How to Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally

Reducing sodium intake is the first step in the right direction, but you may not know why. Here's the dangerous mechanism: Sodium causes you to retain water in your blood, which adds volume and boosts pressure. Constant high pressure on your arteries, in turn, exposes you to a greater risk of heart attack, stroke, and even penis problems. That's why lowering BP through natural means makes a nifty DIY project for a lot of guys. How 'bout you?


1. Start with salt

You should consume about 1,500 milligrams of sodium daily. To reduce the amount, toss the saltshaker over your shoulder and start seasoning your food with spices, herbs, lemon, and salt-free seasoning blends. For the greatest impact, however, avoid processed foods, the source of most dietary sodium.

RELATED: 6 Mistakes That Keep You Fat


2. Tea up

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Australian researchers found that people who drank three cups of black tea every day for six months saw a two-point drop in both diastolic and systolic blood pressure. Tea flavonoids may reduce concentrations of endothelin-1, a protein that constricts blood vessels, the researchers report. Less than three cups a day may work too.


SEE ALSO: The Facts About Teas And Weight Loss



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3. Grab a bunch of grapes

Men with metabolic syndrome (a set of conditions that can lead to heart disease) who ate the powder equivalent of about two cups of grapes daily for a month lowered their systolic blood pressure by 6 points, according to a study from the University of Connecticut. The polyphenols in grapes may help relax blood vessels and improve their function, the scientists say.

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4. Breathe slowly and deeply

Slow, deep breathing and meditative practices such as yoga decrease stress hormones, which elevate renin, a kidney enzyme that raises blood pressure. Try morning minutes in the morning and at night. You can even do it on your commute. Inhale deeply and expand your belly. Exhale and release tension.

SEE ALSO: 3 Important Reasons To Meditate Every Morning




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5. Breathe quickly and deeply

Three days a week, do a cardio workout at 60 to 65 percent of your maximum heart rate for 40 minutes. Exercise helps the heart use oxygen more efficiently, so it doesn't have to work as hard to pump blood. Does "workout" sound too much like work? Then walk. In a study, hypertensive patients who went for walks at a brisk pace lowered their pressure by almost 8 mm Hg over 6 mm Hg.




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6. LOL

Laughing at a funny movie causes blood vessels to dilate by 22 percent, according to a study from the University of Maryland. The physical act of laughing causes the tissue forming the inner lining of your blood vessels to expand, increasing blood flow and reducing blood pressure.


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7. Try a DASH

The acronym stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, a plan developed by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to provide guidelines for people wanting to lower their BP. It involves keeping total calories to 55 percent carbs, 27 percent fat, and 18 percent protein and your sodium intake under 2,300 milligrams a day. A typical DASH menu focuses on fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and protein from poultry, fish, beans, and nuts while minimizing added sugars and salt. And it works. A study in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that it can lower systolic blood pressure by up to 16 points in 4 months in people with high BP.


Adapted from Better Man Project

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