The blood is a major transport system of the body and it is pumped by the heart. The pressure of the blood is determined by the amount of blood that is pumped by the heart and the resistance produced by the arteries to the flow of blood.
The pressure serves as a propulsion force for the blood to do its work. Reading the pressure of the blood involves two main figures which are the systolic pressure and the diastolic pressure.
The systolic pressure is the figure that is above and it shows the contraction of the heart. The diastolic is the pressure present in the arteries during the resting period that exists when the heart beats. They both have a unit of mmHg. There are five stages in which the blood pressure could fall in and they include:
1. Low blood pressure: The systolic reads below 90 while the diastolic is below 60.
2. Normal blood pressure: The systolic reads below 120 while the diastolic reads below 80.
3. Elevated blood pressure: The systolic reads between 120-129 while the diastolic is less than 80
4. Stage I hypertension: The systolic reading lies in the range of 130-139 while the diastolic lies in the range of 80-89
5. Stage II hypertension (High blood pressure): The systolic lies in the range of 140 and higher while the diastolic lies in the range of 90 and above.
Hypertension is a causative factor for some conditions like stroke, vascular disease and kidney diseases. Thus, it is important that the blood pressure is not allowed to become too high.
There are several factors that contribute to high blood pressure and they are:
• Weight and fat
• High salt content in food
• Excessive alcohol drinking and tobacco smoking
• Medications etc.
For patients suffering from high blood pressure, it is very important to ensure that the blood pressure does not go up anymore and the main target should be lowering the blood pressure.
Once you are diagnosed with high blood pressure, proper medication would be given to you but here are some home remedies for hypertension.
1. GET THE RIGHT DIET
Once a person is diagnosed with hypertension, the next thing to do is to ensure that there is a change of diet to the DASH diet. DASH is an acronym for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. It is an approach which is designed in treating or preventing high blood pressure.
With the help of the DASH diet, it is possible to reduce hypertension without the use of medication and the main constituent of the food includes:
• Lots of fruits
• Low cholesterol oil
• Low-fat dairy products
Having these constituents in your food makes it easier to reduce your high blood pressure even without taking medication. There are also a few things that you have to abstain from your diet because they are responsible for raising the blood pressure.
2. EXERCISE REGULARLY
To reduce your blood pressure, exercise regularly as much as your schedule permit you to.
By exercising, you make your heart pump blood effectively which helps to reduce the pressure that is present in the arteries.
Try doing some aerobic exercise, high-intensity training and strength training. It is advisable that you develop an exercise routine after consulting your doctor.
3. REDUCE THE SODIUM IN YOUR DIET
Reducing your sodium intake will help you to improve the health of your heart. As a hypertensive patient, cutting your sodium intake is very paramount.
Swap out any food that contains high sodium content with less sodium content. Eat more potassium-rich food because it helps to reduce your sodium content and ease the pressure that exists in your blood pressure.
Food like fruits, nuts and seeds, vegetables contain a high potassium content.
4. CONTROL YOUR STRESS LEVEL
Stress is one of the major causes of high blood pressure. By reducing your stress level, you reduce your blood pressure since your stress level is directly proportional to your blood pressure. In reducing your stress level, you have to find out a means of letting the stress out. Stress differs from one person to another and it is quite paramount for you to identify the cause of your stress and tackle it.
When you identify the cause of your stress, you would then have to work towards getting it out of your system to maintain healthy blood pressure.
5. LOSE WEIGHT
Your weight is a determining factor in your heart health because the weight of the body determines whether the blood vessel would be able to expand and contract well.
Exercise will help you to reduce your body weight but in cases whereby your weight is related to a medical condition, it is advisable for you to see your doctor for further instructions.
6. GO NATURAL
There are a lot of herbs that help to reduce hypertension without the need for a single medication. By taking these herbs, you get to reduce your blood pressure as well as get some other nutrients for your body.
Some of these herbs include:
• Cinnamon: Taking this herb and seasoning in your food or drink, helps in reducing your blood pressure and this is because cinnamon influences high-density lipoprotein cholesterol which is a factor that reduces the risk of high blood pressure. Also, it reduces the cholesterol content in the body.
• Flaxseed: This seed is rich in omega-3 fatty acids which helps in reducing blood pressure as well as inflammation. The seed helps protect the heart from diseases by controlling the serum cholesterol as well as improving the tolerance of glucose.
• Garlic: This herb helps to reduce blood pressure by increasing the amount of nitric oxide present in the body. Nitric oxide causes the blood vessels to dilate and this goes a long way in reducing the pressure in the arteries.
• Ginger: Blood circulation is improved by taking ginger as well as relaxing the muscles surrounding the blood vessels. When the muscle surrounding the blood vessels gets relaxed then the pressure within the arteries reduces.
7. CUT BACK ON SOME HABITS
As a patient suffering from hypertension, there are some lifestyles and habits that are detrimental to your health and it is best that you drop them completely or reduce them by 80%.
A few of these habits include:
• Smoking: Smoking increases your blood pressure and when you quit smoking you can reduce your blood pressure back to normal.
• Caffeine: Too much caffeine is not good for the human body and though the relationship between blood pressure and hypertension is still debated, reducing your caffeine intake would also be healthy for you.
• Alcohol: Drink alcohol in moderation if you can’t drop it totally but discuss with your doctor the effect that alcohol has on your health. Drinking your blood pressure helps you to reduce your blood pressure.
8. CARRY YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS ALONG
A hypertension patient should avoid stress in all forms and it is best that you inform your family and friend about your condition so that they do not add to your stress levels.
Also, there is a form of comfort that your friends and family bring that you would need in the battle in reducing your blood pressure.