High blood pressure is one of the most common health conditions in the world. According to the American Heart Association, almost half of American adults have high blood pressure, and many of them have never been diagnosed. Research has shown how CoQ10 can benefit those suffering hypertension. As well as taking this beneficial enzyme, there are certain steps that you can also take to ensure that your blood pressure is kept to a minimum.
Below are 5 simple ways to lower blood pressure naturally.
1) Eat A Vitamin-Rich Diet
One of the best ways to lower blood pressure is to eat a nutritious diet. Many of the vitamins and minerals that naturally occur in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and animal products are important in maintaining healthy blood pressure.
One of these nutrients is potassium, which counteracts the negative effects of sodium and eases pressure on blood vessels. Potassium can be found in fruits such as melon and banana, leafy greens, and dairy, among other foods.
Likewise, the mineral magnesium helps blood vessels to dilate and relax; it’s recommended as a preventative measure against high blood pressure. Whole, unprocessed foods, such as brown rice and legumes, are high in magnesium.
Polyphenols, natural anti-inflammatory compounds found in berries and hibiscus, have consistently been shown to reduce blood pressure. Eat a handful of berries or drink a cup of hibiscus tea for a healthy dose of polyphenols.
Finally, according to a recent Harvard study, small amounts of dark chocolate can help dilate the blood vessels and ease blood flow. As long as you don’t choose a version with too much sugar, feel free to indulge.
2) Quit Drinking and Smoking
Bad news: these two common vices are extremely unhealthy long-term. Alcohol and cigarettes are linked to dramatic surges in blood pressure.
Even a single alcoholic binge causes a sudden temporary spike in blood pressure. Heavy regular drinking can lead to high blood pressure, and even interferes with the effectiveness of blood pressure medications.
Smoking can also be a cause of high blood pressure and a significant risk factor for heart disease. Every cigarette causes a slight rise in blood pressure, and the chemicals contained in tobacco can harm the blood vessels.
It’s already common knowledge that exercise is one of the best gifts you can give your body. Among its many health benefits, regular exercise effectively lowers blood pressure. Exercise strengthens your heart, causing it to pump blood more efficiently and reducing the pressure caused by buildup in the arteries.
In addition, exercise can contribute to a healthy weight, which is a major factor in heart health. Weight loss, especially fat loss, reduces pressure on blood vessels and makes it easier for them to expand and contract.
Even 30 minutes of moderate exercise, 5 days a week, can have a significant positive impact on blood pressure.
4) Cut Down Salt and Sugar Intake
Because of the modern prevalence of processed foods, most of us eat lots of salt and sugar.
Many studies have connected salt with high blood pressure, as well as heart disease and stroke.
Recent research seems to suggest that this is true for many people, but not everyone — the impact of sodium on your blood pressure may depend on your genetic makeup. If you already have high blood pressure, it may be worth cutting back on your salt intake, to see if this dietary change is the right one for you.
The link between high blood pressure and added sugar is much clearer, according to a famous 2015 study. Sugar, along with refined carbohydrates such as white bread, raises insulin levels in the bloodstream and leads to startling increases in blood pressure.
Stress, especially chronic stress, can cause long-term damage to blood pressure levels. Stress causes the body to enter “fight-or-flight mode,” which causes the heart to pump at extra speed and the blood vessels to tense up.
One well-known way to manage stress is through meditation, which calms the heart and relaxes the blood vessels. Deep breathing techniques, as well as guided meditations and mindfulness, can help you keep your stress levels in check — an important step not just for your emotional well-being, but for your blood pressure.