The pressure or the force at which the blood is pumped in and out of the heart and into different parts of the body is called as blood pressure. The normal range of blood pressure in the body is less than 120/80 mmHg.
When the blood pressure is high, it forces the forces the blood flow in the arteries with more pressure. The increased pressure is harmful for delicate tissues and muscles and can damage blood vessels. If left untreated, high blood pressure can lead to serious health complications such as heart attack, kidney failure, and stroke. Any reading above 130/80 mmHg is considered as high blood pressure.
If you or a person you know is already diagnosed with high blood pressure, then the doctor will prescribe you medications and plan out a treatment to lower the blood pressure. With this, it is important to follow a healthy and stress-free lifestyle with a combination of some therapies.
Following are some prevention techniques and home remedies that will help to bring the numbers down.
- Exercising and staying physically active
Exercising for at least 30 minutes to one hour helps the blood pressure to reduce by 9 mmHg. Start out with a light routine and gradually increase the intensity of your workout. If you do not wish to hit the gym, then take your workout outdoors. Hike, jog, swim, and indulge in those exercises or workout routines that maintain your blood pressure throughout the day.
Dietary approaches to stop hypertension, or DASH, helps in lowering the blood pressure by up to 15 mmHg. DASH diet consists of fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. It also consists of low-fat dairy products, lean meats, seafood, and nuts. Eliminate foods that are high in saturated fats such as processed foods, full-fat dairy products, and fatty meats. Cutting back on desserts and sweetened beverages will help in further reducing high blood pressure.
- Watch your weight
High blood pressure and body weight are interrelated. Losing a couple of pounds can definitely help you with lowering the blood pressure. Visceral fat, which is the fat around your waist, can be troublesome as it surrounds different organs in the abdomen. Having more visceral fat can lead to health problems, high blood pressure being one of them. Hence, it is important to maintain a well-balanced body mass index.
- Curb your nicotine addiction
Every cigarette you smoke temporarily raises your blood pressure. People who smoke heavily have their blood pressure elevated for longer periods. Secondhand smoke puts one at increased risk of high blood pressure and other respiratory complications.
- Limit your alcohol intake
A glass of wine with your dinner is fine as it does have some health benefits. Binging on alcohol can lead to some serious health issues including high blood pressure. If you are already on medication to treat high blood pressure and indulge in heavy drinking, then it can reduce the effectiveness of the medication.
- Drink green tea
Drinking three cups of green tea or hibiscus tea lowers the systolic blood pressure by 5 mmHg on an average. The phytochemicals present in the green tea help in lowering the blood pressure as they help in relaxing the wall of arteries.
- Flax seeds
Alpha linolenic acid, lignans, peptides, and fibers are the four compounds present in flaxseeds that together help in decreasing the systolic and diastolic pressure. Thus, it is beneficial to include flaxseeds in your daily diet.
- Eat dark chocolate
Dark chocolate or cocoa-based products are rich in flavanols that help in reducing high blood pressure. These flavonoids are a type of polyphenols contain nitric oxide that helps in widening the blood vessels, thus, lowering the blood pressure.
- Avoid stress
Stress can increase your blood pressure temporarily. Too much of it can keep it extended for longer period of time. It can be hard to slow down and relax in today’s fast paced world. Thus, it is important to take a step back from your daily routine and relax. This will help you reduce stress. Take steps to relieve your stress in a healthy way. Medication and yoga helps in both relieving from stress and lowering the blood pressure.
- Limit your salt intake
Consuming excess salt forces your body to retain fluid. This results in a sharp rise in blood pressure. If you are already suffering from high blood pressure, cut down on salt and use some herbs and spices to enhance the flavor. Avoid processed foods as they are loaded with high amounts of sodium. Look for low-sodium alternatives wherever possible.
Consult a physician or a doctor before taking up any of the above-mentioned prevention techniques and home remedies as they may cause side effects by interfering with medications that you are already taking for a different health condition.