Statistics says Blood Pressure affects one in three people in the US and 1 billion people across the world. Also, 2 out of 3 adults over 40 may have high cholesterol and about 36 million Americans take statin drugs to lower it. All thanks to a new research that suggests that certain diet changes could help lower Blood Pressure and Cholesterol without Medication.
Natural Ways To Lower Blood Pressure Without Medication
- Exercise Regularly – Exercise is one of the best things you can do to lower high blood pressure. The regular physical activity of at least 30 minutes most days of the week can help lower your blood pressure by 4 to 9 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). People with hypertension can benefit from regular physical activity and can bring blood pressure down to safer levels. The best exercises to lower blood pressure are walking, jogging, cycling, swimming or dancing. Consult your doctor and decide a routine exercise program.
- Eat A Healthy Diet – Eat foods such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products and avoid saturated fat to reduce cholesterol as well as lower blood pressure by up to 14 mm Hg. Follow a DASH diet plan (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) specially meant to help people reduce high blood pressure. Eat more potassium-rich foods that will help your body get rid of sodium and ease pressure on your blood vessels.
- Reduce Sodium Intake – People with normal blood pressure, moderately high blood pressure, and hypertension can significantly lower their blood pressure by reducing salt intake. People with hypertension should limit their salt intake to less than 1,500 milligrams (600 milligrams of sodium) a day. A small reduction in the sodium in your diet can reduce blood pressure by 2 to 8 mm Hg. Eat fewer processed foods and avoid adding salt to foods for flavor, instead use herbs or spices.
- Limit Alcohol Intake – Alcohol is both good and bad for your health. Low-to-moderate amounts of alcohol can potentially lower your blood pressure by 2 to 4 mm Hg and may protect the heart. However, its negative effects may offset these benefits. In the US, moderate alcohol consumption means no more than one drink a day for women and two for men. Drinking more than these amounts may raise blood pressure by several points as well as reduce the effectiveness of blood pressure medications.
- Manage Stress – Chronic stress means a faster heart rate and constricted blood vessels contributing to high blood pressure. When you feel stress you may start eating unhealthy food, drinking alcohol or smoking which may negatively affect blood pressure. Thus, find out the cause of feeling stressed and search for ways to eliminate or reduce stress. Reducing stress can help lower blood pressure. Manage your stress by listening to soothing music to feel relaxed, do activities you enjoy, work less and relax more.
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Natural Ways to Lower Cholesterol Without Medication
- Exercise – Regular exercise can boost good cholesterol and lowers bad cholesterol by as much as 5%. Take up any activity that may raise your heart rates, such as swimming, jogging, household work or gardening. Aspire to exercise for 30-40 minutes, five days a week. A brisk one-hour walking can also help lower cholesterol and high blood pressure.
- Change Diet Plan – Follow a plant-based diet with more of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, along with meat substitutes like beans to lower cholesterol naturally. Also swap foods high in saturated fat, like red meat and full-fat dairy, for chicken or fish, and low-fat dairy products. Eat more polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats from Fatty fish, seeds, nuts, avocados, etc. Eat a lot more fiber-rich foods which have proven particularly good at lowering cholesterol. Excellent sources include oats, oat bran, sweet potatoes, legumes or beans, beets, okra, berries, oranges, apricots, etc.
- Take plant sterols supplement – Plant sterols, or plant stanols, are the plant version of cholesterol. When people consume in sufficient amounts, it can block the absorption of human cholesterol in the small intestine. A daily intake of 1 to 2 grams of plant sterols can help lower LDL cholesterol levels. Also, products like special margarine have plant sterols, but they also contain chemicals. So it is best to take a two-gram daily supplement.
- Lose Excess Weight – Eliminating excess weight is beneficial for many reasons. It can improve cholesterol levels and prevent diseases such as type II diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, gout, and many types of cancer. Remember to limit fat intake. All fats, whether good or bad, have nine calories per gram or about 100 calories a tablespoon. In a heart-healthy diet, too much consumption of good fats like olive oil is also bad since it is dense in calories. It may lead to a heavy body, so check your calorie intake too.
- Get 8-10 Hours Of Sleep Daily – Sleep deprivation raises low-density LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. This contributes to high blood pressure and leads to overeating. Hence, if you snore, or have problems sleeping, get enough sleep during the day. Also, check for the common or dangerous sleep disorder like sleep apnea.
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Changes in the diet plan, exercising and lifestyle improvement can help Lower Blood Pressure and Cholesterol without Medication. But, it is important to keep tabs on your blood pressure and cholesterol levels regularly.
I finished my masters in finance and worked for the Largest Private sector banking company in India. When the time came, I moved on to something less demanding and more creative. The influence of Indian culture asks us to put satisfaction upfront and I was in search of it. Writing struck me as a possibility and soon a passion. I am not creative but I am very thorough. Technical writing is my forte and at times I do delve into the creative side, though the stint usually lasts not more than a day! I enjoy traveling, reading and shopping.