About 1 in 3 adults have issues with high blood pressure in the United States, and only about half of those people have their blood pressure under control. While there is medicine that you can take to help lower your blood pressure, there are natural things you can do and changes to your everyday life that can enhance your healing experience.
Change Your Diet
Your diet plays a huge role in all aspects of your health, so when it comes to getting healthy, you’ll see this at the top of most lists. When it comes to your blood pressure, there are foods that can make it worse and foods that can make it better. Tailoring your diet to your specific health needs is a great way to feeling your best. If you struggle with high blood pressure, try adding these foods to your diet:
- Leafy greens
- Skim milk
- Red beets
Some foods that you should stay away from are:
- Refined sugar
Being inactive is linked to higher blood pressure, so make every excuse you can to get moving. When just starting, try to park a little father or find a reason to get up during commercials while watching TV. Use your creativity to find little ways to be more active every day. There will come a time where you are able to do full-on exercises, which could be now considering how your health is right now, but there is something to consider before starting.
When you work out, your blood pressure rises for a short period and will eventually lower back down to normal. If your blood pressure is 180/100 or higher, you need to speak with your doctor before engaging in physical activity. Once they give you the go ahead and have given you some guidance, you can safely start getting to work on making your heart healthier. One of the best exercises that you can do that can help regulate your blood pressure without putting too much strain on you is going for daily walks. Start with five minutes and work your way up!
You don’t have to be overweight to have heart issues, but being overweight doesn’t help one bit. If you have high blood pressure and you are overweight, one of the first things you should be trying to do is getting your waist size down. Not so you can fit into your pants from college, but so that you don’t have a heart attack.
Being overweight puts an unnecessary strain on your heart, and one of the biggest indicators that researchers and doctors use is your waistline. If your waist is more 35 inches as a woman or 40 inches as a man, your weight could be jeopardizing your heart health. If you are having trouble shaving off the pounds, check out these biohacks for losing weight.
When you get stressed out or have anxiety, it causes repeated elevations of your heart rate and blood pressure. This is because stress is a mechanic your body uses to get more oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to your muscles so that you can react to the fight-or-flight response created by the amygdala during stress and anxiety. While studies have indicated that stress does not directly cause high blood pressure, it can play a role in how it develops. While stress isn’t completely avoidable, you can change the way it affects you and your body.
Some ways to help reduce stress in your life are:
- Learn to say “No.”
- Know when you can change things and when you can’t
- Practice how you react to things you can’t control
- Avoid things that overly stress you out known as “triggers”
- Solve the problems you can when you can
- Be kind
If you are someone with an anxiety disorder, this list may be laughable because no matter what coping mechanism you try, your brain always wins. If you are struggling with anxiety, try using CBD oil. Studies have shown that it can reduce stress and anxiety by reducing the overactivity in the amygdala which is one of the regions that creates your anxiety. This will make it easier to perform coping mechanisms, and with the help of a therapist, the CBD oil is just a temporary tool until you get everything under control.
Quit Smoking and Drinking
Smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol aren’t good for you no matter how you look at it. When your health is suffering, these are the first two things you need to cut out of your life. While we know this isn’t easy as both of these substances cause addiction, it is still important to make the decision that you are done with hurting your body.
The nicotine from the cigarettes raises your heart rate and blood pressure, narrows your arteries, and hardens the arterial walls making your blood more likely to clot. When you drink alcohol, your blood pressure raises but usually returns to normal. This can be dangerous if your blood pressure is already high. Alcohol is usually high in sugars and calories which can also lead to more blood pressure problems.
If quitting cigarettes and alcohol was easy, the tobacco industry would be out of business and AA wouldn’t exist. If you are struggling, try using CBD oil. CBD has shown in studies to help with addiction by reducing the cravings and certain withdrawal symptoms like pain, nausea, and irritability.
Meditation is one of those things that has been done for a long time, but people are still unsure of whether or not it is worth a try. Luckily, we live in a time of modern science that has shown us what we should or shouldn’t be doing when it comes to our health. This includes meditating to help with your high blood pressure.
Studies have shown that mindfulness meditation may be able to help lower high blood pressure by reducing symptoms of stress and depression as well as making changes in the brain that can lead to more emotional control, effectively helping you to live a less stressful life.
The first thing you should be doing is making regular appointments to the doctor. If every time you go into the doctor’s office you are told your blood pressure is high or getting there, you should invest in an at-home blood pressure testing kit.
If you have a way to measure your blood pressure at home, you can do what is called biohacking. After you go a few days with a changed diet or start working out, you can see whether or not it put a dent in your blood pressure. When the numbers change, it can give you a sense of accomplishment helping to give you the motivation to continue to change your life for the better, as well as show you what is working and what isn’t.
Cannabidiol (CBD) has been mentioned a few times above to help with things like addiction and losing weight, but it has shown in studies that it may be able to do more than that when it comes to your blood pressure.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol is a chemical that comes from the cannabis or hemp plant. Unlike the chemical THC that is so infamous, CBD oil doesn’t have intoxicating effects that make you high. Instead, CBD oil has a long list of healing potential with low-risk side-effects. The reason that CBD oil can have its hand in so many different ailments is because of how it interacts with the endocannabinoid system.
The endocannabinoid system is a system in your body that keeps you regulated, also known as homeostasis. Composed of several important parts, the endocannabinoid system is made of endocannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors which are found all over your body. The CBD oil elevates and enhances these endocannabinoids which bind to the cannabinoid receptor which effectively help treat symptoms of illnesses.
How Does CBD Oil Help with Blood Pressure?
Studies have shown that people who were given just one dose of CBD oil had lowered blood pressure. This is because of one of the endocannabinoids called anandamide.
Anandamide is the endocannabinoid that mainly binds to the CB1 receptor which is in charge of your neurological system. When the anandamide is elevated by the CBD and binds to the CB1 receptor, it reduces the force used to pump blood. This allows for more significant blood flow and reduces the pressure.
Taking CBD oil can be a precautionary tactic as well. CBD oil has shown in rodent models that it make be able to protect cells from stroke and heart attack. When your cells lose blood or oxygen, they start to take damage and die off. CBD oil has shown to have protective and rejuvenating effects potentially helping to reduce the likelihood of stroke and heart attack.
If you want to start taking CBD oil for your blood pressure, be sure to tell your doctor. Work with them to figure out what medications you are already on can be taken with CBD oil and which ones cannot to see if this is the right route for you. They can also help you monitor your condition so you can see if you are making the right amount of progress.