28 Jul Lower Your Blood Pressure The Natural Way
Lower Your Blood Pressure The Natural Way
If there’s one phrase that strikes fear into nearly every adult Americans’ heart, it’s “high blood pressure.” We know it’s dangerous; we’ve heard it from dozens upon dozens of books and daytime television shows. The numbers are certainly there: High blood pressure, or hypertension, affects 1 in every 3 Americans, and even more are at a high risk of developing it. Hypertension greatly increases risk of heart attack or stroke, and can lead to a poorer overall quality of life.
The question, then, is this: what can we do about it? If we develop hypertension, are we doomed to take medication for the rest our lives? No way!
If you’re at risk for hypertension or are already experiencing it, there are many safe and natural ways to reduce your blood pressure. To manage or reduce your risk for hypertension, all it takes are a few small changes. (As always, speak with your doctor before undertaking any dietary changes)
1. Eat Fewer Processed Foods
It may be tough, especially at first, but this is one of the best things you can do for your long-term health. You don’t have to do it all at once, either. For instance, instead of drinking a soda with your evening meal, try 100% fruit juice instead. Sugar alone can have a greater impact on high blood pressure than even salt. Or, cut back your alcohol intake by a few times a week.
Processed foods like soda, fast food, and alcohol may be some of the worst offenders, but this also extends to sugary sports drinks and saturated fats. Cut back on these (or even eliminate them!), and that alone may be enough to lower your blood pressure.
Yes, yes, we’ve all heard it before, usually from our doctors. Well, they’re right. Exercise is one of the most important things you can do to lower your blood pressure. The most effective way to do this is through aerobic exercise and weight training.
Aerobic exercise includes anything that gets your breath going: running, biking, jogging, jumping jacks–whatever you prefer. All it takes is twenty minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise three days a week, and you’ll see the results.
Combine this with weight training on the other days of the week, and not only can you reduce your blood pressure, you’ll also decrease risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, osteoporosis, and muscular atrophy. If that isn’t convincing, I don’t know what is.
3. Supplement with Fish Oil
There is an effective natural remedy for hypertension, and it comes in the form of the Omega-3s found in fish oil. Of course, ask your doctor before beginning a regimen. But if you’re given the go-ahead, you might find what one study found: that fish oil significantly reduces blood pressure in hypertensive adults.
With that said, it’s important that you choose a high-quality fish oil. Specifically, one that has at least 500 mg of combined of EPA and DHA (look on the label to find this), and more is better.
It’s easy to take, cheap, and produces other health benefits to boot (especially if you have any joint issues).
4. Change Your Mind
One of the most important, but often overlooked, aspects of blood pressure management is how you think of it. Almost nothing related to your health can be described as a quick fix. More often, enacting healthy lifestyle changes takes some dedication and time.
The good news is that any positive change is a step in the right direction. The key is to see those steps as a continual journey to good health, rather than a short walk to a fast result. So, talk to your doctor, get that blood pressure tested regularly, and enjoy the journey. Get your mindset right, and trust me, your body will follow.