Almost half of all adults in the U.S. have chronic high blood pressure or hypertension, but only 25% have the condition under control. This is largely because hypertension usually doesn't cause symptoms until blood pressure levels become extremely high. It is also because it is a complex condition that may require multiple interventions. Read on to learn more about the importance of maintaining a healthy blood pressure range and what you can do to lower blood pressure naturally.
What's a Healthy Blood Pressure?
Blood pressure readings contain two numbers: systolic and diastolic. Systolic pressure is the top number and refers to blood pressure levels when the heart is actively pumping blood. Also called the bottom number, diastolic pressure is when the heart is resting between beats.
Healthy blood pressure is generally defined as:
- Systolic pressure of less than 120 mmHg, and
- Diastolic pressure of 80 mmHg
Readings of 120 to 129 mmHg over 80 mmHg or higher are considered elevated blood pressure. You enter Hypertension Stage 1 if your systolic reading is 130 to 139 mmHg or your diastolic reading is 80 to 89 mmHg.
What Are the Causes of Hypertension?
Some causes of hypertension include:
- Buildup of plaque in the arteries
- Hardening of the arteries
- Thyroid problems
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Kidney disease
- Adrenal gland tumors
- Defects in the heart or blood vessels
What Are the Risks of Hypertension?Having hypertension dramatically increases your risk for:
- Heart attack
- Heart failure
- Kidney damage
- Eye problems, which can include permanent blindness
Natural Ways to Lower Blood Pressure
When blood pressure becomes elevated, or doctors believe there is a risk that it might become elevated in the future, they typically recommend lifestyle changes before trying medication. Medical professionals suggest the following common changes for blood pressure management.
Nutrition and Vascular Health
A healthy diet is essential for blood pressure control. Often, doctors recommend the DASH diet that includes high levels of potassium, calcium, magnesium, fiber, and protein with reductions in saturated fat and sodium intake. You fill your plate with grains, vegetables, and fruits on the DASH diet and eat fat-free and low-fat dairy products, lean meats, poultry, and fish daily. In addition, the diet suggests eating daily servings of healthy fats in moderation and nuts, seeds, and legumes a few times a week.
Exercise for Healthy Blood Pressure
Exercise has been proven to lower blood pressure levels and help reduce hypertension risk in those with normal blood pressure. The CDC suggests:
- 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every week, or
- 75 minutes of high-intensity exercise every week
Other Lifestyle Changes for Blood Pressure Control
Some other tips for lowering blood pressure include:
- Quitting smoking
- Drinking no more than one alcoholic beverage per day if you're a woman or two if you're a man
- Managing stress through relaxation techniques, therapy, talking with loved ones, hobbies, and other interventions
- Getting enough sleep every night
- Losing weight through a healthy diet and exercise if you're overweight or obese
Supplements That May Help Lower Blood Pressure
While not a substitute for blood pressure medications, dietary supplements may help people maintain healthy blood pressure levels combined with the lifestyle changes outlined above.
Some doctors recommend magnesium malate, a form of the essential mineral magnesium. Research into magnesium and blood vessels has found that the mineral may have a relaxing effect that increases blood flow. Based on these findings, magnesium may provide circulation and vein support, and the risk of high blood pressure decreases when the blood can move more freely through the circulatory system.
Polyphenols are another common supplement taken for blood pressure control and heart health. They are compounds found naturally in plants and include punicalagin derived from pomegranate and grape seed extract. The benefits of polyphenols come from their antioxidant potential. These substances help fight free radical damage that is a crucial contributor to inflammation and has been shown to play a role in heart disease and related conditions like high blood pressure.
Body Kitchen Blood Pressure Balance contains clinically effective doses of magnesium malate, Pomanox pomegranate extracts standardized to 30% punicalagin, and patented MegaNatural-BP grape seed extract standardized to 90 to 95% polyphenols. The supplement lets you reap the benefits of three critical ingredients by taking just two capsules daily. Ask your doctor if Body Kitchen Blood Pressure Balance is ideal for your blood pressure management needs.