High blood pressure affects one billion people in the world and causes about nine million deaths each year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Adopting healthy lifestyle habits can help control hypertension better, and with simple gestures on a day-to-day basis you can keep your heart healthy . If you want to avoid or delay the need to take antihypertensive drugs , and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease , take note of these 9 ways to reduce your blood pressure naturally .
Enjoy the virtues of dark chocolate
There are many studies that have analyzed the power of dark chocolate to improve health. One of them, published this year in the journal Heart , states that if you drink cocoa moderately, especially black, you reduce the risk of atrial fibrillation , caused by high blood pressure. This happens because this type of chocolate contains high levels of flavonoids , a subgroup of polyphenols that cause the dilation of blood vessels, as well as being antioxidants and anti-inflammatories.
Put your heart in shape
The heart should be seen as a muscle, and therefore it must also be trained every day. The Spanish Heart Foundation (FEC) recommends carrying out beneficial exercises for hypertension , such as walking , running , cycling or swimming , between half an hour and an hour a day, with a frequency of three to five days a week; thus, the heart becomes stronger and is able to pump the blood better, making the pressure of the arteries less and the tension decrease.
Control your cholesterol levels
Cholesterol is a fatty substance that builds up in the arteries hindering the passage of blood, which can lead to hypertension. In addition, people with high blood pressure often have high levels of LDL cholesterol (the ‘bad’) and lower HDL (the ‘good’) compared to those with a normal blood pressure. To keep your levels at bay, it is best to have a varied diet, low in fats and rich in fiber , and exercise regularly.
Say goodbye to the extra kilos
People with obesity are two to three times more likely to have hypertension, according to the Spanish Heart Foundation (FEC). In addition, losing weight is the best way to lower blood pressure, since reducing 10 kilos can result in a drop in systolic blood pressure of about two points; for example, from 140 to 120 mmHG. The best thing to lose those extra kilos is to go to a specialist that provides you with a personalized diet, and exercise regularly.
Include more potassium in your shopping cart
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a potassium intake of at least 3510 mg per day to prevent hypertension, as this mineral is able to eliminate sodium and reduce blood pressure. To achieve this, you should not forget add fruits such as bananas or papayas, tubers such as potatoes or green leafy vegetables in your shopping cart. Also, do not forget diary products such as milk or yogurt, legumes such as beans and peas, and nuts.
Take the reins of stress
The stress and high blood pressure are bad for your overall health.
When our body is on constant alert, the heart is accelerated and the blood vessels constricted. Therefore, we must try to control it and not let nerves and anxiety prevail in our lives practicing meditation and breathing consciously can help in this relaxation process because they lower the heart rate and, therefore, blood pressure.
Do not drink or drop alcohol
In addition to all the harmful effects that alcohol puts on your health, it also directly increases blood pressure. According to experts believe, this substance activates in our body the production of adrenaline , which contracts the blood vessels, causing blood pressure to increase. Approximately 5% to 7% of cases of hypertension are related to alcoholism . Although it usually advocated for moderate consumption.
Boot with tobacco
The Spanish Heart Foundation (FEC) warns that people who smoke have two to three times more risk of having a cardiovascular accident than non-smokers, as smoking promotes the appearance of thrombi and promotes the accumulation of ‘bad cholesterol’ and ‘good cholesterol’ reduction. Quitting smoking has immediate positive consequences for blood pressure, since cardiovascular health improves after leaving this habit so harmful.
Reduce salt intake
The salt causes fluid retention, which increases blood volume and hence blood pressure. The African Society of Cardiology (AEC) considers it a drug because of the damage it causes. WHO recommends a consumption of less than five grams a day.