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5 ways to naturally prevent and treat high blood pressure

There are medications that help lower blood pressure, but they are not free from side effects, especially since lowering blood pressure below 110 mmHg can cause severe drops and fainting in some patients. Here are 5 ways to naturally lower your blood pressure. Lifestyle changes are an important part of preventing and treating high blood pressure.

Physical exercises, meditation and yoga

Regular exercise like brisk walking, endurance exercises like cardio, or even resistance exercises like strength training make it easier for oxygen to circulate and help the heart work less hard to pump blood. A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine showed that exercise promotes a consistent reduction in systolic blood pressure in people with hypertension. It is advisable, if possible, to do an average of 20 to 30 minutes of cardio per day to maintain good blood pressure. Then try to take on new challenges by trying to increase your speed or distance a bit.

In addition to physical exercises, meditation activities such as yoga or tai chi help to better control breathing and thus better fight stress. In fact, stress increases heart rate, which constricts blood vessels and promotes high blood pressure. A few minutes of breathing exercises each day will help you relax and sleep better.

Eat foods rich in potassium

Foods rich in potassium have a positive effect on lowering blood pressure. With adequate intake of this nutrient, the kidneys excrete more sodium during urination, which helps lower blood pressure. Preferred sources of potassium include bananas, potatoes, dried fruits, beans, fish, flaxseed, garlic, avocado, and sweet potatoes. Following this logic, it is recommended to reduce sodium intake and not exceed 1500 mg per day to maintain good health.

Eat dark chocolate

An Australian study shows that dark chocolate would help lower blood pressure. Cocoa, rich in flavonoids, promotes relaxation of the blood vessels and stimulates blood circulation. So, consuming a small piece of dark chocolate, preferably between 60-70% cocoa and even more, around 6g, per day could help lower your blood pressure without medication. Beware of excess, there are other ways to lower your blood pressure, consuming chocolate shouldn’t be your only refuge.

Drink some alcohol (note applies to women only)

Alcohol abuse is clearly harmful to health, but moderate consumption could have the opposite effect in women. That’s according to a study from Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, which shows that light to moderate alcohol consumption, i.e. one glass of red wine or less a day, reduces the risk of high blood pressure in women but increases this risk in men.

drink beet juice

According to a 2016 study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology-Heart Failure, drinking a glass of beetroot juice daily would improve endurance and lower blood pressure. Another study published in the Journal of Cardiac Failure in 2018 also found that consumption of beetroot juice was associated with significant increases in exercise duration, maximum power, and oxygen uptake during exercise.

Source:

Hüseyin Naci: How can exercise therapy be compared with antihypertensive medication? A network meta-analysis of 391 randomized controlled trials evaluating the effects of exercise and medication on systolic blood pressure. British Journal of Sports Medicine

Karen Ried. Does chocolate lower blood pressure? A meta-analysis. BMC medicine

Coggan AR: Dietary nitrate increases VO2peak and power but does not alter ventilation or efficiency in heart failure patients with reduced ejection fraction.J card failure.

* Presse Santé strives to convey health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE can the information given replace the advice of a doctor.

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