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What is Blood Pressure? | How to Lower Blood Pressure Naturally

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is simply when one experiences an unhealthy increase in blood levels.

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In other words, the blood pressure measurement takes into account how much blood is passing through your blood vessels and the amount of resistance it meets while the heart pumps.

The crazy thing about having high blood pressure it that, it doesn’t come with an early symptom. Even without the symptoms, it can damage the blood vessels and organs, especially the eyes, heart, brain, and kidneys.

Therefore, it is advisable to have regular blood pressure readings. This can help your doctor notice the changes in your blood pressure levels. This can also help your doctor to start an immediate treatment for high blood pressure if need be.

In this article, we will be discussing blood pressure and how it relates to alcohol, pregnancy, and diabetes. In addition, it also covers how to lower blood pressure naturally.

BLOOD PRESSURE AND ALCOHOL

Drinking too much alcohol in one sitting can temporarily increase your blood pressure to unhealthy levels. However, repeated drinking of too much alcohol can lead to a long-term increase in blood pressure to unhealthy levels.

In recent research, scientists found that binge drinking can lead to the hardening and narrowing of arteries, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke.

In addition, alcoholic beverages are very rich in calories and sugar. Therefore, if one experiences a weight gain or obesity, due to high levels of alcohol intake, it can further elevate the risks of high blood pressure in the long run.

BLOOD PRESSURE AND PREGNANCY

High blood pressure numbers may increase during pregnancy, to 140 mm Hg or higher systolic, with diastolic 90 mm Hg or higher.

High blood pressure numbers during pregnancy may be caused by unhealthy lifestyles, type of pregnancy (if the woman is carrying more than one child), and age of the woman if she is above 35.

According to the journal, Circulation, a woman’s blood volume increases by as much as 45 percent during pregnancy. The heart must pump this extra blood throughout the body.

There are several possible causes for this, which include; obesity, lack of enough physical exercise, drinking, smoking, first-time pregnancy, age (most especially above 35), carrying more than one child, being diabetics, and lastly, having a family history of pregnancy-related hypertension.

The best part about high blood pressure during pregnancy is that the numbers will decrease after the baby is delivered. In cases whereby the blood pressure remains elevated, your doctor may prescribe medications to get it back to normal.

BLOOD PRESSURE AND DIABETICS

A diabetic has more chances of experiencing high blood pressure than a person without diabetes.

High blood pressure can lead to heart disease and stroke, kidney disease, and other health problems if left untreated.

HOW TO LOWER BLOOD PRESSURE NATURALLY AND QUICKLY

Having high blood pressure is not a death sentence. The good thing about elevated blood pressures is that a healthy lifestyle can significantly reduce the numbers and minimizes the risk.

Here are some ways on how to lower blood pressure instantly.

1. Physical exercise

If you are looking for immediate treatment for high blood pressure, I recommend aerobic activities. Engaging in aerobic activities can significantly reduce high blood pressure.

A 2014 study on Physical Activity and the Prevention of Hypertension, shows that there are combinations of exercise that can lower blood pressure. Aerobic exercise, resistance training, high-intensity interval training, short bouts of exercise throughout the day, or even walking 10,000 steps a day may lower the blood pressure.

Doing 150 minutes of aerobic activity a week can naturally lower blood pressure by 5 to 8 mmHg.

In addition to that, simple activities such as climbing the stairs, walking, gardening, playing a team sport, biking, hiking and even doing household chores, can help reduce elevated blood pressures.  

2. Reduce alcohol intake

Research has shown that alcohol intake has contributed to 16% of high blood pressure, globally. Drinking alcohol can raise your blood pressure by 1mmHg for every 10 grams of alcohol consumed.

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A good way to lower blood pressure instantly is to reduce the intake of alcohol. For men, two drinks per day are recommended, while one drink per day is recommended for women.

3. Lose weight if you are obese

One of the remedies for high blood pressure is to lose weight. Obesity can put pressure on the blood vessels, but losing weight can help the blood vessels do a better job of expanding and contracting, making it easier for the left ventricle of the heart to pump blood.

Losing 5 to 10 pounds can reduce your blood pressure, which is good to reduce the risk of heart health. In 2016, several studies have shown that weight-loss diets reduced blood pressure by an average of 3.2 mmHg diastolic and 4.5 mmHg systolic.

4. Cut back on sugar and refined carb

A high blood pressure diet is cutting down on added sugar and refined carb. A low carb diet can significantly reduce your blood pressure if numbers are elevated.

The dangers of added sugar, especially in soda, can be found in research, linking added sugar and high blood pressure.

In another research, by the Framingham Women’s Health, it was found that women who took one soda per day, had higher levels than those who drank less than a soda, per day.

5. Eat more potassium rich foods

Modern foods have limited the intake of potassium while increasing sodium. Potassium is a mineral that helps reduces sodium in our body, thus reducing high blood pressure.

Eating potassium-rich food is a good way to lower blood pressure quickly. Try to avoid eating more fast foods and processed meals, this is because they contain more sodium than potassium. Eating freshly cooked foods is highly recommended.

Potassium can be found in fruits (melons, bananas, avocados, oranges, and apricots) and vegetables (leafy greens, tomatoes, potatoes, and sweet potatoes).

In addition, dairy such as milk and yogurt; tuna and salmon; nuts and seeds; and beans are also rich in potassium.

6. Reduce sodium intake (Less salt)

A great way to reduce high blood pressure numbers is to eat more potassium and eat less of sodium-rich foods. Eliminating sodium can be hard, because, most foods are highly rich in sodium.

However, reducing your sodium intake is doable by reducing the quantity of salts consumed per day. You can achieve this by cooking your own meals, rather than eating fast foods, and try to avoid eating processed foods.

Although, it is worthy to note that some individuals respond to salt differently. Some persons are salt-sensitive (higher salt intake increases their blood pressure), while others are salt-insensitive (their body system has the ability to excrete excess salt through their urine, without raising blood pressure).

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends reducing salt intake using the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet.

7. Quit smoking

Quitting smoking is a good health habit. This is because, aside it raising your blood pressure, smoking also has a high risk of causing heart problems. Smoking temporarily increases your blood pressure, instantly.

However, in the long run, the chemicals in tobacco can damage your blood vessels, thereby narrowing your blood arteries. The hardened blood arteries can lead to high blood pressure.

Conclusion

High blood pressure or hypertension is a health problem whereby the arteries of your blood becomes narrow, thereby increasing the pressure of the blood. The symptoms are not noticeable however, high blood pressure is detected by taking blood pressure readings.

Several studies have shown that there is a relationship between blood pressure and alcohol; blood pressure and pregnancy; and blood pressure and diabetes.

Finally, you can lower your blood pressure naturally by physical exercise, lower your alcoholic intake, losing weight, cutting down on added sugar, increase your potassium intake and reduce your sodium intake.

Hope you have learnt something new today. Have you experienced high blood pressure before, and how were you able to reduce it? Leave your comments below.

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