When the blood circulates in our body, it creates pressure. This pressure is called blood pressure. Pressure referred is usually in the larger vessels of the body and most of it is a result of work done by the heart. Blood pressure is expressed in two terms: systolic and diastolic pressure measured in millimeter mercury.
A normal resting blood pressure in an adult is usually 120 systolic, and 80 diastolic. The measurement, of course, varies with different age groups.
When the blood pressure is too low, it is called hypotension, and high pressure is hypertension. The causes of either one of the conditions are numerous and associated with both short and long term risks.
The systolic pressure is produced when the heart contracts and sets the blood flowing through the vessels creating pressure on those vessels. While the diastolic pressure is the pressure in the vessels when the heart is relaxed and getting filled with blood.
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A pressure of more than 120 systolic and 80 diastolic is called hypertension. That is, the pressure with which the blood flows in the vessels during heart contraction and relaxation are high. Therefore, when there is low diastolic blood pressure, it means that the pressure with which the blood enters the heart is low resulting in low oxygen. While low systolic blood pressure means the force with which the heart is pumping the blood through the body is low.
While it is considered that a family history of blood pressure may be significant in a person with hypertension, it is highly unlikely that a person’s blood pressure is naturally high. There is a medical condition where the blood pressure is elevated without an apparent cause. It is known as Essential or primary hypertension. But it is cannot be considered as a natural high in blood pressure.
Let’s look at how to lower blood pressure
Ten tricks to lower blood pressure
1. Regular physical activity
Keeping active helps improve the circulation of the body and strengthens the heart. This, in turn, lowers the pressure in the blood vessels causing low blood pressure. Focusing on physical activity can help produce low diastolic blood pressure.
Even a moderately active workout such as walking for an hour can have a beneficial effect on hypertension.
This can lead to weight loss which is also beneficial to hypertension.
2. Reduce sodium in your diet
A minute reduction of sodium in the diet can help improve hypertension. The reduction doesn’t have to be drastic, a gradual reduction of sodium can be adapted. Consuming less processed food and being aware of the salt content in the food you eat are some of the ways to keep sodium intake in check.
3. Drink less alcohol
Alcohol not only contributes to increased pressure in blood but also interferes with the working of the hypertension-meds.
4. Eat more potassium-rich foods
Increased consumption of potassium helps the removal of sodium in the body.
Some of the food rich in potassium are
- leafy greens and Beans
- Fruits and dairy
- Tuna and salmon
- Nuts and seeds
Removal of sodium results in low diastolic blood pressure which in turn results in lowered blood pressure.
5. Give up smoking
Cigarette smoking can result in increased blood pressure thus stopping it leads to normalization.
6. Lower caffeine
Caffeine may affect people who rarely consume it but regular consumers may not have any effect at all. But there is a possibility that it may contribute to the rise in blood pressure. Lowered caffeine intake leads to low diastolic blood pressure.
7. Dark chocolate or cocoa
Dark chocolate and cocoa powder contain flavonoids that help relax blood vessels, lowering blood pressure.
Berries are packed with polyphenols which help lower blood pressure and overall risk to the heart.
9. Managing stress
Stress is one of the main causatives and maintaining factors of high blood pressure.
When in stress, the body switches on to fight or flight mode which results in a faster heart rate with constricted vessels. Also, stress can lead to unhealthy behavior such as stress eating. All of which will contribute to a raised blood pressure. Learning to manage stress better is beneficial.
10. Apple Cider Vinegar for high blood pressure
Apple cider vinegar helps reduce blood pressure by Lowering blood glucose, renin activity, weight, and cholesterol.
About three teaspoons per day of apple cider vinegar can be beneficial is lowering blood pressure. It can be had as is or can be creatively incorporated into the regular diet in a number of ways. For example, apple cider vinegar can be added to popcorns and had. It is simple and effective as well.