High blood pressure – It’s something we hear a lot about these days. Whether it’s a bigger problem in the modern world than it was in the past, or whether we are just more health aware these days, either way we’re always told to monitor our blood pressure and keep it at a normal level.
In this post we’ll look at a few ways to lower your blood pressure fast and how we can be more aware of maintaining healthy blood pressure levels.
What Is High Blood Pressure?
High blood pressure is also known as hypertension. It is measured as the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries. When someone is suffering from high blood pressure, the heart is working harder to pump the blood through the body, thus putting great strain on the heart muscle.
Some Causes Of High Blood Pressure
Smoking: Smoking has long been touted as a major contributor to high blood pressure and the obvious solution is to quit. No one needs to smoke to live. Quite the opposite.
Overweight: Another highly common cause of hypertension. Carrying around a lot of excess body weight naturally puts more stress on the entire body, and especially the heart. Losing weight is not an easy task, but it’s worth the effort for the sake of your health.
Old Age: As we age, naturally everything starts to decline. Every part of the body has to work just that little bit harder in a bid to keep the body functioning normally. This puts extra strain on the heart as well. We can’t stop ourselves from getting older, but we can monitor our blood pressure and do the best we can to keep it at a normal level no matter how old we are.
Genetics: High blood pressure can be a result of a genetic condition passed down through generations. Your GP is the best person to offer advice as to how to deal with a hereditary condition like hypertension.
Stress: Possibly one of the most common causes of hypertension in the modern world. It’s hard to avoid stress altogether, but how we deal with stressful situations can make all the difference. Meditation can really do wonders for people who are feeling stressed on a regular basis.
Low Exercise Levels: Having a rather stagnant lifestyle can eventually lead to high blood pressure problems. Just like we need to work out the muscles on the outside of our bodies to keep them in shape, the same goes for the heart. It is a muscle after all. The more you exercise or be active, the fitter the heart will be and it won’t have to work so hard to pump blood through the body.
Alcohol: A little bit of alcohol is fine, but when you consume too much on a regular basis the body has to work hard to filter it out of your system, once again putting excess strain on the heart. Drink in moderation and not daily.
Illicit Drugs & Medications: Many drugs, whether legal or illegal, can cause hypertension; particularly drugs that contain some form of amphetamine. Many illicit drugs contain some form of amphetamine and, unfortunately, so do many prescription drugs. If you are on a prescription drug that is causing high blood pressure, your doctor may need to seek out an alternative medication for you. Illicit drugs? Well, that’s a personal choice whether to indulge or not.
Salt: Too much salt causes the kidneys to store excess water. This excess water puts more strain on the organs and the heart and therefore raises blood pressure levels.
Foods That Lower Blood Pressure Fast!
Here is a list of foods and drinks that are known to help lower blood pressure:
- Plain yogurt, fat-free
- Kiwi fruit
- Lean meat (loin or round cuts)
- Red wine
- Low-fat or non-fat milk
- Dark chocolate
- Sweet potato
- High fibre grains
- Cranberry juice
- Leafy green vegetables
- Olive oil
- Hibiscus tea
Foods and Drinks That Raise Blood Pressure
- Anything high in salt content
- Fatty foods
- Highly processed meats
- Frozen pizza
- Coffee and caffeine products
- Full fat dairy products
- Fatty meats (red and white)
- Canned products
Home Blood Pressure Monitors
The best way to make sure you have control of your blood pressure is to invest in a home blood pressure monitor. Many of them are quite cheap and accurate enough for you to keep regular tabs on your levels. I have written brief reviews on five models and you can check them out here.