How to Lower Blood Pressure Naturally
Written by Health Writer Gerda Venter
Medically reviewed by Dr. Daniela Steyn
Your tissues and organs need oxygenated blood circulating through your body to survive and function properly. Your heart is the organ that circulates blood through your body. When your heart beats, it creates pressure that pushes blood through a network of tube-shaped blood vessels, including arteries, veins, and capillaries. High blood pressure (HBP or Hypertension) is when your blood pressure, the force of blood pushing against the walls of your blood vessels, is consistently too high.
High blood pressure causes harm by increasing the workload of the heart and blood vessels. Over time, the force and friction of high blood pressure damage the delicate tissues inside your arteries. Taking measures to control high blood pressure and prevent life-threatening conditions like cardiovascular disease, arrhythmia, kidney disease, kidney failure or stroke is vital.
If you're one of the millions of people with elevated blood pressure, you may be looking for ways to lower high blood pressure naturally. Fortunately, there are several natural ways to lower blood pressure that are safe and effective. Some of the most effective methods are to:
1. Eat for Optimal Health
Blood pressure often increases as weight increases. Weight loss is one of the most effective lifestyle changes for controlling blood pressure. Losing even a little weight if you're overweight or obese can help reduce your blood pressure.
One of the most straightforward strategies to lose weight and lower your blood pressure is to eat a healthy diet. Eating nutritious foods helps keep your blood pressure in check. The DASH diet has proven to be very efficient in lowering blood pressure.
DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. It's a specific type of diet that has been shown to help lower blood pressure in people who have Hypertension. The basic idea behind the DASH diet is to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains while limiting your intake of salt and unhealthy fats. Optimal food choices include:
Celery, garlic, onions, nuts, seeds, and green leafy vegetables. These are full of calcium and magnesium, ideal for lowering blood pressure
Legumes and whole grains
Vitamin C rich foods such as broccoli and citrus
Foods rich in flavonoids like berries, cherries, grapes, red kidney beans
This combination of foods helps control blood pressure by providing your body with crucial nutrients and minerals essential for good health. It's not easy to change your diet, so be kind to yourself while making small changes every day.
Reducing your salt intake (or sodium intake) has proven to be highly successful in obtaining normal blood pressure levels. To decrease the sodium content in your diet, consider these tips:
Read food labels. If possible, choose low-sodium alternatives to the foods and beverages you usually buy.
Eat fewer processed foods. Only a tiny amount of sodium occurs naturally in foods. Most sodium is added during processing.
Don't add salt. Just 1 level teaspoon of salt has 2,300 mg of dietary sodium. Use herbs or spices instead to add flavour to your food.
If you don't feel you can drastically reduce salt intake in your diet, cut back gradually. Your palate will adjust over time.
Supplementing with CoQ10, fish oil, flaxseed oil, Hawthorn, olive leaf, and hibiscus botanicals can also help to lower high blood pressure.
If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, following a DASH diet is one of the best things you can do to improve your health. In addition to lowering blood pressure, a DASH diet can also help reduce your r