Natural Ways to Bring Down Blood Pressure

According to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, high blood pressure increases your risk of stroke, kidney disease and heart disease. If you have high blood pressure, or hypertension, it’s important to take steps to control it. While prescription medications are often prescribed to lower blood pressure, there are a number of natural ways to bring down blood pressure without resorting to medication.

Lifestyle Changes

Lifestyle changes can help prevent and control high blood pressure. Eat a diet that emphasizes plenty of fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products and whole grains. Decreasing the amount of saturated fat and salt in your diet can also be effective. According to the Mayo Clinic, limiting your intake of sodium to 1,500 mg a day will have an effect on your blood pressure.

Maintain a healthy weight through diet and exercise. Increasing your physical activity to 30 minutes a day can help you lose weight and help lower your blood pressure.

Manage your stress. Find ways that help you relax, such as practicing deep breathing exercises, meditation and yoga. Relax and get enough sleep.

Quit smoking. Over time, tobacco hardens your arteries and damages blood vessel walls.

Drink alcohol in moderation, as it can raise blood pressure.

Alternative Medicine

According to the Mayo Clinic, certain supplements may help decrease blood pressure. These include omega-3 fatty acids, garlic, calcium, alpha-linolenic acid, cod-liver oil and cocoa. Supplements can be incorporated into your diet as food or they can be taken in pill or capsule form. Before taking any supplements to manage high blood pressure, talk to your doctor to make sure no interactions will occur with the medications you are currently taking.

When Natural Remedies Are Not Enough

If you have high blood pressure, it’s important that you work with your physician to determine what course of treatment is right for you. If your blood pressure is too high for you to manage with exercise and lifestyle changes alone, prescription medications such as beta blockers, alpha blockers, ACE inhibitors or diuretics may be necessary to lower your number.

According to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute