who struggle to get time alone, carve out some time each week. Read a book you enjoy, get a long soak in the bath, or just escape to a quiet place to be alone. You will find the time to yourself will help you clear your mind and reduce your stress levels.
Add Blood Pressure Reducing Foods to Your Diet
While focusing on the DASH diet, you will want to add certain foods to your shopping list. They are not necessarily part of the DASH diet, but they do have properties that will help to reduce your hypertension.
Garlic is one of the most beneficial ingredients. It helps to relax the blood vessels, making it easier for the blood to flow around the body. It also helps to reduce the cholesterol in the body, which has a direct effect on the blood pressure. Garlic, both cooked and raw, will also help to improve your immune and digestive systems, supporting your overall health.
Celery is another ingredient you want to add because of the 3-N-butylphthalide. It is a phytochemical that helps with the control of the blood pressure. The nutrient relaxes the arterial wall muscles, making it easier for the blood to flow around the body. Plus, the celery will manage your stress hormones, keeping them to a minimum. Not only do you reduce your blood pressure, but also your stress levels!
You will also want to add more onion for the quercetin. This is an antioxidant which will help to naturally lower your blood pressure. The best thing is you do not actually need to eat raw onions. A little onion juice with some honey will do the trick! Use this method twice a day for a couple of weeks and your doctor will see your blood pressure levels drop.
When you want to add flavor to your meals, use some cayenne pepper. It is perfect for reducing mild hypertension without the need for medication. Like the other ingredients, the nutrients help to improve the flow of the blood. The pepper does it by preventing the platelets in your blood from clumping, causing clogs along the way.
Reduce Your Blood Pressure and Take Control of Your Hypertension
It is time to get rid of hypertension. You will not just manage it with the above tips but will be able to reverse it. Many of the tips are also completely safe in pregnancy, which is when your blood pressure is likely to rise (and it is dangerous to you and your baby).
Take control of your life. The things you do will affect it. Hypertension is a serious concern. It will cause other health problems and you want to reverse hypertension before it has a chance to do anything negative to your overall health.