High blood pressure, also known clinically as hypertension, is a condition that affects a stunning one in three American adults according to the American Heart Association. For many, high blood pressure is a chronic disease that comes with a lifelong reliance on prescription medication, but today more and more people are taking a natural approach to treatment. When it comes to hypertension, what both the conventional medical and natural health communities agree upon is that natural remedies for high blood pressure in the form of certain lifestyle changes can not only reduce a patient’s need for prescription medication but can cure high blood pressure entirely.
Why Hypertension is So Serious
High blood pressure is the top risk factor for cardiovascular disease and can lead to stroke, kidney failure, and other serious conditions.1 The symptoms for high blood pressure are often not obvious at all, but some sufferers report feeling dizziness, headaches, and/or nosebleeds. The primary causes of high blood pressure include:
- Being overweight
- Being chronically stressed
- Consuming too much salt
- Insulin resistance
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Some medications
Conventional Western treatments for high blood pressure most often involve medications such as a diuretic along with a beta blocker, ACE inhibitor, angiotensin II receptor inhibitor, calcium channel blocker, alpha-beta blocker, nervous system inhibitor, or a vasodilator.2 While effective, these pharmaceutical options all come with their own negative side effects and do not get to the root of the issue. For those looking for a more natural, safe, and long-term treatment for their hypertension, here are natural remedies for high blood pressure that are supported by all medical camps.
Natural Remedies for High Blood Pressure
1. Make Dietary Changes
Since a number of the causes of high blood pressure are related to diet, making dietary changes is one of the top natural remedies for high blood pressure. Reducing sodium intake, avoiding processed food, eating moderate amounts of lean protein, and generous servings of green, leafy and cruciferous vegetables each day can all contribute to the reduction of blood pressure in addition to improving overall health.3 Foods rich in Omega-3s like oily fish, flaxseed, and walnuts can all help lower blood pressure as well.
2. Limit Caffeine & Alcohol and Eliminate Smoking
Some basic lifestyle changes can go a long way in increasing health and well-being as well as reducing blood pressure. Stimulants such as the caffeine in coffee, tea, and soda as well as nicotine in cigarettes can all contribute to high blood pressure and they should be reduced or avoided. Alcoholic beverages should be consumed only in moderation, if at all, as they can raise triglyceride levels. That said, some studies suggest that drinking a moderate amount of red wine (one glass per day) can increase HDL (“good” cholesterol) and contribute to lowering blood pressure to healthier levels.4 So if you are going to indulge, reach for the merlot instead of the margarita.
3. Get Regular Exercise
Plain old exercising is one of the most potent natural remedies for high blood pressure that exists. Exercising regularly helps to regulate mood and blood sugar while promoting cardiovascular health. Exercise is also helpful in getting to and maintaining a healthy weight and metabolism. While just thirty minutes of walking at a moderate to brisk pace per day can do wonders for your health, everyone must find their ideal exercise regimen. Be sure to check with your doctor before starting a new fitness plan.5
4. Get to and Maintain an Optimal Weight
Since being overweight is a major risk factor for high blood pressure, losing weight is one of the most valuable and effective natural remedies for high blood pressure for people carrying a few extra pounds. Diet and exercise are the most powerful combination for maintaining a healthy weight and reducing glucose levels and high blood pressure.6 When it comes to losing weight, remember that how you eat is just as important as what you eat. Try eating several small meals or a combination of small meals and healthy snacks. Be sure to watch your portion sizes and eat slowly enough to allow your stomach time to communicate with your brain when it’s full.
5. Reduce Stress and Find Ways to Relax
Stress is one of the top causes of high blood pressure, so finding ways to reduce stress is an important component of controlling high blood pressure naturally. Keeping your work and home responsibilities balanced can help to reduce stress; be sure to share responsibilities so that you feel assisted and supported at work and at home. Meditation is also a powerful and effective way of reducing stress levels, as is yoga, qigong, tai chi, and massage therapy. Just remembering to take a few moments to breathe deeply can be an instant in-the-moment stress reducer. Spending time in nature and making time for activities you love are also great stress relievers.7
6. Take Key Vitamins and Supplements
Just as there are certain foods known for their ability to lower blood pressure naturally, there are also vitamins and supplements that have been proven effective as high blood pressure natural remedies. Consider taking a quality fish oil supplement if you aren’t getting enough Omega-3s from the foods you eat. Look for a krill or fish oil supplement that contains both EPA and DHA. We like this sustainable, pure krill oil supplement.
In addition to Omega-3s, there is also some evidence that an adequate level of vitamin D is helpful in maintaining healthy blood pressure. While daily natural sun exposure is the best way to ensure your body is producing enough vitamin D, most of us could use a little help – particularly in the winter months. Look for a quality vitamin D supplement with 1,000 IU of vitamin D3 (not D2, which is the synthetic version) like this one.
Last, but not least, getting enough calcium, magnesium, and vitamin C is also known to help regulate blood pressure without medication. Most medical professional agree that women require more calcium than men with women needing 1,000 to 1,200 mg of calcium a day and men only needing about half of that figure. Folic acid and potassium are also necessary for ideal blood pressure levels.8
As always, you’ll want to check with your doctor when considering starting a new vitamin or supplement regimen. Always be sure that you’re buying only the highest-quality supplements with our supplement guide.
7. Look into Any Current Medications for Side Effects
Lastly, if you are on any other medications, check with your medical professional to make sure that they are not contributing to your high blood pressure. If this is the case, he or she may be able to prescribe an alternative or suggest a natural remedy for the issue.9
The Bottom Line
High blood pressure is a serious issue and because its immediate symptoms are few and hard to recognize, it is extremely important to have your blood pressure checked regularly, especially if you think you are at risk. While there are a number of medications that are often prescribed for hypertension, there are also many natural remedies for high blood pressure that can be just as effective, if not more. But before discontinuing your current blood pressure medication, be sure to check with your doctor, as he or she may advise you to slowly lower your dose as you adopt these natural lifestyle changes rather than cutting cold turkey.
- CDC – High Blood Pressure – http://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/ ↩
- Mayo Clinic – High blood pressure (hypertension) – http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/in-depth/high-blood-pressure-medication/art-20046280 ↩
- 7 Foods That Are Good For High Blood Pressure – http://www.healthline.com/health-slideshow/foods-good-for-high-blood-pressure#1 ↩
- How Do Alcohol, Coffee, and Smoking Influence Blood Pressure? – http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=20340 ↩
- Exercising Your Way to Lower Blood Pressure – https://www.acsm.org/docs/brochures/exercising-your-way-to-lower-blood-pressure.pdf ↩
- Weight Management and Blood Pressure – http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/PreventionTreatmentofHighBloodPressure/Weight-Management-and-Blood-Pressure_UCM_301884_Article.jsp ↩
- Just Breathe? The Secret to Lowering Blood Pressure – http://abcnews.go.com/WN/secret-lowering-blood-pressure-breathing-exercises/story?id=11656769 ↩
- Reduce Blood Pressure—Naturally – http://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2010/3/reduce-blood-pressure-naturally/page-01 ↩
- Hypertension/High Blood Pressure Health Center – http://www.webmd.com/hypertension-high-blood-pressure/guide/side-effects-high-blood-pressure-medications ↩