Not medically reviewed by Dr. Erin Stair
Always consult your physician first!
Guest post by Dylan Miller
Hypertension is a manageable condition. Like most other diseases, it can be dealt with with nursing medication. But it is always better to approach it using natural remedies. There are things like dieting, exercising, and changing lifestyle behaviors that go a long way in dealing with hypertension. The following are some of the natural ways that can be used to treat and manage high blood pressure.
Being overweight, or the general lack of fitness has a lot to do with the increased chances of getting hypertension. Regular exercise, especially when you are old, helps the body be strong enough to deal with conditions like high blood pressure. Stretching your muscles helps with vasodilation, a process where blood vessels widen to allow the easy passage of blood, lowering the blood pressure. Engage in jogs, walks, cycling, and swimming to boost your body’s immunity.
Cutting Down Your Sodium Intake
Too much salt in the body impacts your kidney’s ability to get rid of excess fluids in the body. As the salts build up, they start affecting the blood pressure making it skyrocket. It is highly recommended that you cut down salt from your diet if you are struggling with hypertension. Get rid of processed foods since they use a lot of sodium in their preservatives, and stick to fresh produce.
Cutting Down Your Alcohol Intake
Alcohol has been linked directly to an increase in blood pressure and should be avoided at all costs, especially if you are already dealing with hypertension. At very high levels, alcohol reduces vasodilator effectors in the blood, making blood vessels constrict, making blood flow harder, which ultimately causes an increase in blood pressure. Alcoholic drinks like beers also contain unhealthy amounts of sugars that lead to weight gain, which in turn makes a person highly susceptible to hypertension.
Watching Your Diet
Foods high in potassium should be high on your list. Bananas, leafy vegetables, berries, and salmon should be on your dinner table at least once a day. Fresh foods are highly recommended since processed ones contain a lot of artificial preservatives that may not be good for your condition. Skimmed milk and yogurt should be your daily indulgence combined with oatmeal mixed with granola and other tasty fruits.
Managing Your Stress
Your mental state has a lot of sway with your physical health, and you should do everything in your power to make sure you protect your mental health. High levels of stress have been linked to hypertension since the body is subjected to intense stress that causes faster heart rates that become too much for the blood vessels. Stress also leads to unhealthy behaviors like drinking alcohol or binge eating sugars, which can only lead to making your condition worse. Learn to avoid situations and people who stress you.
One way of dealing with stress and boosting your mental health would be through meditation. Taking time to relax your body and mind helps your heart to slow down, bringing down the pace of your blood flow, which reduces blood pressure. Alternate the meditation sessions with deep breaths every 30 seconds to calm your body. It has been found a combination of these two help activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which has a role in slowing your heart rate.
Trying Natural Supplements
Garlic extracts have been used as a stand-alone treatment for hypertension for years in combination with therapies. You can also turn to Berberine, a supplement that has been used in Chinese medicine for years. It is rich in nitric oxide, which helps to lower blood pressure. Omega-3 extracts from salmon and the intake of various fish oils improve your heart’s health, and if your heart is working at optimum levels, the chances of hypertension are significantly reduced.
Regularly Monitoring Your Blood Pressure
To cap all your efforts at curbing hypertension, it would be good to keep track of your progress by regularly checking on your blood pressure. Thanks to technological advancements, you can now get access to innovative blood pressure monitors that give you results in real-time. Most of these devices are cheap and can be found both online and from any physical shop near you.
Incorporating Herbs into Your Meals
The real effect of herbs on human health is yet to be fully determined, but from the little that has been unearthed so far, herbs are vital. When it comes to hypertension, you are highly advised to use herbs like cardamom, basil, thyme, garlic, and hawthorn in your cooking. The other advantage of using them is that they improve the taste of your foods; you will, therefore, be killing two birds with one stone: fighting hypertension while enjoying a delicious meal.
It would help if you also remembered to hydrate appropriately. Drink as much water as possible, especially if you are following an exercise routine. Dehydration is bad for your kidneys, which need water to regulate fluids in the body.
With your doctor’s guidance, high blood pressure can be managed easily.. Having a blood pressure monitor at home will help you determine whether you need immediate medical attention or whether you can deal with the situation on your own. Always discuss your case and treatment plan with your doctor, whether it’s taking medication or trying natural approaches.