Millions of adults from all walks of life suffer from high blood pressure. Also referred to as hypertension, this condition can lead to some grave consequences over time. Strokes, heart attacks, and aneurysms are a handful of life-threatening examples. Although some will choose to take prescription medication specifically designed to lower blood pressure, many are now opting for natural remedies that can prove to be just as valuable. Let’s take a look at some proven methods which can make a lasting difference in your life.
Eliminating Mental and Emotional Stress
Mental and emotional stress can dramatically increase blood pressure over time; particularly if you are over the age of 50. This is partially because your body releases hormones such as cortisol which cause this pressure to rise. Although this was an evolutionary “fight-or-flight” reflex, it is still ingrained within our instincts. The best way to counter stress is to perform an activity that you enjoy on a daily basis. Examples include running, swimming, meditating or simply reading a book. Of course, it could also be wise to speak with a stress specialist to discover other methods that may be appropriate.
Embracing a Heart-Healthy Diet
Raised blood pressure is frequently associated with a poor diet. Foods that are high in saturated fats, salt and preservatives will have an adverse impact on our health over time. These should be eliminated entirely or at the very least, curtailed to the point where they are not often consumed. In other words, cut out those trips to the fast food restaurant and opt for a home-cooked meal. Some heart-armouring foods which should be included in this diet include:
- Virgin olive oil
- Dark green vegetables such as spinach and broccoli
- Flaxseed oil
Also, look for foods rich in a “healthy” type of fat known as polyunsaturated fat. This fat will help to lower blood serum levels of cholesterol over time. Sunflower seeds, walnuts, and fish are all excellent sources of polyunsaturated fat.
Many studies have shown that regular exercise can have an incredibly positive effect on your blood pressure. In fact, even those who have been diagnosed with severe hypertension have significantly combated this condition. The level and intensity of exercise will depend on your inherent health and your age. However, even taking a jog three or four times a week can have a noticeable impact. Exercise is of particular importance if you are currently overweight.
Eliminate Unhealthy Habits
Smoking and an excessive consumption of alcohol are two habits which have always been associated with high blood pressure. It, therefore, stands to reason that these should be curtailed (if not eliminated) from your lifestyle. We should also mention that quitting smoking and drinking can benefit your heart, lungs, liver and nearly every other major organ.
Always Consult with Your Doctor
It is also prudent to mention that you should always consult with your doctor when dealing with high blood pressure. He or she will be able to provide you with additional suggestions while monitoring your health to make certain that your efforts are pointed in the right direction. The journey to health always begins with the first step!