Health & Wellness

Natural Remedies for High Blood Pressure

By Harris Wheless

It goes without saying that heart health is pivotal to a person’s overall wellbeing, and it’s important to eat right, exercise, and keep your stress levels low to keep your heart healthy. However, that’s sometimes easier said than done. High blood pressure, or hypertension, affects one in three adult Americans, which adds up to roughly 75 million people. And many others, particularly people age 60 and older, are at risk of developing it.

Blood pressure typically increases with age, with the risk of high blood pressure significantly rising once you hit 45. Despite this, there are precautions you can take to treat or prevent increases in blood pressure. With the right form of treatment, or even natural remedies for high blood pressure, your heart can be as strong and healthy as ever.

Triggers and symptoms of high blood pressure

High blood pressure refers to the amount of pressure the circulatory system experiences while it is pumping blood through the body. Specifically, if a person’s systolic blood pressure is high, this means that the force exerted against artery walls is higher than normal. This increased pressure can lead to aneurysms, vision problems, heart failure, and kidney failure.

According to the American College of Cardiology, stage 1 hypertension in adults is defined by a systolic blood pressure (SBP) greater than 130 mmHg and a diastolic blood pressure (DBP) greater than 80 mmHg.

But what causes an elevation in blood pressure?

There are many triggers that can raise your blood pressure, including too much salt, too little potassium, too much alcohol, and excessive amounts of stress or physical activity. As with many chronic illnesses, genetics also play a key role in the development of high blood pressure. The condition can also stem from other medical problems, such as sleep apnea, or present itself as a side effect of certain medications.

As far as symptoms go, many people with high blood pressure don’t even realize they have it. Which is why it’s important, especially as you get older, to seek guidance from a medical professional if you notice symptoms such as increased heart rate, headaches, fatigue, vision problems, chest pain, difficulty breathing, or an irregular heartbeat.

Natural dietary approaches to stop hypertension

  • Magnesium—Studies have found that magnesium can act as an aid for preventing high blood pressure. The mineral helps stop the constriction of blood vessels, which can inturn improve blood flow. It can also promote relaxation and stress reduction, which helps lower blood pressure. Magnesium supplementation, with its relative safety and low cost, is a good option for people with high blood pressure. Consistently taking magnesium supplements may help you achieve the results you want in a reasonable span of time.
  • Potassium—This mineral is important because of its ability to reduce sodium in the body and ease pressure on your blood vessels. Many diets focus on lowering sodium intake and increasing the amount of potassium you’re putting into your body. This can be achieved by eating fewer processed foods and more fruits and vegetables, many of which are rich in potassium. Dairy, fish, nuts, and beans are also high in potassium. Keep these foods in mind during your next trip to the grocery store, and see what adding them to your diet can do for your blood pressure.
  • CBD oil—CBD is a hemp-derived cannabis compound that can interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system to carry out various regulatory functions. Recent studies have shown that CBD can benefit the heart and circulatory system in several different ways, including the lowering of blood pressure. CBD is also well known for its ability to reduce stress and anxiety, which can additionally help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids—Research shows that these fatty acids aid in blood pressure control and can help prevent against high blood pressure. Omega-3 fatty acids are most commonly found in supplements like fish oil or hemp seed oil, which when taken consistently in small doses can lower blood pressure and help you maintain healthier levels. The same effect can be achieved by adding oily fish like salmon, anchovies, and sardines to your diet. Rich fatty acids can also enhance heart health and assist in the fighting of heart disease by lowering cholesterol levels and protecting against the hardening of your arteries.
  • Dark chocolate—Both dark chocolate and cocoa are rich in flavonoids, or plant compounds that cause blood vessels to dilate. Studies have shown that people who consume these substances experience markers of better heart health, including decreased blood pressure. Dark chocolate has also been found to cause a decrease in LDL (bad) cholesterol and an increase in HDL (good) cholesterol. There is strong evidence that cocoa consumption improves several important cardiovascular risk factors. Stick to small amounts of dark chocolate, which contain more flavonoids than milk chocolate, to achieve these possible health benefits.

Other ways to lower your blood pressure

In addition to natural remedies for high blood pressure, certain lifestyle changes are also worth considering. Studies have shown that people who lose weight, exercise regularly, and maintain a healthy diet experience decreases in blood pressure levels and lower their risk of heart disease. It’s also important to minimize the amount of alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine you consume, in addition to reducing stress, added sugars, saturated fat, refined carbs, and sodium intake.

The American Heart Association also recommends monitoring your blood pressure at home, and to stick with whatever medication or supplements you’re taking and maintain healthy lifestyle habits to ensure your blood pressure stays down.

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