Everyone knows someone close to them who suffers from high blood pressure. It could be your parents, close relatives, or friends. You may also be suffering from the ill effects of high BP. Over the years, high blood pressure has been so normalized that it doesn’t come as a surprise to many, and the consequences are often overlooked.
But did you know? One of the primary causes of premature death in India is high blood pressure. Heart attacks, strokes, aneurysms, etc. are some of the many repercussions of high blood pressure. According to the National Family Health Survey of 2017, hypertension, otherwise known as high blood pressure affects one out of every eight Indians.
Although it is more commonly seen in adults, children can also suffer from this condition. In fact, bad lifestyle choices is one of the main reasons why many are at risk of this condition.
If you want to know how you can control high blood pressure or reduce the effects of this condition, keep reading.
7 ways to reduce and control high Blood Pressure
Low sodium diet
Increased salt intake is one of the leading factors that cause high blood pressure. Always check your food labels to keep track of your salt intake. Most of our sodium intake comes from packaged food, so you can minimize your sodium intake by consuming home-cooked meals that use spices for flavour rather than salt.
Foods like bananas, raisins, milk, tuna, etc. have high potassium content. Potassium will help you move the sodium out of the body in turn helping you decrease your blood pressure. Potassium is also known for easing the tension in your blood vessels. So if you’re wondering what to eat to control high blood pressure ? less processed foods and more potassium-rich foods is the way to go.
Smoking is known for causing an immediate but temporary spike in your blood pressure and heart rate. Long term effects of smoking include ?
- Damage to the walls of your blood vessels
- Narrowing arteries
- Hardening arteries
Although it might be difficult to quit altogether, it’s definitely worth a shot to gradually reduce the intake till you stop.
Have some dark chocolate
If you want to know how to control high bp immediately at home, dark chocolates with 60 to 70 percent cacao will do the trick. Studies have shown that the blood pressure of patients with this condition was significantly lowered after 15 days of eating dark chocolate. However, keep in mind that dark chocolates are high in calories and should be consumed in moderation. The safe amount of dark chocolate to consume is approximately 1 to 2 ounces or 30-60g per day, so make sure you’re not overeating, expecting quick results.
Speaking of calories, if you’re overweight, even a 10 pound(4kgs) weight loss can help lower your blood pressure. With a steady diet and exercise regimen, you can lower your blood pressure while lowering the risk of other medical conditions.
As important as getting to a healthy weight is, make sure you are not stressing yourself over it. Stressful situations will cause both temporary spikes as well as long term stress-related blood pressure, just like smoking. Reducing your stress levels is crucial to help keep your blood pressure normal. Activities like yoga, meditation, listening to music during evening walks, are examples of some of the many stress-reducing activities you can do to keep your blood pressure down.
When you’re asleep, your heart rate, breathing rate, and blood pressure go down. If you are not getting enough sleep, that means that your blood pressure stays up for longer. So set a daily schedule and sleep for a good 7-8 hours to wake up refreshed and healthy.
If you or anyone in your family suffers from high blood pressure, it is important to keep a tab on it. Monitoring your blood pressure is essential for keeping it under control and avoiding the various health concerns that high blood pressure can cause. Consult experts at Ayu Health, the best hospital in Bangalore, for a detailed examination of your blood pressure readings.
Also Read : Top 8 Immunity Booster Foods & How To Add Them to Your Diet
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About the Author
Dr. S. Goel
Dr. S. Goel is a renowned Internal Medicine Specialist currently practicing at Ayu Health, Bangalore. He is a Specialist in Internal Medicine, Diabetes HTN, Paediatric Care, and Family Medicine.