Nutrition Myths
How to lower blood pressure?

SUMMARY

  • You can lower blood pressure by: reducing your body weight (if overweight), exercising regularly, limiting carbohydrates in your diet, restricting alcohol intake, avoiding extreme sodium intake (mainly processed foods) and taking potassium and magnesium supplements.
  • Since these methods also have positive effects on your overall well-being, the best way is to incorporate them into your daily habits.
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How to lower blood pressure?

An normal/optimal blood pressure level should be less than 120/80 mm Hg systolic/diastolic. (read more..)

If your blood pressure is higher than what is considered as normal, you should consult your health practitioner first to determine and treat the underlying causes.

He/she can also assist you in reducing your blood pressure to a healthy range.

Natural ways to lower blood pressure

  1. Weight reduction

    Being overweight increases the risk of having high blood pressure. Weight loss is especially beneficial for overweight and obese individuals with Type 2 Diabetes. (1, 2)

  2. Reduce carbohydrates in your diet.

    One of the largest studies comparing the effect of various diets on weight loss, conducted on overweight pre-menopausal women, has shown that a low carbohydrate diet is the most effective in losing weight and dropping blood pressure. (3)

  3. Regular exercise.

    Several studies show that endurance, dynamic resistance and isometric resistance exercise lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

    Combined training lowers only diastolic blood pressure. On the other hand, isometric resistance training presents the best results in lowering systolic blood pressure. (4)

    Aerobic exercise helps to reduce blood pressure and to improve heart muscle function in individuals with elevated pressure. (5)

  4. Restriction of alcohol.

    Consumption of alcohol causes a rise in blood pressure. (6)

  5. Reduce salt in your diet.

    Many studies show that the reduction of sodium intake reduces blood pressure, especially in people with hypertension. (7, 8)

    Please note, however, that the optimum sodium levels and upper intake of sodium are being currently questioned by a number of recent studies. (read more..)

  6. Increase the amount of foods rich in potassium and/or take potassium supplements.

    Potassium, in the form of supplements or derived from the diet, reduces blood pressure in people with hypertension and lowers the risk of stroke by 24%. (9) Examples of foods high in potassium are: coconut water, cuttlefish, octopus, clams, adzuki beans, halibut, avocado, pork meat, lima beans, snapper and  soybeans. For the full list please click here.

  7. Take magnesium supplements.

    Magnesium supplements have shown small but clinically significant reductions in blood pressure. (10)

    Please note that, although highly possible, these findings don’t prove that foods rich in magnesium will have the same effect.

    Examples of foods rich in magnesium are: pumpkin seeds, flaxseed, Brazil nuts, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, halibut, mackerel, cashew nuts, amaranth and soybeans. For the full list please click here.

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