Cochin Cardiac Club

Health Blog by Dr.Uday Nair


High blood pressure is one of the most preventable conditions. But it plays a contributing role in more than 15 percent of deaths . Although it causes no symptoms, high blood pressure boosts the risks of leading killers such as heart attack and stroke, as well as aneurysms, cognitive decline, and kidney failure.
While medication can lower blood pressure, it may cause side effects such as leg cramps, dizziness, and insomnia. Fortunately, most people can bring down their blood pressure naturally without medication.
Here are some natural ways to reduce high blood pressure:

1.Power walks-

Hypertensive patients who went for fitness walks at a brisk pace lowered pressure by almost 8 mmhg over 6 mmhg. Exercise helps the heart use oxygen more efficiently, so it doesn't work as hard to pump blood. Get a vigorous cardio workout of at least 30 minutes on most days of the week. Try increasing speed or distance to give your heart a better workout.

2.Increase the Potassium intake-

People with hypertension may especially benefit from upping the amount of potassium in their diet. Adults should get at least 4,700 milligrams a day. A few good sources: bananas (422 milligrams each), a baked potato with skin (738 milligrams), orange juice (496 milligrams per cup), and nonfat or low-fat yogurt (531–579 milligrams per 8 ounces).

3.Munch on that Dark Chocolate-

Dark chocolate varieties contain flavanols that make blood vessels more elastic. In one study, 18% of patients who ate it every day saw blood pressure decrease. Have 1/2 ounce daily (make sure it contains at least 70 percent cocoa).

4.Cut the Salt-

People with normal blood pressure, moderately high blood pressure, and full-fledged hypertension can substantially reduce their blood pressure by cutting salt intake. It is recommend that people with hypertension limit their intake of salt to less than 1,500 milligrams (600 milligrams of sodium) a day.We get most of our sodium from processed foods, so stick with whole foods. When you do eat foods with nutrition labels, be sure to check their sodium content.

5.Say NO to Caffeine and YES to Tea —

Herbal teas are the way to go. In a study conducted, those who sipped on hibiscus tea daily lowered their blood pressure. Many herbal teas contain hibiscus or you can always opt for green tea. The effects of caffeine are still debatable. Drinking caffeinated beverages can temporarily increase pressure. The solution is to check your pressure within 30 minutes of drinking a cup of coffee to determine if it works for your body.

6.Drink Less Alcohol-

Even though moderate drinking—no more than one drink a day for women, and two a day for men—has heart-health benefits, drinking too much can elevate blood pressure in some people.Research has found that consuming more than two drinks a day increases the risk of hypertension for both men and women. If you do drink, enjoy your alcoholic beverage with a meal, which may blunt its effects on blood pressure.

7.Supplements help-

Some supplements may help decrease hypertension. Although supplements can be taken in the form of pills or capsules, its best you take them in your diet as foods. Always consult your doctor before adding any supplements to your blood pressure treatment.

Supplements that help control high blood pressure include:

Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)– ALA can be obtained from foods such as flaxseeds, walnuts, soybean, and dark green leafy vegetables.

Omega-3 fatty acids– Food sources for omega-3 fatty acids are salmon, sardines, cod(14 ounces of fish per week),cod liver oil(3 teaspoons per day),walnut, and tofu.

Co-enzyme Q10 Food sources for co-enzyme Q10 are not well documented. However, it is available from foods such as fish, organ meats viz. liver, kidney and heart, and whole grain germs.

6.Breath Deep-

Slow breathing and meditative practices such as yoga and tai chi decrease stress hormones, which elevate renin, a kidney enzyme that raises blood pressure. Try 5 minutes in the morning and at night. Inhale deeply and expand your belly. Exhale and release all of your tension.

7.Dont Smoke-

If you smoke, quit. While smoking itself doesn’t raise blood pressure chronically, you can have a temporary increase after smoking. Smoking tobacco will speed up the processes involved in making your arteries harder, giving them a decreased ability to constrict and dilate appropriately. Cancer is also bad and we know smoking causes that, so stop! Stop now, for your own sake and those who love you!


Stress is not thought to contribute significantly to high blood pressure, but relaxation can certainly lower it. It is found that people who listened to a 12-minute relaxation CD three times a week for four months showed an average blood pressure drop of 6.4 per cent.


Yoga is a great de-stressor. A study recently found that yogic breathing exercises reduced blood pressure in people with hypertension, possibly through their effects on the autonomic nervous system, which governs heart rate, digestion, and other largely unconscious functions.


Whether it involves chanting, breathing, visualization, or all the above—can be an effective stress-management tool for many people. Again, the important thing is that it makes you feel good, and that you can commit to doing it consistently.

11.Watch your weight-

Everybody knows that being overweight is a health risk - it forces your heart to work harder to pump blood around your body, which can raise your blood pressure. But it doesn't take dramatic changes to make a difference. Losing even four or five pounds (a couple of kilograms) may help to bring your blood pressure down. And if you are being treated for hypertension, losing weight may make the treatment work more effectively and even reduce how much of the medicine you need. But don't embark on a strict diet you can't sustain: eat a balanced, nutritious diet and combine it with a sensible exercise regime.

Some Diet Points to remember-

  • Eat eight to 10 servings of vegetables and fruit per day.
  • Limit animal protein to six ounces per day.
  • Limit salt intake. If you are salt sensitive or have a family history or hypertension, reducing salt to about one teaspoon a day may help control your blood pressure.
  • Use garlic. It has a modest effect on blood pressure, potentially helping to relax blood vessels.
  • Consume four to five servings of nuts, seeds and dry beans per week. This is equivalent to two tablespoons of nuts or seeds, or 1/2 cup cooked dried beans.
  • Eat plenty of fish. Include at least three servings of fish a week, emphasizing cold-water fish such as wild Alaskan salmon and sardines, which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Take fish-oil supplements if you cannot get enough omega-3-rich foods.
  • Take calcium and magnesium. Inadequate intake of both of these minerals has been associated with high blood pressure. Women should get between 1,000 and 1,200 mg of calcium a day from all sources, while men need no more than 500-600 mg daily from all sources and probably do not need to supplement.
  • Take vitamin C. This antioxidant vitamin has been shown to lower blood pressure in people with mild to moderate hypertension.

  • Conclusion.

    In the end, if you want to reduce your blood pressure naturally, put down the cigarette and go for a run. Afterward, sit around, find your happy place in your mind, and eat some fruits and nuts, but not too much.  Control your calorie intake! Pretty much all the stuff everyone is telling you to do anyways for numerous other health benefits not related to blood pressure. 
    Unfortunately, if you came up short in evolution’s gene pool, you might still need medication to help control your high blood pressure, but the above will also help and is something you can do for yourself.

    1 comment:

    Asmi... said...

    Nice article. ..Very informative. ..