High blood pressure can boost 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. Luckily, most people can bring down their blood pressure naturally without medication.
Here are top 10 natural alternatives to prescribed drugs, according to ABC News.
Go for power walks: Hypertensive patients who went for fitness walksat 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.
Slow breathing and meditative practices such as qigong, yoga, and tai chi decrease stress hormones, which elevate renin, a kidney enzyme that raises blood pressure.
So try 5 minutes in the morning and at night. Inhale deeply and expand your belly. Exhale and release all of your tension.
Eat potatoes: Loading up on potassium-rich fruits and vegetables is an important part of any blood pressure-lowering program, said Linda Van Horn, PhD, RD, professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medical.
Lower salt intake to 1,500 mg daily, said Eva Obarzanek, PhD, a research nutritionist at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute..
Indulge in dark chocolate: Dark chocolate varieties contain flavanols that make blood vessels more elastic. In one study, 18percent of patients who ate it every day saw blood pressure decrease.
Take a supplement: In a review of 12 studies, researchers found that coenzyme Q10 reduced blood pressure by up to 17 mmhg over 10 mmhg.
Reduce alcohol intake: According to a review of 15 studies, the less you drink, the lower your blood pressure will drop—to a point.
Switch to decaf coffee: A study from Duke University Medical Center found that caffeine consumption of 500 mg—roughly three 8-ounce cups of coffee—increased blood pressure by 4 mmhg, and that effect lasted until bedtime.
Drink tea: Study participants who sipped 3 cups of a hibiscus tea daily lowered systolic blood pressure by 7 points in 6 weeks on average, said researchers from Tufts University—results on par with many prescription medications.
Work (a bit) less: Putting in more than 41 hours per week at the office raises your risk of hypertension by 15per cent, according to a University of California, Irvine, study of 24,205 California residents.
Relax with music: Listening to soothing classical, Celtic, or Indian music for 30 minutes daily while breathing slowly helps lower blood pressure, according to researchers at the University of Florence in Italy.
Seek help for snoring: University of Alabama researchers found that many sleep apnea sufferers had high levels of aldosterone, a hormone that can boost blood pressure.
Jump for soy: A study from Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association found for the first time that replacing some of the refined carbohydrates in your diet with foods high in soy or milk protein, such as low-fat dairy, can bring down systolic blood pressure if you have hypertension or prehypertension.