Giving your blood pressure medications a miss is now possible. Add less sodium, more potassium, calcium, and cocoa to your diet. We’ve also shared other methods.
- Several natural methods can help you see a significant drop in blood pressure and the risks involved.
- While reducing your blood pressure, they may also help in keeping a check on other severe health conditions such as heart disease.
- Most of these methods require routine practice for better and long-lasting results.
For many people, medication is the only way to lower their blood pressure. They are often required to take more than one type of blood pressure medicine to control their condition.
However, there are other ways to lower your BP without resorting to drugs. For instance, small lifestyle changes can significantly impact your overall health, including high blood pressure.
This article will share various effective methods to help you see a drop in your blood pressure without needing medicines. Try some of these and see if they work for you.
Best Ways To Lower Blood Pressure Without Medication
One can lower blood pressure without consuming pills only if one is determined to do so. Here are some ways you can.
Cut down on sodium intake
When you eat too much salt, the body tries to balance the amount of salt and water in the blood. Hence, it will hold on to more water to dilute the concentration. This raises blood volume in the vessels and increases your blood pressure.
If you reduce salt in your diet, it will naturally bring the BP down. A lower intake of fewer than 5 grams daily helps reduce the risk of blood pressure, stroke, and coronary heart disease.
Walk the BP down
Walking regularly lowers your systolic and diastolic blood pressure and resting heart rate by 4.11 mm Hg (95% CI, 3.01 to 5.22 mm Hg) and 1.79 mm Hg (95% CI, 1.07 to 2.51 mm Hg), respectively.
Another study has shown that taking three short, 10-minute walks daily is better than one long walk at 30 minutes.
Reduce alcohol intake
Reducing alcohol intake is an effective way of lowering blood pressure. A study discovered that those who limited their drinking lowered their systolic pressure by 5.5 mm Hg and were able to reduce the diastolic pressure by 4 mm Hg.
There is also some evidence that mild to moderate amounts of alcohol help slightly raise “good” HDL cholesterol levels. The antioxidants in red wine might also protect the heart and reduce inflammation associated with cardiovascular disease.
Add more potassium-filled foods to your diet
The long-term effects of sodium and other unwanted dietary factors can make high blood pressure or hypertension challenging to control. Foods rich in potassium, like vegetables, fruits, and beans, are essential because they can help minimise these unwanted effects.
Potassium also plays a significant role in the health of your blood vessels by easing tension and keeping the lining healthy.
A new study found that swimming for about 30 minutes 5 days a week can help reduce blood pressure in adults aged 60 and older.
This study followed patients who were on a 12-week continuous swimming exercise program. By the end of the study, these participants experienced an average systolic blood pressure reduction of nine points.
Cocoa or dark chocolate
To reduce the blood pressure in your heart, consider eating dark chocolate or cocoa powder. Dark chocolate contains flavonoids that make blood vessels dilate, which helps lower high blood pressure levels.
A meta-analysis of studies found that dark chocolate reduces short-term blood pressure in healthy adults. To maximise the effects, use natural cocoa that’s completely free from processed sugars and alkalized powder.
Lose extra inches
If you have a weight problem, losing 5% of your body weight could lower your blood pressure remarkably.
The effect is even greater when the weight loss is paired with exercise. Also, losing weight makes it easier for your left ventricle to pump blood and can significantly lower high blood pressure.
Research indicates that quitting smoking is good for your health, both physically and mentally. One of the many debilitating effects is that it temporarily affects blood pressure.
Note that the chemicals in tobacco can damage blood vessels, which increases the risk of developing certain diseases, including heart diseases.
Say no to refined carbs and artificial sweeteners
Many studies have found a connection between added sugar intake and high blood pressure. More sugar-sweetened beverages raise blood pressure in children as well as adults.
When an individual consumes more carbohydrates than their body needs, this can lead to less responsiveness to insulin. They can gain weight, and in the long run, both type-2 diabetes and other health problems can arise.
Focus on a healthy diet (DASH)
While Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) are low in sodium. It’s high in potassium, magnesium, calcium, fibre, and protein. High-nutrient content of these foods can help control blood pressure.
The DASH diet has several nutritional and health benefits. It can lower your low-density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad”) cholesterol and blood pressure while decreasing your heart disease and stroke risk.
Relaxation techniques (e.g. meditation)
One can relax and decrease blood pressure with deep breathing exercises. The body’s relaxation response may include the production of nitric acid. This compound is known for opening up the blood vessels.
One study on elderly people with difficult-to-treat isolated systolic hypertension revealed that when the blood pressure drops during the relaxation response, there’s less inflammation and the blood vessels widen.
If you want to give up on allopathic supplements, You may try natural supplements to lower blood pressure.
Here are a few examples:
- Garlic: Eating fresh raw garlic can control high blood pressure. Eating garlic activates allinase, which releases allicin for added health benefits if eaten within about an hour or two.
- Fish oil: 3 grams daily of omega-3 fatty acids are sufficient to lower blood pressure. Taking a low dose to reduce blood pressure is beneficial for people with moderate to severe high blood pressure.
- Hibiscus: A recent study found that hibiscus (Hibiscus sabdariffa) tea is as effective in lowering blood pressure as some standard anti-hypertensive drugs. Moreover, it has fewer side effects than many other blood pressure medications.
You may also try incorporating some herbs and spices to lower blood pressure sans prescribed medicines.
Lowering blood pressure without medication is possible and relatively easy if you know what to do.
You can do a few things without resorting to prescription medications or surgery: eat a balanced diet, reduce stress, get enough exercise, and keep your lifestyle in check.
Following these simple methods, you can control your blood pressure without taking pills daily.
Lee Ling Ling, et. al., “Walking for hypertension” 2021; 2021(2): CD008823. Published online 2021 Feb 24. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD008823.pub2 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8128358/
Tasnim Sara, et. al., “Effect of alcohol on blood pressure” 2020; 2020(7): CD012787. Published online 2020 Jul 1. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD012787.pub2 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8130994/
Farahani Ali Vasheghani, MD, et. al., “The Effects of a 10-Week Water Aerobic Exercise on the Resting Blood Pressure in Patients with Essential Hypertension” 2010 Sep; 1(3): 159–167.doi: 10.5812/asjsm.34854 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3289176/
Hall ME, et al. “Weight-loss strategies for prevention and treatment of hypertension: A scientific statement from the American Heart Association.” Hypertension. 2021; doi:10.1161/HYP.0000000000000202.
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