One of the biggest factors in heart disease risk is high blood pressure. When blood pressure is high, your heart has to work much harder to pump your blood around your body and this can increase the risk of serious cardiac events like heart attacks in the worst-case scenario.
High blood pressure is usually treated with medications like beta-blockers though and the drugs used to lower blood pressure pharmaceutically carry some problematic side effects. If your blood pressure is high but not an immediate risk and your doctor agrees, you may be able to lower your blood pressure naturally instead of resorting to medications. This is especially true and important if you're younger as the lifestyle changes you make now can also benefit you in so many other great ways for the future. By using these five ways to lower blood pressure naturally, you can improve various aspects of your health, not just your cardiovascular health.
Eat More Protein
Protein is an incredibly important macronutrient for your body's renewal processes, muscle growth, skin, hair, and has a role in the healthy maintenance and function of practically every other part of your body. This includes your cardiovascular system and eating more protein--especially whey protein--has been shown to reduce blood pressure slightly.
In addition to this, a greater consumption of protein also helps with recovery from exercise and recreation and helps your hair and skin to look their best.
Reduce Salt, Trans Fats, and Heavily Processed Foods
You're likely aware that most of the foods that are damaging to your heart in some way tend to be heavily processed foods. More specifically, foods that are high in trans fats, saturated fat, and salt are some of the worst ingredients to consume. Trans fats are unhealthy in any amount while salt is one of those cases where a little is good for you but it becomes unhealthy in larger amounts and contributes to high blood pressure.
You can lower your blood pressure naturally by reducing the amount of salt you eat, eliminating trans fats from your diet entirely if possible, and reducing the amount of saturated fat you eat. Saturated fat isn't bad in moderation but it does increase total cholesterol, blood pressure, and other cardiovascular markers. It's best to limit your intake and prioritize unsaturated fats--especially monounsaturated fats which are particularly beneficial to heart health.
Take Natural Supplements
It's always better to treat lifestyle illnesses with a healthy diet and exercise if possible before they become more significant problems and require medical intervention. High blood pressure is no different and several healthy supplements can be used to lower blood pressure naturally.
Substances like magnesium, fish oil, and the amino acid l-arginine are natural products that reduce high blood pressure. Magnesium is a necessary mineral that all people need daily, and l-arginine is an amino acid found in most protein sources. Both are generally safe for anyone to consume and can lower blood pressure slightly.
Fish oil, on the other hand, is an effective product for lowering blood pressure and triglycerides but it can react with certain medications because of its mild blood thinning effect so it's not for everyone. If in doubt, consult a medical professional first before starting any supplement.
Exercise and Maintain a Healthy Weight
There's a reason that doctors like to recommend exercise and a healthy diet for problems like high blood pressure or cholesterol issues first, and it's not to make you feel lazy. Exercise has a powerful effect on cardiovascular effect and can improve practically every marker of heart health when performed regularly.
A balanced diet is also able to lower blood pressure quite a bit. If you are overweight and manage to bring your weight down to a healthy weight with exercise and a healthy diet, you can greatly decrease your risk of several diseases including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer so it's a beneficial change to make either way.
Starting an exercise regime and healthy diet lowers your blood pressure naturally, but the longer you maintain these habits, the stronger the effect becomes. Stick with it and you'll experience the greatest effects.
Avoid Caffeine and Nicotine
Caffeine and nicotine are stimulants and one of the effects they have is to increase your heart rate and blood pressure slightly. While most people can tolerate this, it's a dangerous combination if you have high blood pressure and should be avoided. Try to limit your stimulant use to only one cup of coffee where possible although it's better if you can avoid it altogether.
Alcohol, on the other hand, is a different beast. The occasional drink reduces blood pressure. This is an especially potent effect of red wine but an effect that all alcohol has regardless due to the way it dilates blood vessels and increases circulation. It's important not to overdo it though as binge drinking has the opposite effect and increases your risk of high blood pressure and heart disease. Moderation is key.
Reducing your blood pressure naturally is one of the best things you can do for yourself if you suffer from an increased risk of heart disease due to factors like blood pressure, cholesterol, or triglyceride levels. Making a change now can help you maintain your health in the future and avoid actual disease so don't wait, start today.