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How To Lower High Blood Pressure Naturally With These 23 Effective Strategies

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High blood pressure or hypertension is among the most common health problems in the world, including in Singapore. According to data, it is estimated that one out of four Singaporeans between 30 to 69 years old has high blood pressure.

Elevated blood pressure is no joke; hence, hypertension is referred to as the silent killer. It doesn’t show symptoms, so many people are surprised that they have it only after a stroke or heart disease.

Blood pressure is measured in mm Hg, meaning millimetres of mercury. The top number in the results is called systolic blood pressure or the heart’s pressure as it pumps blood in your arteries. The number at the bottom is called diastolic blood pressure, the pressure recorded on your blood vessels when your heart is at rest.

Normal blood pressure is less than 120/80 mm Hg, and it’s already high when it reaches 130/80 mm Hg and beyond.

The bad news is that high blood pressure isn’t exclusive to older adults. Many factors put a person at risk of heart disease, kidney disease, and other serious health problems due to hypertension. They include unhealthy lifestyles, weight gain, sleep deprivation, drinking alcohol, eating too much junk food, etc.

It’s time to learn about lowering blood pressure without relying heavily on blood pressure medications. You can make the following lifestyle changes to care for your heart health and general well-being.

23 Best Tips to Lower Blood Pressure

Food Tips:

  • Add magnesium-rich foods to your diet.
  • Avoid processed foods.
  • Choose dark chocolate instead of regular sweets.
  • Include calcium-rich foods in your diet.
  • Add protein-rich foods to your diet.
  • Gradually reduce salt intake.
  • Aim for 5000mg potassium daily.
  • Eat berries regularly.
  • Reduce intake of refined carbs and sugar.
Medicinal Tips:

  • Take supplements that lower blood pressure.
  • Follow doctor’s advice on medications and natural supplements.
  • Consider medicinal herbs for certain illnesses.
  • Consume garlic s
Exercise Tips:

  • Practice yoga, deep breathing, and meditation.
  • Exercise regularly and engage in physical activities.
  • Lose weight and shed excess pounds.
General Lifestyle Tips:

  • Moderate coffee intake to reduce blood pressure.
  • Get regular medical check-ups and monitor blood pressure.
  • Seek support from family and community.
  • Avoid stress triggers and learn to manage stress.
  • Quit smoking for a healthier lifestyle.
  • Limit alcohol intake.
  • Get enough sleep and rest.

 

1. Do yoga, deep breathing exercises, and meditation

One of the most common causes of high blood pressure is stress. This is why it will help a lot to learn stress reduction techniques.

You can achieve this and lower your blood pressure by learning yoga and meditation. Transcendental and mindfulness meditation has helped many people manage stress and lower high blood pressure through the years.

Additionally, you can practice yoga regularly to gain more health benefits, deal with stress, and lower your blood pressure. To make yoga more effective for human health, it is recommended to do it along with meditation, asanas, and breath control.

2. Make way for magnesium-rich foods in your diet

Magnesium relaxes your blood vessels, and it’s an important mineral that many people fail to get enough of. Some studies show that low magnesium levels in the human system can cause high blood pressure.

While studies are ongoing on how magnesium can help lower blood pressure, taking in more of this mineral from hereon won’t hurt. You can find it in many foods, including whole grains, legumes, meat, chicken, dairy products, and vegetables.

3. It’s time to shed off the excess pounds and lose weight

Aside from high blood pressure, being overweight is another culprit in raising blood pressure. Besides developing high blood pressure, it can cause other health problems, such as heart disease and sleep apnea. The latter happens due to disrupted breathing which can raise blood pressure even more.

You can effectively reduce high blood pressure levels and lower your risk of heart disease through weight loss. You can start by focusing on your waistline. Too much excess weight around the waist can raise blood pressure.

For women, you may increase your chances of having high blood pressure when you have a waistline of 35 inches and up; for men, it’s 40 inches and up. But these are only samples for ethnic groups, so you must ask your doctor about the healthy waistline for you depending on your race and other health and risk factors.

4. Eat fewer processed foods, or avoid them altogether if you can

Too much sodium intake leads to higher blood pressure, most of which comes from consuming processed foods. You can lower blood pressure by reducing refined carbs, sugar, and salt intake.

Some of the processed foods with high amounts of sodium include:

  • Snacks and chips
  • Pizza
  • Canned soup and goods
  • Deli meats

Additionally, it will help to make it a habit to check and read food labels. As per the Food and Drug Administration’s advice, any listing of sodium on labels that goes beyond 20 per cent is considered high.

5. Reduce blood pressure by moderating coffee consumption

If you can’t function without caffeine despite feeling like it’s contributing to your high blood pressure, you must, at least, learn to consume only a small amount per day.

However, studies must still be done about how caffeine affects a person’s blood pressure. In defence of coffee, some studies have proven that people who consume tea or caffeinated coffee tend to have a lower risk of high blood pressure and heart disease than those who don’t drink the beverage.

To be safe, if you feel that caffeine is negatively impacting your system, it’s best to stop or moderate your consumption.

6. Have yourself checked by a medical professional regularly and monitor your blood pressure

You can buy blood pressure monitors you can use at home anytime. They will become handy in controlling high blood pressure and maintaining healthy blood pressure levels.

By keeping tabs on your blood pressure and heart health, you will know if what you deem a healthy diet or proper lifestyle changes are working. If not, you can devise ways to lower blood pressure before it can damage blood vessels, cause cardiovascular disease, chronic stress, and more.

Also, you must go to regular checkups with your doctor. They can advise you on how to lower high blood pressure and how often you should monitor it at home.

7. Take the necessary supplements that can help in lowering your blood pressure

Here are some of the recommended supplements that can lower and control high blood pressure:

  • Magnesium
  • Whey protein
  • Citrulline
  • Fish oil or Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid

8. Make regular exercise part of your routine and engage in more physical activities

Regular physical activities can lower your blood pressure by 5 to 8 mm Hg. The goal is at least half an hour of moderate physical activity per day.

If you’re looking for exercises for seniors and other family members prone to hypertension, you can choose basic but effective programs. Some exercises that can lower blood pressure include dancing, jogging, walking, swimming, and cycling.

Other exercises you can do to keep your blood pressure at healthy levels include strength training and high-intensity interval training.

9. If you are craving sweets, grab a dark chocolate instead of the regular one

Non-alkalized cocoa powder and dark choco contain high amounts of flavonoids. They are compounds found in plants that help the blood vessel walls to relax.

You can consume either of the two but only in moderation so they can stop hypertension by lowering your high blood pressure.

10. You can take supplements with garlic extracts or consume fresh garlic

Fresh garlic or extract supplements can lower your diastolic blood pressure by 2.5 mm Hg and systolic blood pressure by 5 mm Hg.

11. Consume less food with refined carbohydrates and sugar

More studies are backing up claims that added sugar consumption leads to high blood pressure. This also applies to children and adolescents, who are the biggest consumer of sugar-filled beverages.

Additionally, you can lower your high blood pressure by consuming less refined carbs, such as white flour. This is why a low-carb diet became a hit since it effectively maintains a healthy weight and blood pressure levels.

12. Gather support from your community and immediate family

To help yourself sustain a healthy lifestyle and follow ways to lower blood pressure religiously, you have to surround yourself with people who care about your well-being. Talk to your family about your struggles, or look for community groups to encourage you to participate in a physical activity you can enjoy and benefit from.

13. Your dietary guidelines must include calcium-rich foods

Many people who have high blood pressure also lack calcium in their system. You can choose to take calcium supplements, but eating foods rich in calcium is more effective.

One thousand mg is generally the average recommended calcium intake for adults per day. But some people may need more, depending on an individual’s health status. You can get calcium by eating dairy, tofu, sardines, beans, and dark leafy vegetables.

14. Avoid stress triggers and learn how to reduce stress

You must know what stresses you out to avoid or do something about them. They can be anything, from illness, family, relationships, work, or money.

Before stress can take a toll on your health and blood pressure, take it slow. If you are stressed with work, learn how to prioritize and finish a task at a time. If you have any issues with anyone, talk to the person to resolve or clarify what’s bugging you. This way, you won’t think too much about it to the point of getting stressed out.

It will also help you to engage in activities you enjoy. Lead a healthy lifestyle and practice gratitude all the time.

15. Follow your doctor’s advice in taking prescription medications and natural supplements

Your doctors know best when it comes to the prescription meds you can take for your high blood pressure. They can choose products based on your other meds and overall health.

You can also ask for their advice regarding the natural supplements you can take along with the other meds. The following are some of the supplements proven to be effective in improving heart health and lowering blood pressure:

  • Hibiscus
  • Fish oil
  • Whey protein
  • Berberine
  • Aged garlic extract

16. Learn about the foods rich in protein you can add to your diet

A 2014 study has proven that people who consumed more protein had a lower risk of having elevated blood pressure. You decrease your chances by 40 per cent when you consume 100 grams of protein per day and up to 60 per cent if you include regular fibre in your diet.

However, you must check with your doctor how much protein you can consume, especially if you are undergoing treatment and taking meds for illnesses like kidney disease.

Here are some of the food items you can add to your regular diet to meet the 100 grams of protein consumption per day:

  • Cheddar and other cheeses
  • Chickpeas
  • Nut butter
  • Nuts
  • Legumes and beans
  • Poultry
  • Beef
  • Canned tuna, salmon, and other fish
  • Eggs

17. Consume less salt, even a small reduction at a time, until you’re used to having limited sodium intake

It is ideal for adults to consume 1500 mg of salt daily or less. But generally, you can keep the daily limit at 2300 mg or less.

You can achieve this by:

  • Cooking your food to control the amount of salt you put into your meals
  • Substitute salt with other healthy flavourings or herbs
  • Stay away from processed foods; the fewer processed foods you eat, the better for your health
  • Always check the labels of food products before buying to avoid high salt intake

18. Lead a healthier life by staying away from vices, including smoking

Smoking harms your health in many ways, contributing to the increase in your blood pressure. Besides, the sooner you stop smoking, the faster your body can heal itself from its ill effects.

19. Avoid having too much alcohol intake, and if you have to drink, do it occasionally

To lower blood pressure, it is recommended that men keep their daily alcohol intake to two drinks and less than one drink for women. In this case, one drink means 1.5 oz of 80-proof liquor or 5 oz of wine and 12 oz of beer.

Aside from raising your blood pressure, too much alcohol in your system can interfere with the effectiveness of your hypertension meds.

20. Make it a goal to consume up to 5000 mg per day of potassium

Getting more potassium in your system can reduce the effects of sodium in your blood. While 3500 to 5000 mg is the ideal daily potassium intake for many people, you must still consult your doctor, especially when taking other medications. The best potassium sources include fruits and vegetables.

21. Have sufficient rest and a good night’s sleep

Sleeping for less than six hours per day is not good for your well-being and may contribute to sicknesses, including hypertension. Consult your doctor if you have any sleep-related problems, such as insomnia, restless leg syndrome, or sleep apnea.

22. Savor the juiciness of berries and eat them regularly

Berries contain natural plant compounds called polyphenols that can lower blood pressure and are generally good for the heart. To make the effects more potent, you can eat berries with other polyphenols-rich foods, such as vegetables, fruits, and chocolates.

23. Try incorporating medicinal herbs in curing certain sicknesses

Here are the widely used medicinal herbs many people find effective in keeping the heart healthy and avoiding having high blood pressure:

  • Tea (oolong and green)
  • Sesame oil
  • Black bean
  • Umbrella tree bark
  • Cat’s claw
  • Tomato extract
  • Indian Plantago
  • Ginger root
  • Chinese hawthorn
  • Celery juice
  • Roselle
  • River lily
  • Maritime pine bark
  • Giant dodder

Conclusion

You have to take high blood pressure seriously regardless of gender and age. Moreso, you must know what to do to bring your blood pressure to a normal range if you’re working in any elder care services in Singapore.

Before taking prescription meds, change your lifestyle and develop healthy habits first as a first line of defence in combatting hypertension. Visit our article for more information about how to keep yourself healthy despite getting old by engaging in physical activities and more.

Joshua is the founder of RC Caregivers. Having been the primary caregiver of his father, he has been undertaking ways to provide affordable and quality care, not just to his father, but to all elderly in Singapore. He has founded multiple care companies, such as Red Crowns Senior Living, and has been featured in Straits Times, Zaobao and Money 93FM. He has also been lauded by DBS, with the company being the recipient of the DBS foundation grant.
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