Reduce stress and lower your blood pressure with these natural remedies
When you eat too much sodium, the body holds onto extra water, which can put strain on your blood vessels. Recent research shows that Brits eat 8.1g of salt a day – that’s 2 whole extra grams over the recommended 6. Although you might not be sprinkling it onto your meals, it can be a hidden danger in foods like bread, soups, condiments and ready meals. Check the labels when shopping, and opt for herbs, spices and lemon juice to season your cooking.
Potassium is a chemical that balances out the negative effects of salt
(one of the key culprits in high blood pressure) and helps the kidneys
work more efficiently. The best source of potassium comes from fruits
and vegetables such as bananas, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, orange juice,
potatoes, kidney beans, peas, melons and dried fruits. Avoid supplements
as not to risk a potassium overdose and upsetting the balance in the
Studies show that owning a pet can relieve stress and anxiety which in
turn promotes heart health. Also dog owners who regularly walk their
pooch can benefit from the effects of physical exercise on lowering
Herbalists are big fans of Hawthorn, which has been used for centuries to help promote a healthy heart and circulation. Some reckon that's the reason we have so many Hawthorn hedges in this country. Fushi's Hawthorn + Bilberry Tincture, £16, has Hawthorn to support the heart and Horsechestnut which is known for its ability to tone the walls of the veins. This mix is also said to assist in reducing nervous tension and blood pressure.
It's well documented that yoga is helpful in lowering blood pressure. The best moves are the forward bending poses which are said to have a pacifying effect on the nervous system and brain while helping to reduce stress.
As well as getting you fit, helping you lose weight and lifting your mood, walking can also help lower your blood pressure. Make sure your walking pace is enough to raise your heart rate, and to do it regularly. Start with two ten minute walks a day at a brisk pace and increase your speed and time as you get used to your new found exercise. Easy ways to include more walking in your day include taking the stairs, getting off the bus or tube a stop earlier or parking futher away from your destination.