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“Measure the blood pressure accurately; control it, live longer”
Dr. Tariq Jagnarine

Someone may be able to lower their blood pressure in several ways. For example, regularly exercising, managing weight, and making dietary changes. If left uncontrolled, high blood pressure raises the risk of heart disease and stroke. However, people can do several things to lower their blood pressure naturally, even without medication.

Ways to treat high blood pressure
1: Walk and exercise regularly
Exercise is one of the best things you can do to lower high blood pressure. Regular exercise helps make the heart stronger and more efficient at pumping blood, which lowers the pressure in the arteries. Getting 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise, such as walking, or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise, such as running, can help lower blood pressure and improve heart health.

2: Reduce the intake of sodium
Salt intake is high around the world. This is largely due to increased consumption of processed and prepared foods. Many studies have linked high salt intake with high blood pressure and heart events, including stroke.
One reason for this may be genetic differences in how people process sodium. About half of the people with high blood pressure and a quarter of those with typical levels seem to have salt sensitivity.

3: Drink less alcohol
Drinking alcohol can raise blood pressure and increase the risk of several chronic health conditions, including high blood pressure. While some research has suggested that consumption of low to moderate amounts of alcohol may protect the heart, those benefits may be offset by negative effects.

4: Eat more
potassium-rich foods
Potassium is an important mineral. It helps the body get rid of sodium, and eases pressure on the blood vessels. Modern diets have increased most people’s sodium intake while decreasing potassium intake. To get a better balance of potassium and sodium in the diet, focus on eating fewer processed foods and more fresh whole foods. Foods that are particularly high in potassium include:
• Vegetables, especially leafy greens; tomatoes, potatoes, and sweet potatoes
• Fruit, including melons, bananas, avocados, oranges, and dragon fruit.
• Dairy, such as milk and yogurt
• Tuna and salmon
• Nuts and seeds.
• Beans

5: Cut back on caffeine
If you’ve ever downed a cup of coffee before you’ve had your blood pressure taken, you’ll know that caffeine causes an instant blood pressure boost. However, there’s not much evidence to suggest that drinking caffeine regularly can cause a lasting increase.

6: Learn to manage stress
Stress is a key driver of high blood pressure. When you’re chronically stressed, the body is in a constant fight-or-flight mode. On a physical level, that means a faster heart rate and constricted blood vessels. Several studies have explored how reducing stress can help lower blood pressure. Here are two evidence-based tips to try:
• Listen to soothing music: Calming music can help relax the nervous system. Research has shown that it’s an effective complement to other blood pressure therapies.
• Work less: Working a lot and being in stressful work situations are both linked to high blood pressure.

7: Eat dark chocolate or cocoa
While eating massive amounts of dark chocolate probably won’t help the heart, small amounts may. That’s because dark chocolate and cocoa powder are rich in flavonoids, which are plant compounds that cause blood vessels to dilate.

8: Try to lose weight, if necessary
In people who are overweight, losing weight can make a big difference to heart health. According to a 2016 study, losing 5% of the body weight could significantly lower high blood pressure.

9: If you smoke,
consider quitting
Among the many reasons to quit smoking is that the habit is a strong risk factor for heart disease. Every puff of cigarette smoke causes a slight, temporary increase in blood pressure. The chemicals in tobacco are also known to damage blood vessels.

10: Cease using added
sugar and refined carbs
There’s a growing body of research showing a link between added sugar intake and high blood pressure. A 2020 research review found that increased consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages was linked to higher blood pressure levels in children and adolescents. And it’s not just sugar; all refined carbs, such as the kind found in white flour, convert rapidly to sugar in the bloodstream, and could cause problems.

11: Eat berries
Berries are full of more than just juicy flavour; they’re also packed with polyphenols, natural plant compounds that are good for the heart. Polyphenols can reduce the risk of stroke, heart conditions and diabetes, and improve blood pressure, insulin resistance, and systemic inflammation.

12: Try meditation or deep breathing
While these two behaviours could also fall under “stress reduction techniques,” meditation and deep breathing deserve specific mention. Both meditation and deep breathing may activate the parasympathetic nervous system. This system is engaged when the body relaxes, slowing the heart rate and lowering blood pressure.

13: Eat calcium-rich foods
People with low calcium intake often have high blood pressure. While calcium supplements haven’t been conclusively shown to lower blood pressure, calcium-rich diets do seem to be linked to healthy blood pressure levels.

14: Take natural supplements
Some natural supplements may also help lower blood pressure. Here are some of the main supplements that have evidence behind them:
• Aged garlic extract: Researchers have used aged garlic extract successfully as a stand-alone treatment and along with conventional therapies for lowering blood pressure.
• Berberine: Though more research is needed, some studies have found that berberine could potentially help lower blood pressure levels.
• Whey protein: In a 2016 study with 38 participants, those who consumed whey protein experienced improved blood pressure and blood vessel function (38Trusted Source).
• Fish oil: Long credited with improving heart health, fish oil may benefit people with high blood pressure the most.
• Hibiscus: Hibiscus flowers make a tasty tea. They’re rich in anthocyanins and polyphenols that are good for the heart and may lower blood pressure (40Trusted Source).

15: Eat foods rich in magnesium
Magnesium is an important mineral that helps blood vessels relax. While magnesium deficiency is rare, many people don’t get enough magnesium in their diet.
Some studies have suggested that getting too little magnesium is linked with high blood pressure, but evidence from clinical studies has been less clear. Still, you can ensure that you’re meeting the needs by enjoying a variety of magnesium-rich foods, such as vegetables, dairy products, legumes, chicken, beef, and whole grains.
High blood pressure affects a large proportion of the world’s population. While medication is one way to treat the condition, many natural techniques can help, including eating certain foods.

The post WORLD HYPERTENSION DAY 2024 appeared first on Guyana Times.

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