3 Natural Ways to Reduce Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is often first encountered by women when they reach menopause as this is also the time when they start putting on weight.
Blood pressure is a measure of the force that your blood puts on the alls of your arteries. It changes naturally as you move around, exercise or sleep, but the usual rates are less than 120 systolic and less than 80 diastolic.
The problem with high blood pressure is that the symptoms are usually not that obvious. That’s why it is important to keep an eye on your blood pressure levels once you reach menopause, as leaving it untreated can lead to serious health issues such as stroke, heart disease and kidney failure.
In rare cases people with high blood pressure can also suffer from headaches, blurred vision, nosebleeds and shortness of breath.
The main factors affecting blood pressure are:
- Age – the risk of high blood pressure increases as you get older
- High salt intake
- Lack of exercise
- Being overweight
- Large alcohol intake
If your blood pressure is seriously high, doctors may recommend medication to control it. However, at early stages it is possible to control it with simpler, more natural methods.
The three natural tips for reducing high blood pressure that follow are best used in conjunction for maximum effect.
Balance your hormones
Once you hit menopause the natural production of oestrogen from the ovaries stops or slows down. Production of the hormone is then switched to the fat cells of the stomach, resulting in a larger belly and frequently a bloated feeling. Increased oestrogen can be very helpful for combating many of the symptoms of menopause, but it must be equally balanced by progesterone.
If you have too much oestrogen compared with progesterone, bioidentical natural progesterone cream could be the solution. One of the main problems from having too much oestrogen is water retention in the body, which is a common cause of excess weight and bloating.
Increasing your progesterone levels helps to purge your tissues of oestrogen and acts as a diuretic to remove excess weight and reduce bloating. Lowering your overall body weight will also reduce blood pressure.
Maintain a health weight
While an increase in progesterone has been proven to help in weight loss, a healthy diet should not be underestimated. The Mediterranean diet is often recommended for weight loss as it is low in sugar and processed foods.
Studies have shown that the intake of calcium, magnesium and potassium can lower blood pressure, as magnesium is essential for the maintenance of heart muscle contraction, and potassium is important for maintaining stable blood pressure. A Swedish study of 34,670 women over 49 showed that women who had diets higher in potassium and magnesium were less likely to suffer from strokes.
Both yoghurt and cranberries have been shown to help reduce high blood pressure by the American Heart Association. The 15 year study of 2,000 people found that if just 2% of daily calorie intake comes from yoghurt, there is a 31% reduction in the risk of developing high blood pressure compared with people who don’t eat yoghurt at all. However, flavoured yoghurt or yoghurt with fruit added during manufacturing contains high sugar and additive levels and can reduce the positive effects of yoghurt on blood pressure.
Drinking cranberry juice can also have a significant effect on reducing blood pressure. A study undertaken over eight weeks found that drinking a glass of cranberry juice each day resulted in an average blood pressure drop of three points.
Everyone knows completely avoiding stress is an impossible goal, but learning how to deal with being stressed properly can have a significant effect on high blood pressure levels. Techniques such as slow, deep breathing, meditation, relaxation, yoga, tai chi, or quietly reading or listening to music can all have a positive effect on stress reduction.
Regular exercise is also proven to reduce stress levels, as well as helping to lose weight, and does not need to be anything excessive. Regular walking or visits to the swimming pool can have a large positive effect on stress reduction.
Many people choose to combine medication for high blood pressure with bioidentical creams to help deal with menopause symptoms. Sometimes this can mean a reduction in the number of medications you need to take, but it is always advisable to consult with your doctor first.