High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a chronic condition in which the blood pressure readings are higher than normal. It can be primary and secondary. Primary hypertension is a high blood pressure that does not have an apparent medical cause, while the secondary results from problems with kidneys, heart, arteries or the endocrine system.
In any case, it is important to keep the blood pressure at bay and at normal levels, which is generally 120/80 mmHg, although slight variations are tolerated.
When the hypertension is first diagnosed, doctors prescribe appropriate medication to keep it at normal levels and thus prevent serious health problems that may arise. However, along with the medications, there are other natural ways that can effectively complement the therapy and improve the blood pressure.
Dietary and lifestyle changes are very important in the battle against hypertension. Yoga and exercise can help a lot, especially if combined with a diet consisting of foods known for their ability to lower the blood pressure.
Yoga and exercise
Yoga is believed to be one of the best natural ways to reduce blood pressure. Even though it has been practiced for hundreds of years, only now it has gained popularity and respect in the Western world as a technique highly beneficial for overall health and for individual disorders and conditions. Yoga reduces stress and provides a peace of mind, thus lowering the blood pressure, and it also improves the functioning of all internal organs. Some of the best yoga exercises for lowering blood pressure are Sukhasan, Ardha Matsyendrasana, Pavanamuktasan and Anuloma Viloma.
Exercise is generally highly recommended for hypertension sufferers, as long as it is moderate and carefully planned with a doctor. The best exercises are walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, aerobics and similar.
Every doctor will advise their hypertension patients to make some dietary changes. This is essential not only because some foods are known for elevating the blood pressure, but also because some, due to their properties, are actually capable of lowering it or bringing it back to normal. Therefore, foods that increase the pressure should be avoided, and they include all greasy fried foods, as well as high-sodium or salty foods.
On the other hand, foods that are recommended for hypertension sufferers include fresh fruits and vegetables and foods rich in magnesium, potassium and calcium. Eating a lot of garlic is highly recommended, and today there are garlic supplements or capsules that can be taken instead of actual garlic cloves.
Other recommended foods include dark chocolate and cocoa, apple cider vinegar, whole grains and foods rich in essential fatty acids, like fatty fish, seeds and nuts.