Every seven seconds, someone experiences their first heart attack. While high blood pressure and heart problems seem to be everywhere, it’s important to know how to lower blood pressure instantly, before something more serious happens.
Many people feel discouraged. How is it possible to lower blood pressure–isn’t that something most folks don’t have control over anyway? It’s actually possible and requires just a few simple lifestyle changes to help you live better.
Want to know how to take control of your blood pressure and reduce your chance of heart disease? Read on for important tips that can improve your health from the inside out.
How to Lower Blood Pressure Instantly
The bad news is, there’s no “quick fix” to lowering your blood pressure. It takes time, discipline, and consistency, but if you follow the tips below it could be the very thing that saves your life!
Drop the Excess Weight
One of the most common factors among those suffering from high blood pressure more overweight weight. As your weight increases, your blood pressure does as well. Your weight loss and fat around your arteries forces your heart to work harder, causing a rise in blood pressure.
The good news is, even losing a few pounds can help you reduce your blood pressure. Since muscle mass ways more than fat, try to track inches instead of pounds. Men with a waist measurement greater than 40 inches and women with a waist measurement greater than 35 inches tend to be at greater risk for high blood pressure.
As you lose weight, be sure to use a blood pressure monitor to track your progress. You can check out this new post from Techmaki on the best blood pressure monitors currently on the market.
Step Away from the Salt
Adding salt to every meal can be a difficult habit to break. However, your sodium intake plays a major role in high blood pressure as numerous studies have found a direct link between the two.
The effects of sodium on your blood pressure will be mostly determined by your genetics. However, if you already have high blood pressure and are looking to reduce it, this is a great place to start. Try substituting your salt with herbs, spices, and lemon juice to add flavor without the sodium intake.
Cut Back on Alchohol
Many people are unaware that drinking alcohol can have a negative effect on your blood pressure. However, nearly 16% of blood pressure cases come as a direct result of alcohol.
While cutting alcohol out completely is the best choice for your overall health, cutting back can benefit your blood pressure as well. It’s suggested that women limit themselves to one drink a day, and men limit themselves to two.
Work on Stress Management
When we become stressed our reptilian brain kicks in and triggers our “fight or flight” response. Historically, this has been food for our species and has allowed us to survive and avoid threats. However, our bodies were not designed to stay in stress mode as they do today.
“Flight of fight” is natures way of getting us out of dangerous situations, however, we are meant to return to our natural state once the threat is over. Unfortunately, many of us walk around in a perpetual state of stress keeping us “on” 24 hours a day and causing an increase in blood pressure.
Utilizing some simple stress reduction techniques like meditation, yoga, or counseling are great ways to manage your stress and take back control of your health.
Indulge in Chocolate
Bet you didn’t see this one coming. Yes, occasionally indulging your sweet tooth can actually help reduce high blood pressure, as long as you choose the right sweet. Studies have shown that dark chocolate has the potential to reduce high blood pressure,
While it may be bitter, you want to remember that the higher the percentage of cacao in the chocolate the better. Ideally, you want to aim for 70%-90% dark chocolate.
If the risk of cancer and numerous conditions hasn’t been enough to make you quit smoking yet, here’s another one to add to the list! Every time you put a cigarette you are causing a slight increase in your blood pressure.
While the increase may be temporary, tobacco has been known to damage blood vessels, so if you’ve been putting off quoting now may be the time to start.
Choose Foods Rich in Calcium
The best diet for those looking to reduce high blood pressure is one that’s abundant in calcium-rich foods. It’s common to find that those with high blood pressure are often getting in less calcium than they should.
While you can add calcium onto your list of supplements, remember you can also find it in foods like dark leafy greens, tofu, and dairy.
Take the Right Supplements
Since we’re kids, we’re taught that taking our daily vitamins are part of staying healthy and strong. However, somewhere down the line many of us have let go of the habit. Even those who want to take supplements often don’t know where to start, resulting in them purchasing an overpriced daily multivitamin.
While a multivitamin is better than no vitamin, if you’re looking to decrease your blood pressure it’s better to purchase supplements that help you work directly towards that goal. Supplements like:
- Whey Protein
- Coenzyme Q10
- Garlic Extract
Snack on Berries
It’s important to remember that these new habits are not short-term fixes, they’re lifestyle changes that you will carry with you for years to come. That being said, you’re going to want to have something on the sweet side from time to time.
Before reaching for the candy stash try reaching for a bowl of fresh berries. Berries are packed with polyphenols, a natural compound that benefits heart health.
Cut Back On Sugar
More and more serious (and often fatal) conditions are being linked to sugar consumption each day. Not only does a diet high in sugar result in weight gain (the other condition that raises blood pressure) but it also created a spike in blood pressure when consumed.
If you find it’s too hard to kick the habit, switch to natural sugars found in fruit instead of adding in processed substitute sweeteners.
Take Control of Your Health
Whether it’s through a plant-based diet or simply focusing on stress management, knowing how to lower blood pressure instantly is a vital part of long-term health.
While high blood pressure is a serious symptom, it’s important to remember that it’s one that can change if you choose to work on it. By replacing your bad habits with healthy lifestyle changes you’ll have increased energy, reduced stress, and increased longevity.
For more information on how to take care of your heart, check out our blog on cardiovascular disease.