Hypertension: Six ways you can lower high blood pressure naturally

Posted by on August 14, 2010 at 4:49 am.

Several years ago, I used to work for a local university hospital. I worked in Research/Family Medicine department. Part of my job involved traveling with a group to various locations statewide. Extremely popular at these events, were the free health screenings that we conducted.  One of the most popular, were free blood pressure screenings.

If there was a need, we offered follow up classes (also free) to increase the persons awareness and offer ways to reclaim their health.  Three classes were offered, smoking cessation, healthy eating, and weight loss. The clients were encouraged to take the classes appropriate for them. Quite a few were urged to take all three. I enjoyed my time there. It was a great learning experience, I met numerous people and had a chance to interact and give people valuable information on ways they could reclaim their health.

The only thing required of them was to actually make those changes.  Of course, that isn’t always easy. Change can be extremely hard. Surrounding yourself with those who are supportive, and are willing to give you a firm, but loving push when needed can be helpful too.

Over the years, I’ve had several people ask me if I could supply them with information on ways can improve their health. (People that are around me for any length of time, know I’m extremely passionate about health.) I always tell them to follow up with their health care provider, if they haven’t already done so, and I’ll try to include tips or at least point to a service that can assist them with their needs. Over the past few weeks, Celebrate Life has received a variety of health related questions. In time, I’ll be including a few of the questions asked (along with my answers) on this site.

Below, I’ve included one of the questions I received regarding high blood pressure.

Question: Help! My blood pressure is high, can you suggest any tips on lowering it naturally?

What is High Blood Pressure?

High Blood Pressure (or hypertension) is a serious medical condition in which the blood pressure remains unusually high. If it’s left untreated it can be a risk factor for cerebrovascular diseases as well as coronoary heart disease.

Fact: Many people don’t know they have high blood pressure

According to statistics, one in three adults has high blood pressure. Many of them don’t  know it. We saw this a lot during our free health screenings. This is why high blood pressure has often been called the silent killer. It’s important to get your blood pressure checked to make sure it falls within the normal range.  If it is left unchecked high blood pressure can lead to stroke, heart attack, or kidney failure.

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Six ways you can naturally lower your blood pressure

    1. Lose the weight

If you are overweight, change your eating habits. Almost everyone will see a reduction in their blood pressure if they shed a few pounds. The weight isn’t coming off overnight, it took a while to pack on those pounds so it’s going to take some time to melt them away too. Clean up your diet, start selecting healthier food options and exercise into your lifestyle, Be consistent you want healthy eating habits combined with exercise to become a habit.

Despite what the media might portray, weight loss shouldn’t be just about vanity. You want to maintain an ideal weight to prevent some of the health related issues associated with being overweight. That said, even if you are at your ideal weight you can have high blood pressure, or other health related diseases too.

 

    1. Add DASH to your daily eating habits

 

Dash stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. How are you going to do this?  Increase the fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and low fat or fat free dairy products in your eating lifestyle. You want to reduce the cholesterol causing foods, fat, red meat, and sodium.  Start reading labels, educate yourself on what you’re reading and making healthy changes to in your eating habits.

Why does DASH work? This diet is packed with vitamins and minerals which our bodies crave.  The foods offered in DASH are naturally good for your body making them a powerful tool in getting lowering your blood pressure.  The DASH diet has proven to lower blood pressure in just fourteen days.

The foods we eat play an important role on our health. In many cases we don’t see the results from our unhealthy eating habits until much later. If you’re not making healthy eating choices you are nutritionally starving your body.

 

 

    1. Reduce the sodium/salt

 

In 1997 the Trials of Hypertension Prevention, Phase II (TOHP II) it was found that blood pressure was lowered by reducing the amount of sodium in the diet and losing weight. Reducing, or eliminating sodium can be extremely challenging.

I’ve listed a few salt alternatives. Check them out.

Salt free options

      • Garlic powder (not garlic salt)
      • lemon juice
      • lime juice
      • roasted garlic
      • Unsalted (and ground) sunflower seeds or sesame seeds

 

    1. Exercise

 

You don’t have to go to the gym to have a good workout there are numerous exercises that you can do effectively at home.  Walking, gardening, push ups, jumping jacks, running in place, following a fitness video, etc., are just a few of the ways you can workout from the convenience of your home. You’ve got to move to exercise, so start doing it.

 

 

 

    1. Relax!

 

Studies show that high stress may affect your blood pressure. Think of ways that you can eliminate the stressors in your life. Even better, don’t let issues you encounter take control of your life. I meditate, exercise, play with my daughter, read, listen to music, etc.,

 

 

    1. Reduce your alcohol consumption

 

Drinking excessively or binge drinking can lead to a stroke.  Studies say that people who drink an excessive amount of alcohol (over two cups per day) increase their risk of high blood pressure. If you’re going to drink do so in moderation limit your intake to two glasses per day.

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Moving Forward

Stay focused and educating yourself, is a great way that you can start taking control of your health. Check out support groups either locally or online. Support is extremely helpful, and it can build a since of comraderie interacting with those experieincing similar issues. Change can be hard so don’t beat yourself up if you make slipups think about the reasons why you went back into old habits and try to come up with ways to avoid them happening again.

If you don’t take action, your high blood pressure won’t go away. Continung to ignore your condition can lead to other conditions such as kidney failure, heart diseases, heart failure, stroke, and other health related issues.

Although this article is focused on people suffering from High Blood Pressure, I believe we all can learn from it too. In the Westernized culture, statistics show that many people need to make changes in their health, and step up their exercise routine too. We have only one body; it makes sense to ensure that it is maintained correctly. If you’re not already, think of ways you can modify your lifestyle choices, so that you can eliminate the potential health related issues associated with bad habits.

Question: What improvements do you want to make in your lifestyle? Have you made improvements already, if so leave us a comment.

 

 

 

 

 

22 Comments

  • Will says:

    Thanks for this – so many people are unaware of why their blood pressure is so high … or that there are healhy alternatives ( or additions ) to what the doctors dish out.

    Best wishes

    Will

    [Reply]

    Moondancer Reply:

    Hello @Will,
    You’re welcome and that’s correct a lot of people simply don’t know why there blood pressure is high. Following a sensible plan, and time, high blood pressure can be lowered naturally.

    [Reply]

  • Amber Garner says:

    I’m definitely going to be forwarding this to my parents! I think my dad’s biggest problem is the salt, but he seems to think his only blood pressure issue comes from stress. Which is true, and you mentioned, relaxing can help. But he loves to salt EVERYTHING! Even when my mom already salted it sufficiently when cooking it.

    [Reply]

    Moondancer Reply:

    @Amber Garner, Salt can be tough to break away from; trying to find replacements might be helpful (although they aren’t salt.) Yeah stress can affect a person negatively in so many different ways. Finding effective ways to control stress is helpful. What works, might vary depending on the individual.

    [Reply]

  • Evelyn says:

    Hi Moondancer!

    These are good tips! It is amazing how most people don’t know they have high blood pressure. “The silent killer”

    I’ll be sharing this with of few of my family members. 🙂

    I’ve been trying to exercise more all in the comfort of my home. As you have said, there is no need to go to the gym.

    Take care!
    -Evelyn

    [Reply]

    Moondancer Reply:

    Hi @Evelyn,
    Those blood pressure screenings were a real eye opener. It was amazing how many simply had no clue what their blood pressure was, or the simple steps they could take to get it under control. Extremely sad, were the ones that knew they needed to change but were unwilling to do anything about changing their lifestyle.

    [Reply]

  • pinkie says:

    I’ll pass this link on to my mom and sister. They both suffer from high blood pressure and are medicated for it. And of course, I follow the DASH habits. A year or so ago, my doctor said my blood pressure was borderline, so I quickly changed that by using DASH and more exercise 🙂

    [Reply]

    Moondancer Reply:

    Hiya @pinkie,
    Thanks, I’ve been meaning to post this article for a little while. I finally got around to doing it earlier today. You’ve got to love DASH, it’s a simple but an effective way to combat high blood pressure.

    [Reply]

  • Rose says:

    Months ago my blood pressure was dangerously high and had no knowledge until a viral infection found me at the Doctors. It turned out it was the medication I switched to for my depression that resulted in hypertension.

    [Reply]

    Moondancer Reply:

    Hi @Rose,
    Yes medication (along with other factors) can at times give inaccurate information, which is unfortunate. Since that can cause added stress for the person receiving the diagnosis.

    I do like the fact that the tips to avoid high blood pressure can be used by almost anyone. I follow a similar approach in my lifestyle.

    [Reply]

  • Wayne Howard says:

    Believe it or not, I use to have hypertension. It was because I was eating all types of crap and not exercising. That was a huge wake up call and ever since then I started eating healthier and working out. Just had my blood pressure checked a few days ago and it was perfect 🙂 Cheers!

    [Reply]

    Moondancer Reply:

    Hey @Wayne Howard,
    I’m not surprised. While working at the university hospital, I saw a lot of young people with hypertension. Congrats to you for taking control of your health and choosing healthier options. Congrats on improving your blood pressure, that had to feel great.

    [Reply]

  • I always thought that blood pressure rises when one is stressed. My husband has high blood pressure (which runs in his family) and sometimes even if he isn't stressed or tired, his blood pressure is still very high! I'm glad to know that salt can be one of the culprits for this..my husband likes salty foods! Now I can tell him about this and maybe he'll lessen his salt intake. Thanks for this helpful post!

    [Reply]

    Moondancer Reply:

    Hi @Felicia @ No Deposit Poker,
    Thanks so much for stopping by…

    It seems a lot of people like salty food, using salt free alternatives, like some of the ones I’ve mentioned can be helpful.

    [Reply]

  • Wow, I am so glad I have been lead to this article from your link on Kathy Blogger.

    I was told by my doctor that my blood pressure was a little high and that I would have to return for a check up in 4 weeks.

    Only this morning I decided I would start work on reducing it, in order that I can get a better report when I return.

    To be quite honest, although I had picked up a couple of leaflets at a health food store, here in the UK, I didn’t really know where to start and knew for certain, that I would probably not follow through without a plan.

    Thanks to you and your timely advice, I feel more confident about reducing my blood pressure.

    May God Bless You.
    Carole in the UK recently posted..Have You Checked Your Vision Lately

    [Reply]

  • Exercise helps the heart use oxygen more efficiently, so it doesn’t work as hard to pump blood. Get a vigorous cardio workout of at least 30 minutes on most days of the week. Try increasing speed or distance so you keep challenging your ticker.

    [Reply]

  • Dennis Steele@Buckingham Interiors says:

    I had heard of salt and high fat foods being bad, but i didn’t know citric fruits were good for it. I’ll have to pass it on to my parents.

    [Reply]

  • Hi,
    Great post, I like your six tips how to lower high blood pressure. Blood pressure is very critical problems and lots of people around the world are suffering from these diseases.
    Many fruits and vegetables contain potassium which lower the high blood pressure. Basil, Cinnamon, cardamom, flax seed, Garlic, Ginger help in reduce the high blood pressure.
    Over eating of salt is main reason of high blood pressure.

    Thanks for sharing your useful post.
    Praveen Verma recently posted..Health Benefits of Asparagus

    [Reply]

    Opal Reply:

    @Praveen Verma, I agree and thanks so much for stopping by.
    Opal recently posted..Savory green smoothie adventures

    [Reply]

  • ken says:

    Garlic not only flavors the food instead of salt it helps thin the blood and is suppose to lower cholestoral. I take garlic pills and omega 3 fish oil daily. They also say baby asprin helps to prevent stroke or heart attack but i know that if you take fish oil garlic and asprin daily your blood is thin and it takes longer to clot if you get cut.

    Garlic also seems to help me when i am getting a cold i take it and vitamin c and usualy do not have a cold longer than 1 day or 2 at the most.
    ken recently posted..health benefit of garlic

    [Reply]

    Opal Reply:

    @ken, I consume garlic several times weekly. I use fresh garlic. I cook and juice with that. It’s anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal so it can be very effective in reducing the time you have a cold. I have not had a cold since the early 2000’s.
    Opal recently posted..Live like no one else so one day you LIVE like no one else…

    [Reply]

  • Ron Smith says:

    Diet is key for getting rid of from many diseases but most people ignore it. They don’t know exactly what is the cause of blood pressure and how to cure it. Your post gives useful information about it.

    [Reply]

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