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Natural ways to control blood pressure

By Dhruv Gupta
Last updated on: December 11, 2014 18:23 IST
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Make these simple lifestyle changes to win your fight against the silent killer

If you are suffering from blood pressure do not ignore it. Elevated blood pressure in people less than 50 years old is associated with an increased cardiovascular risk.

High blood pressure also known as hypertension is one of the main causes of premature death worldwide. Over 970 million people worldwide are living with elevated blood pressure.

It typically has no warning signs or symptoms, and many people don't even realise they have it, which is why we must all get it checked regularly. Although increasing blood pressure is part of getting older, a high fibre and low salt diet, physical activity and maintaining a healthy weight can reduce your risk to heart related problems.

Sodium and potassium are two elements which are important for managing blood pressure. Any imbalance in their amounts causes fluctuation in blood pressure value. When sodium is on higher side it causes hypertension.

Daily recommended sodium intake for an adult is 2000mg which is approximately 4g but if your age is above 50 you need to reduce it down to 1500mg per day which is approximately 3g. 

A single teaspoon (5g) of table salt, which is a combination of sodium and chloride, has 2,325 milligrams (mg) of sodium.

Here are some natural ways you can reduce your blood pressure by making these easy lifestyle changes: 

Low salt

As salt is a direct source of sodium, salt intake should also be monitored in managing the blood pressure. This salt intake is not limited to your table salt but in fact includes things like bread, namkeens, packaged foods, Chinese food, pre-packaged salad dressings/condiments , sauces etc.

Eat lots of fruits

A medium bowl of fruits with 3-4 almonds in unsweetened low fat yoghurt is a great snack for people with high blood pressure.

Fruits like banana, musk melon, fresh apricot, peaches, plums, and mangoes are especially good to help reduce hypertension.

High fibre foods like green leafy vegetable, oats, apple, pears, beans, legumes, whole grains can help reducing blood pressure.

20 minutes of walk even post meal helps the heart to use oxygen more efficiently, and reduces the stress on heart to pump blood. This will also aid in weight loss which is one of the leading causes of high blood pressure.

Regular exercise is helpful in managing blood pressure

20-30 minutes of workout session is enough to keep you healthy and manage your blood pressure. Some of the exercises that are best for reducing high blood pressure are: jogging, cycling, jumping jacks, mountain climber, stair climbing.

Researchers recommend spending a moderate amount of time outdoors and seeking early morning sun for a minimum of 20 minutes to help manage their blood pressure better.

Increase your water intake

Water helps in flushing toxins from the body and restoring the sodium balance in the blood. You should drink 8-10 glasses of water per day, but if you are already hypertensive you should increase the amount to 12-14 glasses per day.

You could lower your blood pressure significantly in just a few days by practicing deep breathing for 5 minutes every day!

All you have to do is breathe in and breathe out slowly. This action has a calming effect on the nervous system, helps lower stress and assists in bringing blood pressure to normal levels.

Photograph: varun suresh/Wikimedia Commons

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