When it comes to maintaining your blood pressure, taking blood pressure-lowering drugs and decreasing your sodium intake seem to be the most common pieces of advice anyone can give you.
But there are plenty of other ways, some more unusual than others, which have been scientifically proven to work. You might want to take your pick or try all of them. See what works best for you.
- Soak Up The Sun
You may have heard of this method for when you need to get some vitamin D. Plus sun exposure helps one achieve a glowing complexion. But were you aware that this method is also great for keeping high blood pressure at bay?
Scientifically speaking, this is because sunlight can help synthesize nitric oxide. This is a type of gas which causes one’s blood vessels to relax.
- Drink Beet Juice
While we’re on nitric oxide, there is one particular vegetable which just so happens to be loaded with it: beet! Beet is also chock-full of antioxidants which combat any inflammation as well as oxidative stress – both of these things are infamous for making your blood pressure soar.
- Wild Blueberries, Anyone?
Speaking of any-inflammatory antioxidants, another rich source given to us by Mother Nature are wild blueberries. This, according to many experts.
You can snack on them separately or use them in your yogurt, oatmeal, and even baked treats! And don’t fret if you can’t seem to find wild blueberries. The frozen kind are just as nutritious!
- Have a Pet
If you happen to be an animal lover and your doctor has told you your blood pressure needs some lowering, then this is the perfect opportunity to get a pet! Many experts claim spending time with an animal companion can help reduce stress and high blood pressure.
- Choose to Volunteer
Why is volunteer work beneficial for one’s blood pressure? A number of reasons. For one thing, it gives you the opportunity to meet new people, and social connections tend to reduce stress.
Another reason is that most volunteer work requires physical activity, something which is great for the heart. And third, it allows you to realize that your life is not that bad, after all.
- 20-Second Hugs
Experts report that hugging a loved one (whether family or friends) for as short a period as merely 20 seconds can make your body release oxytocin. This chemical makes one feel loved and secure, something we all need.
So the chain reaction here is: the more you hug – the more oxytocin you produce – the better you will feel – the lower your blood pressure becomes.
- Dance and Sing
It doesn’t matter if you’re any good at it or not. Simply sing and jam to your favorite songs. A recently conducted Japanese study discovered that those individuals who danced and sang often also had lowered blood pressure. Have some fun and take care of your health at the same time!
- Eat a Nutritious Breakfast
Breakfast truly is the most important meal of the day, no doubt about that. And in case your blood pressure is not within its normal range, experts advise you have a nice, hearty morning meal. One study proved that those who had a 700 calorie breakfast also saw a reduction in their blood pressure.
- Workplace Meditation
They don’t have to be long, as we understand you have work to do. But even a 15-minute meditation session is enough to aid you in lowering your blood pressure. Just close your eyes and take deep, slow breaths. Your focus should be solely on your breathing. Meditation is a centuries-old proven method of reducing stress, which also prevents one’s blood pressure from rising too high.
- Walk After Supper
You may have heard about this easy method, as it’s also great for keeping in shape and maintaining your general health. You don’t need to overdo it with your activities. Light-to-moderate exercise is ideal for maintaining your blood pressure, and other problems related to the heart, too!
Taking a nice walk at the end of your busy day is also ideal for shedding off the gathered stress. You’ve got nothing to lose, so next time after you’ve finished your dinner, get up and take a pleasant stroll!
- Eat Cocoa or Dark Chocolate
This is one unexpected way of lowering one’s blood pressure which also happens to be super tasty! Just make sure it’s small amounts daily, as large ones might have the opposite effect on your heart.
The science behind it is that dark chocolate and cocoa happen to be abundant in flavonoids. These are plant compounds which have a dilating effect on your blood vessels. For the best results, you can use non-alkalized cocoa power; it is extra-rich in flavonoids plus super-low on sugars!
- Quit Smoking
If you happen to be a smoker, here is another reason (among the many others) why you’d be wise to quit. This nasty habit is one of the strongest risk factors for heart disease. Each puff of cigarette smoke can cause a temporary and slight increase in one’s blood pressure.
Moreover, the chemicals which tobacco contains may cause damage to your blood vessels. So do your entire health a favor by thinking twice before lighting a cigarette.
- Load Up on Potassium
This seems to be a crucial step in the blood pressure-lowering program. There are plenty of fruits and vegetables out there which are rich in potassium, among which:
- Sweet potatoes
- Kidney beans
- Orange juice
- Honeydew mellow
- Switch to Decaf
We understand some of you find it practically impossible to survive your day without at least one cup of coffee. We’re not saying you should stop; we’re simply suggesting you should opt for decaffeinated coffee instead.
Why? Well, there is more than enough proof that caffeine is anything but good news for high blood pressure. If you happen to be already dealing with blood pressure which is higher than normal, you are not helping your case by indulging in too much caffeine.
Studies show it tightens one’s blood vessels and can even magnify the consequences stress brings. Your heart will also be thanking you if you switch to good ol’ decaf.
- Are You Consuming Enough Probiotics?
Well, in case you aren’t you might want to rethink that. A review of previous studies back in 2014 reported that those individuals who consumed probiotics daily saw their systolic blood pressure reduced by as much as 3.6 points. As for their diastolic blood pressure, it was an average reduction of 2.4.
Probiotics are the good bacteria anyone can benefit from. They are most easily obtained from fermented foods and drinks, such as yogurt.