Defining High Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is a measurement of the force exerted by blood on the walls of the blood vessels.
When your heart is beating and pumping blood, your blood pressure is the highest (systolic pressure). When your heart is at rest between beats, your blood pressure is the lowest (diastolic pressure).
- Normal blood pressure – 120 systolic or 80 diastolic
- Pre hypertensive – 120-139 systolic or 80-89 diastolic.
- High blood pressure – any readings above 140 systolic or 90 diastolic
High blood pressure (hypertension) is a serious condition and if left uncontrolled can lead to heart disease, heart failure, stroke, kidney failure and other issues.
Natural Ways To Manage High Blood Pressure
While you should not ignore the medications advised by your doctor, the suggestions stated below will help you naturally control your BP.
Lose the extra pounds
Look up your ideal weight and take corrective measures to improve your lifestyle and loose excess weight.
Watch your waistline
Too much weight around your midsection can increase your blood pressure.
Lead an active life
Remember to exercise regularly. 30-40 minutes a day will do wonders for health.
Actively practice stress management
- Learn how to control your emotions better
- Avoid known and avoidable stressors
- Start practising meditation for at least 10 minutes everyday
Get enough sleep
Make sure to get at least 7-8 hours of deep sleep per day.
Cut back on caffeine
Caffeine is present not just in coffee, but also in teas, decaf coffee, chocolates, soda, ice-creams, breath mints, energy drinks, pain medication and a lot of other products.
Eat a healthy, plant-based diet
Consume plenty of whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
Consume foods rich in Potassium
Some examples include sweet potatoes, tomatoes, spinach, baked potatoes with skin, curds, etc.
Add the following herbs to your diet
- Basil (Tulsi)
- Cinnamon (Tej)
- Cardamom( Elaichi)
- Garlic (Lasun)
- Hawthorne berries (Nagaphani)
- Celery seeds (Ajwain seeds)
- Avoid foods high in salt
Reduce alcohol intake and quit smoking and tobacco consumption
- Consider using a mouth mask or cover your nose and mouth a kerchief when going into a highly polluted area.
Practice the following yoga poses on a regular basis-
- Downward dog
- Warrior Pose
- Extended triangle pose
- Standing forward bend
- Seated forward bend
(Remember that people with untreated hypertension should avoid yoga poses that involve unsupported inversions. Other poses that put pressure on chest, throat, temples and those which make steady breathing difficult should also be avoided. It is best to learn the poses with a teacher so that they are performed correctly)
Monitor blood pressure regularly
Buy a blood pressure monitor and use it at home.
Ask for help from friends and family
- They want to feed you what you like. Make them aware that you are trying to eat what’s good for you.
- Try and plan family and friend meetings around active events. For example, a walk in the park or beach, playing a sport, etc.
- Let them know to help and support your efforts. Educate them if needed.
Remember, a stitch in time saves nine! A little care now, might save you a lifelong commitment to BP medications!
Article by Dr. Archana Naidu-Komandur, BDS, DDS, PG, FAGD
Medical websites and resources were consulted for the writing of this article. This article is an attempt at amalgamating the information. However, remember, that the best source of information is your doctor and this article is not intended to replace medical advice.
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