Our heart is one of the most important organs in our bodies and one of the most hard-working: pumping almost 5 liters of blood every minute, carrying oxygen and nutrients to every organ and tissue. This organ is crucial for our health and well-being, and we should do our best to protect it. Today, heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide (0), killing almost 18 million people every year.
To avoid suffering from heart disease, start watching out for risk factors regardless of your age. For instance, one of the main health problems that can lead to heart failure is having high blood pressure (also called hypertension). If you suffer from this condition, it means your blood circulates through your vessels with more force than it should, which can bring about negative consequences for your body and health.
But don’t worry, hypertension today is treatable and doesn’t necessarily lead to heart disease or failure. The real question is how do you lower your blood pressure without resorting to pills and medication? Here we present you with 3 ways to beat high blood pressure naturally and almost effortlessly.
What is Hypertension and Why Is it Dangerous?
Hypertension is a very common condition that is closely related to your blood pressure (or BP). Blood pressure refers to the force exerted by your blood against the inner walls of a vein, artery, or capillary. This force is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg), with normal values traditionally being 140/80 mm Hg. However, new research carried out by the American Heart Association suggests that, instead of 140/80, healthy parameters should now be adjusted to 130/90 mm Hg (1). This means that, if your BP is over 130/90, you can be diagnosed with stage 1 hypertension.
Now, what is the danger of having your blood pressure over healthy values? Well, hypertension can cause an array of heart diseases, such as arrhythmia (because the heart becomes enlarged from making too much effort to pump your blood), coronary artery disease, or ischemic stroke. Having high blood pressure can ultimately lead to heart failure because the heart is not able to pump enough blood to keep your organs functioning properly.
If you have been diagnosed or believe you may have hypertension, the first step is to consult with your doctor to identify the causes and then take all the necessary steps to ensure that your blood pressure goes down.
Causes of Hypertension
The exact causes of hypertension are sometimes unknown, but several risk factors can contribute to having high blood pressure. Here are a few of them:
- Stress and anxiety. The hormones produced by stressful situations constrict your veins, capillaries, and arteries, forcing your heart to pump blood more forcefully and temporarily increasing your BP.
- Consuming too much sodium, alcohol, or nicotine. These substances affect the muscles inside your blood vessels, making them thinner. As a result, the heart needs to make an extra effort to pump blood, which causes hypertension.
- Being overweight, excess fat can affect your blood vessels ability to successfully carry blood.
- Taking medication. Certain pills such as birth control medication, pain relievers, flu and cold remedies, and others can become risk factors for high blood pressure.
- Consuming illegal drugs, like cocaine or methamphetamines.
- Suffering from certain chronic conditions. These include sleep dyspnea and chronic kidney disease, among others.
How to Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally?
We are not going to lie: having hypertension is not great news and can bring about an array of negative effects on your health. But, luckily, there are many (completely natural) ways in which you can lower your BP on your own! Beating hypertension doesn’t mean you have to take a lot of pills every day: you can reduce your blood pressure by pursuing a healthy lifestyle.
Of course, this means you’ll have to adjust your habits and make changes that can pose a challenge. Who hasn’t been tempted by a plate of delicious cookies right after committing to cutting out carbs? Lowering your BP will also require a bit of inspiration. But don’t be discouraged by a small misstep: with patience and persistence, your BP will soon go down. Especially if you follow these 3 ways to beat high blood pressure naturally!
#1 - The Magical Power of Food
It’s no secret that having a balanced diet can have a big impact on your well-being, but choosing your food wisely can also improve your BP dramatically. Discover how to lower your blood pressure by eating delicious and healthy food:
- Citrus fruits. Oranges, grapefruits, and lemons can lower your BP as shown by several studies (2). Just consider that these fruits can interfere with medications like the ones used to lower cholesterol levels, so consult with your physician before starting to consume citrus fruits daily.
- Fatty fish. This type of meat, such as salmon, is full of omega-3 fats, which can help reduce your blood vessels’ inflammation and constriction, thus reducing your BP and the risk of hypertension (3).
- Swiss chard: This leafy green is packed with beneficial nutrients, such as magnesium and potassium. These two substances in particular can help lower your BP by acting as calcium blockers and naturally relaxing your capillaries and veins (4).
- Lentils and seeds. In addition to being excellent sources of fibre, lentils also contain plenty of potassium and magnesium, which have proven to work when fighting high blood pressure (5). Pumpkin seeds are also helpful because of their high concentrations of arginine, which also acts as a blood vessel relaxer. And if you are having trouble increasing fibre in your diet, our Fermented Happy Fibre system can help, also promoting weight loss by increasing your feeling of satiety.
- Berries and small fruits. Strawberries, blueberries, and cherries (among others) are rich sources of antioxidants. For example, anthocyanins help reduce heart disease risk factors and, of course, can reduce high blood pressure (6).
- Tomato juice. Some studies (7) have revealed that natural tomato juice can decrease your high blood pressure and your levels of bad cholesterol, too.
- Carrots. Carrots are amazing for leading a healthy lifestyle, as they are full of healthy nutrients like chlorogenic and caffeic acids. These substances are efficient when reducing the inflammation of your blood vessels and they are particularly abundant when eating raw carrots (8).
The list is extensive and includes many other types of food such as amaranth, pistachios, and celery will aid your fight against high BP. Of course, this doesn’t mean you have to start eating carrots and tomatoes all the time, but introducing some of these food items into your diet regularly will certainly improve your health and well-being.
#2 - Exercise and Weight Management
This may be obvious, but keeping your weight around healthy levels is crucial to maintain low blood pressure. If you are overweight, your body’s extra fat can increase vascular resistance and produce hypertension by making your heart pump your blood with extra strength (9).
Everyone, thin to severely overweight, can benefit from movement. With just half an hour of walking, dancing, swimming every day, your overall health will improve, and so will your blood pressure. Try to find an activity that you love and stick with it!
Aerobic exercise is the most effective one when it comes to weight management, but don’t completely disregard strength training (such as weight lifting) to help reduce your blood pressure too. Talk to your doctor or personal trainer so you can develop a completely personalized program that addresses your needs and any restrictions. For example, while running is great for weight loss and reducing BP, those with a knee injury may not find it suitable or even beneficial in the long run.
And if you need a little push to keep your weight at healthy levels, you can also use high quality dietary supplements such as the Ultra Absorb™ L-Glutamine system, a completely natural formula that supports weight loss while helping you with food cravings. It is the perfect aid for your weight-loss goals.
Besides the weight shown on your scale, you should also monitor your waistline. Having too much fat around this area can also put you at greater risk for heart disease (10). While women should be on the alert when their waist is over 89 centimeters, men’s limit is 102 cm. Consult your physician to learn more about your particular situation.
#3 - Sometimes Less is More
You’ve probably read about the dangers of sodium a hundred times, but it is a big deal! 2,300 mg a day is the limit (11), about a teaspoon of salt (and this is even lower for someone with hypertension). Some foods, like hot dogs, contain almost half of that daily intake! As you can see, it’s very easy to surpass the healthy amount of salt you can consume without even noticing. Some tips to reduce your sodium intake (thus, controlling your BP much easily), include:
- Read the label and choose wisely what you eat every day. Labels will not only give you essential information about calorie intake, but also about nutrients and the amount of sodium the food item contains. It is easy to find low-sodium alternatives for that dish you love!
- Cook your own food. Processed products, such as bagels, pretzels, salami, and even canned vegetables usually contain a lot of salt and preservatives. The best way to control the amount of sodium you consume is to prepare your food at home and decide how much salt you want to add to your dishes.
- Look for alternatives to salt. Many people may say that food tastes like nothing without salt, but that’s not true! You can use many herbs, spices, and dressings to cook, such as coriander, pepper, saffron, basil, or parsley… the options to make your food tasty are endless.
- Take baby steps. Getting used to your new life without sodium can be tough, so ease into it. Cut back your salt consumption gradually and let your palate and body adjust. Over time, you won’t even notice those delicious chips don’t have any extra salt! Even the smallest reduction in sodium consumption can have a positive impact on your BP and overall health, so you can take baby steps and start reducing the salt in your diet little by little.
Another element that can have a negative impact on your blood pressure is alcohol. In addition to other side effects, drinking too much (more than one glass a day) can narrow your blood vessels, forcing the heart to pump harder to help blood reach your organs. Consequently, having too much alcohol can bring about hypertension. And don’t forget about smoking! Cigarettes contain nicotine and other components that can also make your blood vessels narrower, thus increasing your BP.
Small changes can make a big difference!
Keeping tabs on your high blood pressure can certainly be a challenging task, but with small, gradual changes you will start seeing results! By taking natural steps to lower your BP, you will be protecting not only your heart and blood vessels but your overall well-being.
Changing your diet, exercising a bit every day, and avoiding sodium and alcohol can do wonders for your blood pressure and heart health. You can complement your efforts with natural dietary supplements like Happy Mammoth’s Digestive Super Cleanse, a 100% natural formula that will help you keep your weight (and consequently, your blood pressure) under control.
Better heart health does not necessarily entail taking synthetic products or drastic measures, but simply introducing a few changes in your daily routine!