High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a major contributor to nearly 18 million lives lost each year. There are, of course, a number of blood pressure medications that patients turn to, but for people seeking out alternative treatments, there are also plenty of options available.
Certain lifestyle changes can lead the way to healthy blood pressure levels. Some are tougher to maintain than others, but here are five simple ways to lower blood pressure according to research published on StudyFinds.
And if you’ve got some extra suggestions of your own that can help bring down high blood pressure, please leave them in the comments section after the post! Remember, it’s always best to discuss any changes to your diet and lifestyle for medical purposes with your doctor first.
Mindfulness training can lower high blood pressure
The technique of clearing one’s mind and focusing on the present moment is known as mindfulness training. One study shows it can be beneficial for blood pressure patients since it improves attention control, emotion regulation, and self-awareness of daily habits.
A Mindfulness-Based Blood Pressure Reduction (MB-BP) program for 43 people dealing with high blood pressure was developed in the study. The program intends to help the participants pay better attention to their daily thoughts, actions, emotions, and habits. Aiming to make them better equipped in cutting down blood pressure risk factors.
Results showed significant improvement in self-regulation tendencies, and as a consequence, significantly lower blood pressure readings for the participants. “Mindfulness may represent another approach to helping these people bring their blood pressure down, by allowing them to understand what’s happening in their minds and bodies,” says lead author Eric Loucks, an associate professor of epidemiology, behavioral and social sciences, and medicine at Brown University.
READ MORE: Study: Can’t shake high blood pressure? Mindfulness training may be the answer
Aim for 10,000 steps each day!
For many people, hitting the gym regularly or creating a home exercise routine is easier said than done. So how about just taking a walk? One study says the more steps you take each day the more likely you can keep your blood pressure and heart healthy.
The study tracked more than 600 people who were asked to wear an Apple watch and record their blood pressure weekly for several months. Results show that the systolic blood pressure dropped by 0.45 points for every 1,000 steps the smart watch users took each day. In light with that, a person taking 10,000 steps a day lowered their blood pressure by over four points.
The average systolic blood pressure of everyone involved in the study was 122, which is just above what health experts consider normal (120 and under). Thus, showing the difference between normal and high blood pressure with the 10,000 steps done.
READ MORE: Taking more steps each day linked to lower blood pressure, heart study finds
Turn to tea, cocoa, red wine, and other flavanol-rich foods
Another way patients can cut their risk for hypertension is by tweaking their diet, a recent study says. Diets high in flavanols have a strong link to lowering blood pressure.
Flavanol-rich foods include apples, berries, cocoa, and drinks like red wine and tea.
The study examined the diets of over 25,000 people, monitoring what each participant ate along with their blood pressure. The results reveal that people in the top 10 percent in terms of flavanol intake had blood pressures between 2 and 4 mmHg lower than those in the bottom 10 percent.
Findings also provide solid scientific evidence of flavanol’s benefit. Each of the 25,618 participants had their flavanol intake measured using nutritional biomarkers. These indicators live in the blood and reveal a person’s dietary intake, metabolism, and nutritional status.
Participants with hypertension experienced the biggest impact of eating a high-flavanol diet.
READ MORE: Tea and cocoa lovers rejoice! Flavanol-rich diets help lower blood pressure
Lingonberry: It’s tiny, but can put a big dent in blood pressure
Individuals dealing with high blood pressure should try drinking more lingonberry juice, according to a study. Long-term consumption of lingonberry juice can both lower blood pressure and improve overall blood vessel functioning.
In the study, a group of rats suffering from genetically-induced high blood pressure were fed one of three juices daily for a period of 8-10 weeks. Diluted lingonberry juice was found to significantly lower the rats’ high blood pressure.
The study strongly believes lingonberry juice’s benefits are likely strengthened by its ability to lower overall low-grade inflammation in the body.
READ MORE: Tiny fruit, big benefit: Lingonberry juice may lower high blood pressure, study finds
Yogurt daily does the trick!
Yogurt contains bacteria that promotes the release of proteins which lowers blood pressure. It possesses a range of micronutrients, including calcium, magnesium and potassium, all of which are involved in the regulation of blood pressure. According to a study, a yogurt a day may be the key to reducing your blood pressure.
In the study, researchers measured yogurt eating habits of 900 participants through a food frequency questionnaire. They also tracked blood pressure, defining hypertension as any reading above 140/90 mmHg. Normal blood pressure sits around 120/80 mmHg, with anything higher still being a cause for concern.
This study shows participants with elevated blood pressure saw lower levels after regularly consuming even small amounts of yogurt. Results were even stronger for people who eat yogurt on a daily basis.
READ MORE: A daily yogurt could help millions control their high blood pressure – Study finds
These are only a sample of the many different alternative methods and lifestyle changes that can bring down high blood pressure. Be sure to check out StudyFinds’ section on Heart Health along with our library of research on blood pressure.