Your blood supplies the essential nutrients and oxygen to all organs in your body. Blood pressure is basically the pressure that pushes blood through your arteries and veins. Our body has an intricate, complicated, but amazing system in place but one that needs to be carefully looked after for optimal performance. So managing your or a family member’s blood pressure should be high on the list of priorities.
While medication can help, they might also have side effects. If you’re looking at a more natural way to deal with managing your blood pressure, try these simple lifestyle changes; you can’t go wrong and it will have a great overall effect for you and your family.
1. Cut down your salt intake
It’s not the salt by itself but the sodium it contains which is bad for people dealing with high blood pressure issues. A little consumption of salt is fine, but too much can cause disruption in the balance of fluids in the body. In our fast paced lives, we tend to rely on ready-to-eat, processed or fast foods and that is a major concern for you and your family’s blood pressure. Add more home-cooked foods to your diet where you can control the salt content. Stick with this practice and you will help yourself to better health. Even foods that are labelled low-fat or low in sugar can still contain a lot of sodium.
2. Relax with some Hibiscus tea
Acting as a diuretic, hibiscus draws sodium from the bloodstream, thereby decreasing the pressure on the arterial wall. ACE inhibitors are a common group of pharmaceutical drugs that are used to treat people with high blood pressure and Hibiscus is a natural alternative. They help relax the blood vessels and lower the volume of blood which helps reduce blood pressure. A delicious hibiscus tea requires 1-2 teaspoons of dried hibiscus and cinnamon sticks to a cup of freshly boiled water. Allow the mix to steep for 5 minutes; add a little honey and lemon and your brew is ready. Once the water is cool you can also add ice and make it a refreshing cooler to beat the summer heat.
3. Drink coconut water
Coconut water contains vitamin C, magnesium and potassium. Magnesium and potassium are extremely helpful when it comes to aiding muscle function and the heart is a big giant muscle. Because of the rich concentration of minerals and salts found in coconut water, it can counter the imbalance of electrolytes in your blood. Potassium helps your body balance out the sodium in your blood bringing it to a manageable level. Thus, this naturally healthy drink is great for anyone suffering from high blood pressure. If it’s possible, try to drink a glass of coconut water twice a day, at least.
4. Fish oil
Fish oil is a rich source of omega 3 fatty acids and consuming fish oil has shown to be effective in reducing blood pressure. Fish like Salmon, mackerel, sardines and tuna are found to be quite high in omega 3 fatty acids. For those who suffer from heart disease or have high triglyceride levels, you’ll need a higher dose. If you’re not living on the coast where fish is easily available you need to check with your doctor about fish oil supplements.
5. Get some exercise
Exercise is essential for the proper functioning of your cardiovascular system and maintaining good blood pressure levels. Nothing can replace the benefits that exercise has on the body. Today, it does take some effort, but the results are always positive. Exercise makes it easier for the heart to pump blood – it will happen naturally without extra efforts. The heart is a muscle and exercise will only make it stronger. This might surprise you but in many cases, exercising is all that you need to get your blood pressure back on track.
Keeping your blood pressure in check is important for overall well-being. You might consider getting yourself a frequent check-up, especially if you’re in the older age group, or at least encourage your family members who are. Simple lifestyle changes can make a big difference to everyone at home and ensure good heart health.