What is blood pressure?
Blood pressure is the pressure that you are circulating on the walls of your arteries as it travels around your body.
What is high blood pressure (hypertension)?
For most people high blood pressure has no noticeable symptoms, approximately one-third of people who have it are unaware. A blood pressure test takes minutes and could save your life.
What is low blood pressure (hypotension)?
Low blood pressure (Hypotension) is generally less serious but may cause light-headedness and dizzy spells.
24 ways to lower your blood pressure naturally
- Isometric workouts (stress ball)
- Increase activity and exercise more
- Lose weight if you’re overweight
- Cut back on sugar and refined carbohydrates
- Eat more potassium and less sodium
- Eat less processed food
- Stop smoking
- Reduce excess stress
- Try meditation or yoga and deep breathing
- Eat some dark chocolate
- Take natural health supplements
- Make sure to get good, restful sleep
- Eat garlic or take garlic extract supplements
- Eat healthy high-protein foods
- Take these BP-lowering supplements
- Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid
- Consume more whey protein
- Take Coenzyme Q10
- Drink less alcohol (one drink per day)
- Consider cutting back on caffeine
- Eat calcium-rich foods
- Eat foods rich in magnesium
- Get quality sleep
- Reduce salt in your diet
Small changes can make a big difference in your blood pressure numbers
7 factors which could cause your blood pressure to rise are:
Why does hypertension matter?
High blood pressure (HBP, or hypertension) causes harm over time, usually. High blood pressure, if left untreated (or unmanaged), can cause:
Heart attack — High blood pressure damages arteries that can become blocked and prevent blood flow to the heart muscle.
Stroke — High blood pressure can cause blood vessels in the brain to clog more easily or even burst.
Heart failure — The increased workload from high blood pressure can cause the heart to enlarge and fail to supply blood to the body.
Kidney disease or failure — High blood pressure can damage the arteries around the kidneys and interfere with their ability to filter blood effectively.
Vision loss — High blood pressure can strain or damage blood vessels in the eyes.
Sexual dysfunction — High blood pressure can lead to erectile dysfunction in men or lower libido in women.
Angina — Over time, high blood pressure can lead to heart disease or microvascular disease (MVD). Angina, or chest pain, is a common symptom.
Peripheral artery disease (PAD) — Atherosclerosis caused by high blood pressure can cause a narrowing of arteries in the legs, arms, stomach and head, causing pain or fatigue.
18 foods that help lower blood pressure
- Dark chocolate
- Leafy green vegetables
- Fermented foods
- Lentils and other pulses
- Natural yoghurt
- Olive oil
How the DASH diet can help you reduce your blood pressure
Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) is an acronym for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. The DASH diet is a nutritious eating plan that can help you manage or avoid high blood pressure (hypertension).
Foods high in potassium, calcium, and magnesium are included in the DASH diet. These nutrients aid with blood pressure regulation. The diet restricts sodium-rich, saturated-fat-rich, and sugar-rich foods.
The DASH diet has been demonstrated in studies to reduce blood pressure in as little as two weeks. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad”) cholesterol levels in the blood can also be reduced by eating a healthy diet. Two significant risk factors for heart disease and stroke are excessive blood pressure and high LDL cholesterol levels.
Sodium and the DASH diet
The DASH diet has less salt than the normal American diet, which can contain up to 3,400 mg of sodium per day.
The DASH diet restricts salt intake to 2,300 mg per day. It complies with the Dietary Guidelines’ guideline that Americans consume less than 2,300 mg of salt per day. That’s about how much sodium is in a teaspoon of table salt.
A salt-reduced variation of DASH limits sodium intake to 1,500 mg per day. You can select the diet that best suits your health requirements. Consult your doctor if you’re not sure what sodium level is best for you.
What to Eat on the DASH Diet
The DASH diet is a flexible and well-balanced eating plan that promotes a lifetime of heart-healthy eating habits. It’s simple to make using groceries from your local supermarket.
Vegetables, fruits, and whole grains are abundant in the DASH diet. Dairy items that are fat-free or low-fat, fish, poultry, beans, and nuts are all included. Foods rich in saturated fat, such as fatty meats and full-fat dairy products, are restricted.
When following the DASH diet, it’s critical to eat foods that are:
Rich in potassium, calcium, magnesium, fibre and protein
Low in saturated fat
Low in sodium
Serving sizes for the DASH diet
The DASH diet specifies dietary objectives for each day and week. Your daily calorie requirements will determine the number of servings you should consume.
DASH diet: Recommended servings
The DASH diet specifies dietary objectives for each day and week. Your daily calorie requirements will determine your recommended serving size based on your nutritional needs.
For a 2,000-calorie-per-day DASH diet, these are the required servings from each food group:
Grains: 6 to 8 servings a day. One serving is one slice of bread, 1-ounce dry cereal, or 1/2 cup cooked cereal, rice or pasta.
Vegetables: 4 to 5 servings a day. One serving is 1 cup raw leafy green vegetable, 1/2 cup cut-up raw or cooked vegetables, or 1/2 cup vegetable juice.
Fat-free or low-fat dairy products: 2 to 3 servings a day. One serving is 1 cup milk or yoghurt, or 1 1/2 ounces cheese.
Lean meats, poultry and fish: six 1-ounce servings or fewer a day. One serving is 1 ounce cooked meat, poultry or fish, or 1 egg.
Nuts, seeds and legumes: 4 to 5 servings a week. One serving is 1/3 cup nuts, 2 tablespoons peanut butter, 2 tablespoons seeds, or 1/2 cup cooked legumes (dried beans or peas).
Fats and oils: 2 to 3 servings a day. One serving is 1 teaspoon soft margarine, 1 teaspoon vegetable oil, 1 tablespoon mayonnaise or 2 tablespoons salad dressing.
Sweets and added sugars: 5 servings or fewer a week. One serving is 1 tablespoon sugar, jelly or jam, 1/2 cup sorbet, or 1 cup lemonade.
Common medicines for high blood pressure (as per NHS guidelines)
If you’re diagnosed with high blood pressure, your doctor may recommend taking 1 or more medicines to keep it under control.
These come as tablets and usually need to be taken once a day.
Common blood pressure medicines include:
- ACE inhibitors – such as enalapril, lisinopril, perindopril and ramipril
- angiotensin-2 receptor blockers (ARBs) – such as candesartan, irbesartan, losartan, valsartan and olmesartan
- calcium channel blockers – such as amlodipine, felodipine and nifedipine or diltiazem and verapamil
- diuretics – such as indapamide and bendroflumethiazide
- beta-blockers – such as atenolol and bisoprolol
- alpha-blockers – such as doxazosin
- other diuretics – such as amiloride and spironolactone
The medicine recommended for you will depend on things like how high your blood pressure is, your age and your ethnicity.
Why does reducing cholesterol lower blood pressure?
The combination of high blood pressure and cholesterol damages arteries.
This excessive pressure affects your arteries and blood vessels over time. They aren’t designed to deal with continual high-pressure blood flow. As a result, rips and other forms of damage begin to appear.
Excess cholesterol can fill these tears. That means that the damage caused by high blood pressure to arteries and blood vessels might actually lead to greater plaque formation and arterial constriction as a result of high blood cholesterol levels. As a result, your heart must work harder to pump blood, putting undue strain on your heart muscle.
The two diseases operate together like a gang of criminals to wreak havoc on your heart, arteries, and general health. High blood pressure and cholesterol can, in fact, create issues with your eyes, kidneys, brain, and other organs over time.
What is a good blood pressure level?
The optimum blood pressure is between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg, as a general rule. Blood pressure of 140/90mmHg or above is considered high. Low blood pressure is defined as a reading of 90/60mmHg or below.
What is a dangerous level of blood pressure?
If your blood pressure is 130/80, it is deemed high (stage 1). A blood pressure reading of 140/90 or above indicates stage 2 hypertension. If your blood pressure readings are consistently 180/110 or above, consult a doctor immediately soon. A reading like this is referred to as a “hypertensive crisis.”
How to lower blood pressure quickly?
How long does it take to lower blood pressure?
Will eating less reduce my blood pressure?
Losing even a small amount of weight if you’re overweight or obese can help reduce your blood pressure. In general, you may reduce your blood pressure by about 1 millimetre of mercury (mm Hg) with each kilogram (about 2.2 pounds) of weight you lose.
What is the best diet for high blood pressure?
Cut down on the amount of salt in your food and eat plenty of fruit and vegetables.
Salt raises your blood pressure. The more salt you eat, the higher your blood pressure. Aim to eat less than 6g (0.2oz) of salt a day, which is about a teaspoonful.
Eating a low-fat diet that includes lots of fibre, such as wholegrain rice, bread and pasta, and plenty of fruit and vegetables also helps lower blood pressure.
Aim to eat 5 portions of fruit and vegetables every day.
Why/how does exercise lower blood pressure?
Can drinking lots of water lower blood pressure?
It is beneficial to blood pressure to stay hydrated by consuming six to eight glasses of water each day (even more if working in hot and humid environments).
What are some common blood pressure myths?
For a full list of common high blood pressure myths, you can read a blog created by heart.org. Click here.