High Blood Pressure can be termed as the bane of modernization because in the primitive cultures blood pressure was practically unknown. Modernization has given us refined foods like sugar, maida and refined oils. This along with our sedentary lifestyles, irregular eating and sleeping patterns puts us at risk of suffering from many deadly diseases including cancer, heart disease, and high blood pressure. The exact cause of high blood pressure remains a mystery, but you may be prone to it if you are overweight, have high cholesterol levels, if you are a smoker, experience high levels of stress, drink excessive alcohol, drink a lot of tea & coffee. There is good reason to control high blood pressure with natural remedies as most of the medications used for the same may be effective and necessary but are toxic in the long run.
Tips to lower high blood pressure
As the first step, stop whipping your body with stimulants like coffee, tobacco, and alcohol. Along with managing stress and losing weight, one needs to follow a nutritious diet, comprising of foods that help keep your blood pressure in check.
Eat more fruits and vegetables
Fruits are concentrated with potassium, Vitamin C, sodium and loads of soluble fiber, all of which are blood pressure lowering agents.
It is known as a vasodilator. It dilates blood vessels and lowers blood pressure. It contains adenosine, a compound, which promotes vasodilatation and is also a muscle relaxant. Both raw and cooked garlic benefit blood pressure. But raw garlic is more potent and hence proves to more beneficial. Just 3 months of consuming 2 cloves of chopped raw garlic, first thing in the morning has known to reduce hypertension.
Wheat grass Juice
This proves to be the elixir for those suffering from hypertension, as it is a rich source of magnesium and potassium Once you start getting enough magnesium and potassium, you can actually cut down on the dosage of your medicine. In addition, Wheat grass juice will cleanse and nourish your body, and work wonders on your immune system.
This vegetable is widely used in Chinese medicine to lower blood pressure when used continuously for a couple of months.
Fish oils are known to keep a lid on blood pressure. Thanks to the Omega-3 fats in it. If you are taking blood pressure lowering medication, then consuming fish like mackerel (bangda), Tuna and Surmai at least thrice a week will help you reduce your daily dosage.
Eat less salt
You don’t have to embark on a no-salt diet. Sodium restriction may help only if you are salt sensitive. Adding minerals like magnesium, calcium and potassium, and losing weight will make a substantial difference. Instead of going to extremes, you can eat less salt along with the other alterations.
Sugar raises the insulin levels, and high blood levels of insulin often accompany high blood pressure.
Tobacco directly affects blood pressure. It increases clot formation and risk of precipitating a heart attack or stroke.
Introduce potassium to your diet and watch your blood pressure come down. A lack of it can lead to increased sodium retention, calcium loss and raise blood pressure. Potassium helps normalize blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels and helping the body to get rid of the excess water and salt. Sources of potassium include fruits such as banana, papaya, watermelon, muskmelon and peaches. Potatoes, tomatoes, oranges, spinach, skimmed milk, soybeans, almonds, whole grains, pulses and freshly prepared vegetable juices are excellent sources.
Caution: Patients suffering from hypertension along with poor kidneys need to control their potassium intake as per their physician’s advice.
The calcium to phosphorus ratio has a bearing on blood pressure. 2:1 is the ideal ratio. Experts believe that hypertension is more likely due to a deficiency of calcium rather than due to excess sodium. Consuming adequate amounts of calcium rich foods like milk, curds, spinach, leafy vegetables, whole kabuli channa, methi, jowar, bajra and nachni can neutralize the hypertensive effect of eating more sodium.
Magnesium deficiency is yet another cause behind high blood pressure. Most people need a daily dosage of about 300-400 mg to keep their BP in check. Natural sources of magnesium include nuts, whole grains, wheat bran, leafy vegetables, etc.
Walking is the ideal exercise for hypertensive people. Lose weight if you are overweight as weight loss has an almost immediate effect on controlling blood pressure.