Dr.Rakshya Gautam Paudel
High blood pressure is one of the major reasons for heart attack and stroke. If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, there are several measures you can take to ensure your health condition doesn’t worsen, including lifestyle changes, medications and many more.
Here are some ways by which you can reduce blood pressure
1. The DASH diet:
Following the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet can help in lowering your blood pressure by a considerable margin. The DASH diet includes cutting down on foods rich in saturated fats, such as processed and packaged foods, and consuming more of low-fat dairy products, fish, lean meat, nuts, fruits, vegetables and whole grains. This also includes reducing your consumption of desserts and drinks like sweetened and/or carbonated beverages.
It is no wonder that regular exercise is prescribed as a remedy for most of the adverse health conditions which affect us. Once a proper, healthy dietary routine is established, the next logical step is to become lean and toned, in order to reduce the burden on our heart and strengthen our body. Walking, jogging, going to the gym, yoga and swimming are some of the popular options. But make sure you spend at least half an hour every day in order to see the tangible effects. This is one of the best natural heart treatments which contribute towards a fit and strong cardiac system.
3. Shed the flab:
It is a known fact that being obese enhances your risk of getting a heart attack and other related conditions. The good news is, even a small magnitude of weight loss can significantly lower your blood pressure, as well as helping with other disorders like sleep apnea.
4. Reduce Sodium, Increase Potassium:
Sodium aids absorption and retention of water, and also increases the blood pressure in the body. In order to decrease the sodium intake, take some measures like eating fewer processed and packaged foods, adding less salt to your food. A natural corollary to reducing the consumption of sodium is to increase the intake of potassium, as it mitigates the effect of salt in the body, and also relieves the pressure in the blood vessels. Potassium also acts as an electrolyte which balances the salts in the body. Some foods which are high in potassium include fruits like bananas and oranges, vegetables like potato, sweet potato, tomato, spinach etc., fish and dairy products such as milk and yoghurt.
5. Stop Smoking:
The tobacco present in the blood constricts the arteries, thereby increasing the pressure on the walls of the blood vessels and increasing the heart rate. Even secondhand smoke can be equally dangerous as actually smoking a cigarette.
6. Reduce Alcohol Intake:
Excessive alcohol consumption sends blood pressure skyrocketing and also reduces the efficacy of blood pressure medications. Moderate your alcohol intake, if you’re unable to cut down fully.
7. Manage Stress:
Stress due to any factor; be it work or personal affairs can raise your blood pressure. Perform basic breathing exercises, meditation and yoga to calm yourself down and reduce your heart rate and blood pressure.
8. Have some dark chocolate:
This ought to be music to the ears of all the chocolate lovers out there. Dark chocolate has flavanoids which help widen the blood vessels. Make sure the dark chocolate you consume has at least 60-70 percent cacao and is not too sweet, which is usually the case. Also, do not gorge on the chocolate; just a small square a day will suffice.
These are just some of the remedies which you can avail within the comfort of your homes to keep a healthy blood pressure range. Certain measures like consuming medicinal herbs, limiting caffeine intake etc. have been found to have a marked effect on reducing blood pressure, although more studies are needed to establish a definitive link. At the end of the day, a healthy lifestyle with moderating habits is sufficient to keep your blood pressure within
limits and your heart healthy.