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How To Reduce Blood Pressure Without Medication?

Published on: Jun 18, 2024
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How To Reduce Blood Pressure Without Medication
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Most people panic when they are diagnosed with high blood pressure. Anxiety often increases when doctors prescribe antihypertensive drugs due to concerns about long-term side effects.

However, modern physicians recommend lifestyle modifications as the first line of therapy for managing hypertension. Read on to explore the top 6 lifestyle changes to control high blood pressure without medication.

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1. Reduce Excess Weight

A BMI level above 25 kg/m2 puts excess stress on the heart and increases your risk of hypertension. Research suggests that 65–78% of cases of primary hypertension are linked to obesity.

Insulin resistance, hormonal imbalances, and overactivation of your nervous system may result in obesity, which may, in turn, trigger hypertension.

To control high blood pressure without medication, maintain your body weight within the standard range. Studies claim that every kilogram loss of body weight may lower blood pressure by up to 1 mm Hg.

The size of your waistline is also crucial, as abdominal obesity may induce hypertension. Maintain waist measurement of up to 35 inches (89 cm) for women and up to 40 inches (102 cm) for men.

Aim for a BMI between 18.5 kg/m2 and 24.9 kg/m2. Healthy weight loss can be achieved through regular workouts, a low-calorie diet, good sleep hygiene, and limiting stress.

2. Consume Heart-Healthy Diet

Load your plate with fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products. To control high blood pressure without medication, follow the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) or the Mediterranean diet.

Heart-Healthy Fruits and Vegetables

  • Cabbage
  • Spinach leaves
  • Mustard Greens
  • Beetroot
  • Bananas
  • Berries
  • Pomegranates

2. Reduce Sodium Intake

A high sodium level in food products increases blood pressure. Doctors advise keeping daily sodium intake to less than 2,300 milligrams (mg) to control high blood pressure without medication and reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke.

You may season your meals with herbs and spices rather than salt.

Limiting sodium intake to around 1,500 mg a day or less is better, as reduced sodium can cause a marked improvement in blood pressure. Around 50% of hypertensive adults are sensitive to salt, compared to 26% of the normotensive populations.

Salt sensitivity prevents them from processing the sodium in food.

Surprisingly, most dietary sodium (over 70%) comes from packaged and processed foods daily, not from table salt added while preparing meals.

Manufacturers often add food additives like monosodium glutamate (MSG) and sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) to improve packaged products’ flavor and shelf life.

3. Foods with High Sodium Content

It is better to avoid the following food products for their high sodium content:

  • Chips
  • French fries
  • Canned Soups
  • Popcorn
  • Pizza
  • Salted nuts and peanuts
  • Sausage
  • Dehydrated or smoked chicken, pork, ham or fish
  • Canned fish
  • Pickles and papads
  • Readymade sauces- soy sauce, chili sauce, ketchup.
  • Aerated Beverages
  • Canned fruits

4. Consume Potassium-rich Foods

Along with reducing sodium intake, increasing the potassium content in meals is crucial to control high blood pressure without medication. The daily recommended potassium intake for men is 3,400 mg, and that for women is 2,600 mg.

Studies suggest that 4.7g of potassium intake through meals can reduce your blood pressure by 8.0/4.1 mm Hg. Potassium-rich diet reduces the future possibilities of incidence of stroke (8%-15%), myocardial infarction (6% to 11%), and coronary heart disease.

Potassium-rich Fruits and Vegetables

  • Banana
  • Spinach
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Watermelon
  • Avocados
  • Coconut water
  • Beans
  • Legumes
  • Sprouts

5. Limit Alcohol Intake

Excess alcohol consumption may increase the blood pressure and heart rate of individuals. Studies suggest that high doses of alcohol (> 30 g for men and > 20 for women) may hike systolic blood pressure by 3.7 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure by 2.4 mmHg.

It also increased the heart rate by 2.7 bpm.

Alcohol usually has a biphasic effect on the human circulatory system. It decreases blood pressure within 12 hours of drinking and then increases blood pressure after 13 hours of consumption.

Some studies revealed that moderate alcohol consumption (1 drink for women daily and up to 2 drinks for men daily) may have a protective effect on the heart.

So, if you consume alcohol, moderate the doses. Excess drinking will increase your blood pressure.

6. Reduce Caffeine Intake

A few cups of coffee or other caffeinated drinks may dramatically increase your blood pressure. Caffeine may block a hormone responsible for widening your arteries.

Constricted blood vessels, in turn, raise blood pressure.

Some researchers also believe that caffeine releases excess adrenaline in the blood circulation, thus increasing blood pressure. The US FDA recommends limiting daily caffeine intake to less than 400 mg. However, if you have high blood pressure, try to keep it below 200 mg daily.

Caffeine-containing Drinks

Try to avoid excess of the below-mentioned drinks to control high blood pressure without medication.

  • Coffee
  • Hot-chocolate
  • Green tea
  • Energy drinks
  • Tiramisu
  • Coffee-flavoured ice-cream
  • Aerated Beverages

How We At Fitterfly Can Help You?

Maintaining blood pressure below the optimal range of 120/80 mm Hg is crucial for the functioning of the circulatory system. However, certain triggers, such as obesity, unhealthy food consumption, sedentary lifestyle, lack of exercise, stress, excess alcohol consumption, and smoking, may increase blood pressure.

If blood pressure remains high for a prolonged period, it may constrict and weaken the arteries, leading to coronary artery diseases. High blood pressure also makes the heart work more laboriously to pump blood to your system.

It may lead to thickening and enlarging of the left ventricle, and increasing heart attack and heart failure risks.

If you want to control high blood pressure without medication, start adopting heart-healthy lifestyles, such as regular exercise, heart-healthy food consumption, reducing body weight, and quitting smoking.

Confused regarding the best food and exercises for lowering your blood pressure? Enroll in India’s first heart health program, FitHeart, today to receive expert guidance from experienced nutritionists, physiotherapists, and psychologists for perfect heart health.

All you need to do is give us a missed call at 08047360646. Our team will get back to you for a seamless onboarding to FitHeart Program.

Disclaimer

This blog provides general information for educational and informational purposes only and shouldn't be seen as professional advice.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the optimal blood pressure range?

The optimal blood pressure for healthy adults is below 120/80 mm Hg.

What are the symptoms of high blood pressure?

The symptoms of high blood pressure are dizziness, severe headaches, chest pain, nausea, blurred vision, and difficulty in breathing.

Is it possible to lower the blood pressure quickly?

Long-term lifestyle modifications, including regular exercise, a healthy diet, quitting smoking, limiting alcohol, and following sleep hygiene, are the best practices for sustainable blood pressure reduction. However, during emergencies, visit a doctor for quick blood pressure-lowering medications.

What are the side effects of long-term blood pressure medications?

Some common side effects of blood pressure medications are cough, constipation, frequent urination, disturbed sleep, and dizziness.

- By Fitterfly Health-Team

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