Advertising
Advertising

10 Natural Ways To Lower Blood Pressure

10 Natural Ways To Lower Blood Pressure

There are a lot of people with higher than normal blood pressure these days. If your doctor has expressed concern about your blood pressure, don’t worry – there are ways to lower your blood pressure naturally, and hopefully you can avoid medication. However, if you leave it too long, it will be too late to lower it naturally and you’ll have to depend on medication. High blood pressure can lead to heart disease, kidney and heart failure, and stroke – to name a few! This condition is definitely worth taking seriously.

High blood pressure can be caused by a variety of issues: stress, existing health problems like kidney disease, genetics, obesity, too much sodium, and many more. Sometimes people look at a list like this and think “how will I ever find the time to fix all of this?” People lead busy lives these days, but these solutions won’t take too much of your time. In fact, by making different decisions each day, you can lower your blood pressure and impress your doctor! Here are 10 changes you can make that are proven to lower blood pressure:

1. Reduce Sodium Intake

shutterstock_303047786

    This is probably the easiest and fastest one on the list. All you have to do is taking a quick look at the sodium amount listed in the nutritional content of any food and pick the healtheir option. Many restaurants are now listing which menu items are lower in sodium or fat content, so eating out won’t require too much added research either. You can also reduce sodium by gradually decreasing the amount of salt you add to your meals. Over time your taste buds will adapt and you won’t notice the difference.

    Advertising

    2. Add More Vitamins and Minerals to Your Diet

    Pill Box

      Specifially, Vitamin B6, Potassium, Magnesium and Calcium. All of these are proven to naturally lower blood pressure, and they all have other health benefits as well. For example, did you know that a high number of people don’t have enough magnesium? However, before taking any additional supplements, be sure to talk to your doctor, particularly if you are already on any other medications. Because of drug interactions, you may need to take these supplements at different times or you may not even be able to take one or two of them.

      3. Lower Your Blood Sugar

        High blood sugar is a growing problem because of all the refined sugars and carbs available today. (Too bad they are cheap and delicious!) You don’t necessarily have to elminate these foods completely, but if your blood pressure is very high, you may want to avoid them completely until your health is under control. After that, you can probably indulge in a sweet treat once in a while, but be careful not to overdo it. Another product that increases blood sugar is sodas and other sugary drinks. If you the fizz of these drinks and carbonation will make water easier to drink, try mineral water like Perrier or San Pelligrino. You can find them wih natural flavors like lime and lemon.

        Advertising

        4. Try Some Cardio

        Man Running Outside Along Desert Trail

          Cardio is a good way to lose excess pounds and get your heart pumping, both of which will help to lower your blood pressure. Busy people don’t have time to spend hours at the gym, but you can get some excercise in throughout the day, just by making some changes. Try taking the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator whenever you have the option. If you work or live in a building where you are constantly taking the elevator, this alone will be a dramatic increase in your cardio exercise. You can also buy a step counter and wear it each day. Set some step goals and challenge yourself to increase the amount of steps you take each day.

          5. Weight Training

          weights

            Just like cardio, weight training can help you get in better shape which will result in lower blood pressure. If you don’t have time to hit the gym, try putting ankle weights on for part of the workday or using weights while watching Netflix in the evenings. You don’t have to carve out a hige amount of time to lift weights; you can get creative about it and do two things at once.

            Advertising

            6. Yoga or Pilates

            yoga1

              Relaxing and beathing deeper are two keys to lower blood pressure. Yoga will help you to breathe deeply, relax your body and your mind, and stretch out your muscles. Pilates will make you sweat a little more than yoga, but ithis low-impact exercise will also help you to relax and is good for your muscles and joints. If you have time, try to do one or both of these at least twice a week.

              7. Walking

              walking

                Something as simple as going for a walk can do wonders for your mind and your body. In addition to helping you lower your blood pressure, walking will help you to lose weight, realx your body, give you new perspective on a problem, and it also gives you a much needed break from your busy day. Try taking some time out of your lunch hour to go for a walk and enjoy the sights and sounds around you.

                Advertising

                8. Sleep More

                sleep

                  Because of the nature of the typical Western lifestyle these days, sleep has become a precious commodity that no one gets enough of. Over time however, lack of sleep can be a cause of high blood pressure. If your sleep cycle has become disrupted after too many late nights and early mornings, you can try taking Melatonin, (consult your doctor first) a naturally-occuring sleep hormone in your body. You shouldn’t take too much of it, and it should only be used for a short time to get your sleep cycle back on track. You can also ask your doctor for something stronger to help you sleep. Your to-do list will have to wait until morning or the weekend to get some, because sleep is (and should be) very important.

                  9. Kick the Bad Habits

                  no smoking

                    If you smoke, it will be very hard for you to lower your blood pressure naturally unless you quit. If you are serious about it, there are many options available today that have made it easier for a lot of smokers to quit. Cognitive beavior therapy, the Nicotine Patch, and the Nicotine Inhaler have all been successful. If you drink too much, this will also cause your blood pressure to rise. However, a glass of red wine has been proven to help lower blood pressure. You can still have a drink to unwind after a busy day, but you may have to change your drink of choice.

                    10. Learn to Relax

                    Girl Sitting Alone On Swing In Autumn

                      We live in a fast-paced, busy world that demands we rush to get to work, rush to get things done, rush home to spend time with our kids before going to bed and starting all over again the next day. The stress of this lifestyle is taking a severe toll on our bodies, and high blood pressure is one of the results. If you want to lower your blood pressure naturally, this is one of the most important ways to do it. You can (and should) take care of all the other items on this list, but if you fail to learn to relax and destress, you will be fighting this battle with your body for the rest of your life. Stress is very powerful and can severely harm your body if left unchecked. To successfully lower your blood pressure you will have to find a ways to relax. You may need to go to counselling to learn how to destress, schedule some “me time” where no one will bother you, or even change your job. In the long run, stress is just not worth your health. You don’t have to do it all at once – start with small, managable steps like taking the long way home a couple times a week, scheduling a day off here and there to spend with your family, or making time for a massage a couple times a month.

                      Featured photo credit: Piotr Marcinski via shutterstock.com

                      More by this author

                      12 Quick And Safe Ways To Get Rid Of A Stye Science Unlocks The Secret To Why Introverts Prefer Alone Time To Socializing Mother And Daughter: A Long-Awaited Reunion After 82 Years 8 Habits Of People Who Look Younger Than Their Actual Age Why Women Suffer From Insomnia More Often Than Men (And Ways To Help!)

                      Trending in Exercise

                      1 8 Yoga Poses to Help You Achieve Strong and Toned Inner Thighs 2 5 Breathing Exercises for Anxiety (Simple and Calm Anxiety Quickly) 3 3 Home Exercises To Fix Your Rounded Shoulders In One Month 4 Workout Every Day: Thursday Music Playlist 5 Cut down on drinking! Time for a post-holiday detox

                      Read Next

                      Advertising
                      Advertising
                      Advertising

                      Published on April 12, 2019

                      7 Best Weight Loss Supplements That Are Healthy and Effective

                      7 Best Weight Loss Supplements That Are Healthy and Effective

                      The proceeding article has been written from my own personal experience with weight loss, along with research I’ve personally conducted, and from conversations I’ve held with individuals in the health and wellness space. The below suggestions for supplements are being given under the pretence that you will in fact investigate these substances further to conclude if they make sense for you personally or not.

                      I’m a huge proponent of research and information, and also suggest you consider a DNA analysis test such as ones available through companies like Ansestory and 23andme. You can download your raw DNA data, and then upload it to FoundMyFitness Genetics – Genome Analysis Tool by Dr. Rhonda Patrick, or Promethease.

                      The purpose of uploading your raw DNA data is in order to gather information pertaining to supplementation, dietary habits, and albeit lifestyle decisions that will be optimal/in accordance with your genealogy. You can then apply this information in your day to day life in order to become the best version of you!

                      Before we dive into the list of supplements, ask the following question first:

                      Do You Need Supplements?

                      The short answer is not really, however as mentioned above, you may want to consider certain supplements by the mere fact that they are suggestible for your gene type.

                      An example of this for me personally is a genetic predisposition to Vitamin D deficiency, which came up in my comprehensive DNA report. With this information in mind, I make an active effort to supplement Vitamin D, and get my butt into some sunlight as often as possible!

                      So in certain cases supplements may not be totally required, but highly advisable.

                      When I began losing weight several years back, many thoughts ran through my mind, from bogus weight loss supplements, to even considering the quick and easy liposuction of 40-50lbs.

                      However when I took a moment to listen to my own instinct and intuition, the truth about these ideologies is that they do not solve the root of the problem – lifestyle choices.

                      My general opinion on supplementation for weight loss is that one need not focus on substances or external things in order to achieve weight loss.

                      Advertising

                      When I was losing weight, after having gained it through silly lifestyle choices (to keep things short), my focus was not on supplements but on the consistent effort towards maximal weight loss and fat loss.

                      In order to maximize weight/fat loss — I’ve discussed many times over the importance of incorporating Intermittent Fasting (Time-Restricted Eating), in conjunction with high activity levels throughout the week.

                      Simply put, you need to consider how you structure your eating, as well as the amount of exercise, effort, and overall exertion – leading to daily caloric expenditure.

                      Get yourself in a healthy caloric deficit, not by starving yourself, but by exercising, eating healthy and within a Time-Restricted “eating window”.

                      7 Supplements To Consider for Weight Loss

                      1. Caffeine or Green Tea/Extract (Matcha)

                      This is one of the quickest and most easily accessible supplements for weight loss.

                      Caffeine can boost the metabolic rate and increase fat burning. However, people become tolerant to the effects, and as such its impact will slowly diminish.

                      Matcha is derived from the same plant as Green Tea – Camellia sinensis. Matcha tea is low in calories, and high in antioxidants such as Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG). Scientists at the University of Colorado found that the EGCG content in matcha is 137 times more than Chinese green tea. These antioxidants can help flush out toxins, boost immunity, and reduce the body’s inflammation, which helps prevent weight gain and accelerates weight loss.

                      Matcha can boost metabolism and aid in fat burning while also balancing blood glucose levels.

                      2. Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA)

                      Your body naturally produces alpha-lipoic acid, but it’s also found in a variety of foods and as a dietary supplement typically in pill form.

                      ALA is an organic compound found in all human cells, made inside the mitochondria – where it helps enzymes turn nutrients into energy. Some research suggests that it may play a roll in weight loss, diabetes and more. There have also been antioxidant properties associated with ALA such as the ability to lower blood sugar levels, reduce inflammation, reduce skin ageing, and improve nerve function.

                      Advertising

                      You can obtain ALA without supplementation from animal products such as red meat and organ meats, along with plant foods like broccoli, tomatoes, spinach and Brussels sprouts.

                      Animal studies have indicated that ALA can reduce the activity of the enzyme AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), located in your brain’s hypothalamus. Meanwhile, human studies conducted showed that alpha-lipoic acid has only a slight impact on weight loss. An analysis of 12 studies discovered that people who took an alpha-lipoic acid supplement lost an average of 1.52 pounds (0.69 kg) more than those taking a placebo over an average of 14 weeks.

                      Personally I use ALA on and off when I’m looking to cut weight.

                      3. Glutamine

                      Generally speaking, Glutamine is beneficial because it improves the maintenance of muscle mass, which in turn helps burn more fat.

                      By introducing Glutamine to your diet it will also yield anti-inflammatory benefits and help reduce cravings for high-glycemic carbohydrates.

                      Foods that are high in glutamine include meat, seafood, milk, nuts, eggs, cabbage and beans.[1]

                      4. Krill Oil

                      High in omega-3 fatty acids, which yields various health benefits, including improved heart and brain health, a reduced risk of depression and even healthier skin.

                      Researchers have suggested that fish oil omega-3s may help people lose weight more easily.

                      Studies have concluded that while both fish-sourced and krill-sourced omega-3 fats are effective in reducing fat levels, krill is more effective. The mechanisms of how this is so had not been made clear in the study, but suggested long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFAs) can reduce activity in the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system consists of a group of neuromodulatory lipids and receptors that influence appetite, pain sensation, mood and memory.

                      Researchers found that, when parameters associated with obesity were considered, krill oil reduced heart fat levels in rats by 42 percent, compared to 2 percent for fish oils.

                      Advertising

                      I personally shifted from Alaskan Wild Salmon fish oils to Krill Oil due to the fact that it’s more potent and overall more effective, though the cost of the supplement is slightly more.

                      5. Apple Cider Vinegar

                      Many would note that apple cider vinegar is a low calorie drink; however, my focus on noting this supplement is relating to suppressing fat accumulation which was found in animal studies.

                      A team of researchers also investigated the effects on obese Japanese in a double-blind trial. Daily intake of apple cider vinegar may be practical in the prevention of metabolic syndrome by reducing obesity.

                      Additionally, some studies suggest that apple cider vinegar helps stabilise blood sugar levels, and primarily after consuming a high carbohydrate meal.

                      There’s many other benefits of apple cider vinegar to note, however they don’t directly correlate with weight loss, so for now I’ll leave them unmentioned, but encourage you look further into this powerful supplement.

                      6. L-Carnitine

                      This supplement is a bit speculative, and I haven’t had too much personal experience with it, thus it’s towards the bottom of the list.

                      L-Carnitine plays a crucial role in the production of energy by transporting fatty acids into your cells’ mitochondria – which acts as engines within your cells, burning fats to create usable energy. This helps move more fatty acids into your cells to be burned for energy, so it’s suggested this would increase the ability to burn fat and thus lose weight. However, results of both human and animal studies are mixed in this case.

                      This is one of those supplements that may work for one person, but not another, and it’s highly discussed and debated in the bodybuilding and fat loss community.

                      I suggest you look further into L-Carnitine, and perhaps experiment on a trial to see if you notice any improvements in weight loss and fat reduction.

                      7. Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) [Bonus]

                      CLA is a naturally occurring fatty acid found in meat and dairy products. This supplement is gaining popularity and has become widely regarded as a contender for the weight-loss miracle pill.

                      Advertising

                      Though I personally do not think such a magic pill exists, it’s certainly fun to throw around the term ‘miracle’ and generates a lot of buzz in doing so.

                      During a trial, one group of overweight women lost 9% body fat in one year’s time without any adjustments in lifestyle or eating habits.

                      Now, don’t take this as a suggestion to not improve lifestyle, as I introduced this article with the pretence that it’s the most important aspect of losing weight.

                      In a few small animal studies, CLA has been shown to prevent heart disease and several types of cancer, while appearing to enhance the immune system. Human studies are not as conclusive as they used body fat scales (such as DEXA – Dual-Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry) to measure improvements, which are inherently not that accurate.

                      This is another one of those supplements I suggest researching further, and trialling in conjunction with lifestyle adjustments to see if it works for you.

                      The Bottom Line

                      Once again I can’t stress enough that merely supplementing for weight loss will not yield exponential results – you must exercise, move your body, and I highly advise introducing Intermittent Fasting/Time-Restricted Eating if you haven’t already done so.

                      Please research more into these supplements to determine if they make sense for you. And I don’t suggest using all at once as you won’t be able to accurately gauge which are most effective – cycle through them by taking one, two, upwards of 3 supplements at any given time. If you want to experiment, then switch after a couple months of use.

                      I wish you the best of luck with your weight loss journey and if would like to learn more about the above supplements, take a look at my video here:

                      Featured photo credit: bruce mars via unsplash.com

                      Reference

                      Read Next