Author: John Carter

10 ways to control high blood pressure without medication

how to lower blood pressure without drugs

For most adults, the calcium recommendation is 1,000 milligrams (mg) per day. Every puff of cigarette smoke causes a slight, temporary increase in blood pressure. That’s because dark chocolate and cocoa powder are rich in flavonoids, which are plant compounds that cause blood vessels to dilate. While some research has suggested that low to moderate amounts of alcohol consumption may protect the heart, those benefits may be offset by negative effects (10).

  1. Regardless of your medication situation, moving towards a more blood-pressure-friendly daily routine makes a big impact—and you don’t have to overhaul your entire life to see encouraging results at your next check-up.
  2. In addition to dairy, you can get calcium from collard greens and other leafy greens, beans, sardines, and tofu.
  3. In general, you may reduce your blood pressure by about 1 millimeter of mercury (mm Hg) with each kilogram (about 2.2 pounds) of weight you lose.
  4. Ask your health care provider about a healthy waist measurement for you.
  5. To see if caffeine raises your blood pressure, check your pressure within 30 minutes of drinking a caffeinated beverage.

If you have elevated blood pressure, exercise can help you avoid developing hypertension. If you already have hypertension, regular physical activity can bring your blood pressure down to safer levels. Stress can wreak havoc on pretty much every aspect of our health, so it’s no shock that it leaves its mark on our blood pressure. A growing body of scientific evidence identifies that social stressors, work stress, as well as low socioeconomic status and discrimination, all increase the risk of hypertension. In fact, one review of 12 studies showed that following a low carb diet could reduce systolic and diastolic blood pressure, along with several other risk factors for heart disease (29). Managing stress and stress-related habits can help reverse the condition.

Pick potassium-rich foods

To see if caffeine raises your blood pressure, check your pressure within 30 minutes of drinking a caffeinated beverage. If your blood pressure increases by 5 to 10 mm Hg, you may be sensitive to the blood pressure raising effects of caffeine. Talk to your doctor about the effects of caffeine on your blood pressure. Long-term lifestyle changes, such as reducing salt intake and managing stress, are the best way to bring blood pressure down. An immediate way to reduce stress is to get active, stretch, and practice deep breathing. Try to reduce your alcohol consumption, especially if you’re already at risk or have high blood pressure.

The diet emphasizes veggies, fruits, whole grains, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy, capping daily sodium intake at 2,300 mg, with an ideal limit at that all-important 1,500 mg. Research shows DASH can reduce BP in just four weeks and even aid weight loss. Aim to include strength training exercises at least two days a week.

how to lower blood pressure without drugs

As a general goal, aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day. Ask your health care provider about a healthy waist measurement for you. In the short term, be sure you are measuring your blood pressure correctly. Incorrect positioning, a full bladder, or physical activity immediately before a measurement can give an artificially high reading. A stressful situation can raise your blood pressure temporarily, and chronic stress can raise your blood pressure long term.

Quit smoking

Poor sleep quality — getting fewer than six hours of sleep every night for several weeks — can contribute to hypertension. A number of issues can disrupt sleep, including sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome and general sleeplessness (insomnia). Regular physical activity can lower high blood pressure by about 5 to 8 mm Hg. It’s important to keep exercising to keep blood pressure from rising again.

how to lower blood pressure without drugs

Someone may be able to lower their blood pressure in a number of ways. For example, by regularly exercising, managing their weight, and making dietary changes. Carrying too much weight around the waist can increase the risk of high blood pressure. High blood pressure is usually managed with a combination of medication and lifestyle treatments, says Dr. Weinberg, although she typically recommends that patients try lifestyle modifications first. It’s possible to do everything right and still have elevated blood pressure.

Ways to Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally, According to Experts

Often, you have to take blood pressure medication at the same time each day for the best results. If you have trouble getting enough quality sleep, consider talking to your healthcare provider. They may recommend a sleep study to see if there are other underlying causes, like sleep apnea, or lifestyle changes to encourage better sleep habits.

Talk to a health care provider about developing an exercise program. Changes in diet, weight loss, exercise, medication, stress reduction, quitting smoking and alcohol, and improving sleep quality can all lower your blood pressure long term. This article presents 11 tricks to lowering blood pressure and long-term decisions you can make to integrate these steps into your lifestyle. They include tips on reducing sodium intake, losing weight, reducing stress, and other ways to help you reach your blood pressure goals. If you haven’t hopped on the zero-proof beverage bandwagon yet, your invitation has arrived.

That’s right, research suggests that snagging extra sleep during the day can be as helpful as other lifestyle changes for getting a handle on high BP. So if the opportunity for a midday crash presents itself, take it. Below are the answers to some frequently asked questions about lowering high blood pressure.

Eat more potassium-rich foods

Not only does drinking more alcohol than the standard rec of one drink per day for women and two for men raise blood pressure, but it can also make BP medications less effective, according to Dr. Jean. In fact, research shows that alcohol has a “direct and linear” relationship with systolic blood pressure (the first number in your BP reading), meaning that the more you drink, the higher that number creeps. While plenty of health conditions make you painfully aware of their presence via any number of impossible-to-ignore symptoms, high blood pressure (a.k.a. hypertension) can be a sneakier beast. You can literally walk around all day, every day without a clue that your blood pressure numbers are higher than they should be—many people don’t have physical symptoms that they can feel. Although people who have high blood pressure (which is nearly half of adults in the US) might not have any discomfort from it most of the time, it’s really serious.

Because the nutrient encourages the kidneys to excrete more sodium through urination. We all know about the potassium in bananas, but foods like potatoes, spinach, and beans actually pack more potassium than the fruit. Tomatoes, avocados, edamame, watermelon, and dried fruits are other great sources. Drinking more than moderate amounts of alcohol can actually raise blood pressure by several points. It recommends four to five servings each of fruits and vegetables, six servings of whole grains, and two or three servings of low-fat dairy per day, while minimizing added sugar and sodium. Sodium is a notorious foe for anyone trying to get their blood pressure down, so minding the salt in your diet is a must-do.

The CDC recommends that men drink no more than two alcoholic drinks daily, and women no more than one. Our bodies react to stress by releasing hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones can raise your heart rate and constrict blood vessels, causing your blood pressure to spike. But breathing exercises and practices like meditation, yoga, and tai chi can help keep stress hormones—and your blood pressure—in check, Dr. Williams says. Start with five minutes of calming breathing or mindfulness in the morning and five minutes at night, then build up from there. Regular exercise, even as simple as walking, seems to be just as effective at lowering blood pressure as commonly used BP drugs, according to a 2018 meta-analysis of hundreds of studies.

Eating a diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products and low in saturated fat and cholesterol can lower high blood pressure by up to 11 mm Hg. Examples of eating plans that can help control blood pressure are the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet and the Mediterranean diet. There is still limited research evidence of dark chocolate’s benefits in reducing blood pressure in humans, as the effect may not have clinical significance. However, a 2022 review of 31 studies found dark chocolate consumption may be better than cocoa drinks in delivering the amount of flavonol (notably epicatechins) that may reduce blood pressure. Unlike alcohol, which can raise your blood pressure long-term, caffeine increases your blood pressure temporarily. Your blood pressure can be elevated for up to three hours after drinking coffee.

This is why stress management is one of the best ways to naturally lower blood pressure. A high blood pressure diagnosis begins with a systolic (first number) reading of 130 or more, and a diastolic pressure (second number) of 80 or more. Unfortunately, there is no quick way to lower blood pressure without medical intervention and careful monitoring. Regular physical activity — such as 150 minutes a week, or about 30 minutes most days of the week — can lower your blood pressure by about 5 to 8 mm Hg if you have high blood pressure.