18 Ways to Lower Blood Pressure Without Medication

Medically Reviewed on 11/29/2022

How can I lower my blood pressure quickly without medication?

Lifestyle changes are effective in controlling high blood pressure
Lowering high blood pressure without medication involves lifestyle changes diet modifications.

Lifestyle modifications are effective in controlling high blood pressure. A healthy lifestyle can avoid, delay, or reduce the need for blood pressure medications.

Can high blood pressure return to normal without medication?

In some instances, high blood pressure can occur due to high-stress levels. Extreme stress can cause a temporary elevation in blood pressure. Often, habits associated with excessive stress can lead to high blood pressure, which includes:

  • Overeating
  • Using tobacco
  • Drinking alcohol

Managing stress and stress-related habits can help reverse the condition. Eating healthy and in moderation, quitting smoking, and avoiding alcohol can often reduce the temporary increase in blood pressure without needing medications.

Several factors that contribute to high blood pressure are reversible. Therefore, following these steps can help alleviate blood pressure without taking any medication:

  • Managing stress
  • Eating a healthier diet with less salt
  • Getting regular exercise
  • Losing weight

18 ways to lower blood pressure without medication

Here are 18 ways to control blood pressure without medications:

  1. Weight loss
    • Obesity can increase the risk of high blood pressure. Weight loss has been the most effective way of reducing blood pressure. Even losing 10 lbs can lower blood pressure. The blood pressure reading might lower by 1 mm of mercury with each kilogram of weight lost.
    • Besides losing weight, one should generally focus on abdominal fat. Men and women with waist measurements higher than 40 and 35 inches, respectively, are at risk of high blood pressure. Carrying too much fat around the waistline can increase the risk of blood pressure. 
  2. Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet
    • A program called DASH is advised for the control and prevention of high blood pressure. It recommends cutting away high-fat foods, processed foods, and sugar- and salt-containing foods; avoiding excess salt for dressing and caffeinated drinks such as coffee and energy drinks and focusing on fruits, fresh vegetables, whole grains, and high fiber and high calcium food.
      • Some of the foods allowed in a DASH diet include:
        • Fish
        • Poultry
        • Beans
        • Fewer sweets and red meats
        • Low sodium foods
        • Fruits and vegetable
        • Low-fat dairy
        • Whole grains
  3. Daily exercise or increased activity
    • Daily exercise is an excellent way to lose fat and reduce high blood pressure. Exercising daily for 30 minutes can reduce blood pressure by about 5 to 8 mm Hg. Walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, or dancing are the most effective ways of controlling blood pressure. Meditation and stress-relaxing techniques can help.
      • All these activities can help contribute to weight loss, which include:
        • Climbing stairs
        • Walking instead of driving
        • Performing household chores
        • Gardening
        • Playing a team sport such as pickleball or golfing
        • Going for a bike ride
      • Several combinations of exercises can lower blood pressure, which includes:
  4. Reduce sodium intake
    • People respond to salt differently. Some people may have elevated blood pressure after having salty food. Others may be salt insensitive and can easily excrete the excess salt in the urine without any elevation in the blood pressure. Most Americans consume about 3,400 mg of sodium a day, whereas the recommended daily intake of sodium is 2,300 mg, with an optimal limit of less than 1,500 mg for those with high blood pressure. Avoid using salt at the table to sprinkle over food and reduce the consumption of salted nuts and chips.
  5. Read labels
    • Labels reveal a lot. Read labels for high sodium, saturated fat, and cholesterol value, which can contribute to the risk of high blood pressure. 
    • Always check the serving size. Most packets consist of more than one serving. If you eat the whole packet, you eat more than one serving, adding more calories, fat and other nutrients listed on the label. Moreover, if you are on a restricted-calorie diet, always check the calories provided by a single serving. Accordingly, adjust your serving to prevent getting more calories.
    • Always check if your product has at least three to four grams of dietary fiber. Dietary fiber greatly affects weight management, helping reduce blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases.
    • Check for saturated fat in one serving. For example, it is better to have skim milk or one percent milk rather than whole milk with five grams of saturated fat.
    • Trans fats can increase your body’s bad cholesterol level, commonly found in fast food and processed food.
    • The daily recommended sodium intake should be 2,300 mg or one measuring teaspoon of table salt. Always check sodium values on the label to avoid consuming more than the recommended amount. 
    • Be a smart shopper and avoid or limit foods with high sodium, saturated fats, and cholesterol.
  6. Increase potassium intake
    • Add more potassium to the diet because it regulates the heart rate and nullifies the effect of sodium in the body. Before incorporating these foods into the diet, consult your physician for the right amount of potassium. People with significant kidney disease should restrict the amount of potassium.
      • Potassium-rich foods include:
        • Fruits such as papaya, orange, melons, avocados, and apricots
        • Green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale
        • Low-fat dairy foods, such as milk and yogurt
        • Vegetables such as potatoes and sweet potatoes
        • Tuna and salmon
        • Beans
        • Nuts and seeds
  7. Abstain from heavy alcohol drinking
    • Alcohol can increase blood pressure even in a healthy individual. According to a study, alcohol can increase your blood pressure by 1 mm Hg for every 10 grams of alcohol consumed. Alcohol, when consumed in moderation, may not cause much harm to the body. However, three drinks in one sitting can cause significant changes in blood pressure.
      • The general guidelines for moderate drinking are as follows:
        • Two drinks a day for men younger than 65 years
        • One drink a day for men who are 65 years and older
        • One drink a day for women of any age
    • It is always advisable to abstain from heavy drinking.
  8. Quit smoking
    • Cigarette smoking can temporarily increase blood pressure and heart rate. Long-term use of cigarettes can cause nicotine deposition on the vessel walls, leading to inflammation and narrowing of the artery. Constricted arteries can increase blood pressure.
    • Secondhand exposure to smoking (passive smoking) can affect your blood vessels. Cutting down on smoking helps the blood pressure return to normal. It also helps prevent heart disease risk and improves overall health.
  9. Avoid excess stress
    • Stress hormones or cortisol constrict the blood vessels and can lead to temporary spikes in blood pressure. Stress can also result in overeating, poor sleep, and misusing drugs and alcohol. Reducing stress is crucial for your overall health and blood pressure control. Stress-relieving meditations and breathing techniques can help mitigate stress.
      • Other ways to reduce stress include:
        • Taking a stroll in the park
        • Read a book
        • Watch a comedy film
        • Listening to music daily
        • Regular sauna use
  10. Control the risk factors
    • Uncontrolled diabetes can make it harder to keep blood pressure under control. Hence, controlling diabetes and other risk factors is of utmost importance. Taking prescription medications at the recommended dosages and prescribed times is crucial. If you have other risk factors, taking prescription medication for hypertension might help improve your long-term outcome. 
    • Regular monitoring of blood pressure at home is also advised. 
  11. Avoid processed food or junk foods
    • Most processed and junk foods consist of excess salt.
      • Some of the processed food high in salt include:
        • Chips
        • Other processed snacks
        • Deli meats
        • Canned soup
        • Pizza
    • Reducing sodium, sugar, and refined carbohydrates is crucial for managing blood pressure. Therefore, limiting or avoiding processed or junk food can help you manage your blood pressure to a great extent.
    • Apart from high sodium content, processed food lacks fiber, leading to weight gain and increased blood pressure.
  12. Have your favorite dark chocolates
    • Chocolate reduces blood pressure if it has 60 to 70 percent cocoa. According to experts, the recommended dose is one to two ounces (30 to 60 grams). Studies have reported that eating one to two squares of dark chocolate may help lower the risk of:
    • These heart-protecting properties of chocolate can be attributed to the presence of flavonoids in chocolate with higher cocoa solids. Flavonoids have the following properties that help alleviate blood pressure levels:
      • Dilate blood vessels
      • Widen blood vessels
      • Improve blood flow
  13. Get adequate sleep
    • Your blood pressure lowers when you sleep. Therefore, getting seven to nine hours of sleep is extremely essential to prevent high blood pressure. Getting less than seven hours or more than nine hours of sleep can aggravate your blood pressure.
    • Sleep deprivation can increase C-reactive protein (CRP) in your body. CRP is an indicator of inflammation, which may pave the way for heart disease and hypertension.
    • Some of how you can build your sleep habits and improve your sleep include:
      • Keeping a fixed sleeping schedule
      • Making your bedroom comfortable and free of disruptions
      • Following a relaxing pre-bed routine 
      • Building healthy habits during the day
  14. Cut back on caffeine
    • Caffeine can cause a temporary increase in blood pressure. Some caffeine-sensitive people may have long-lasting effects, but some may have temporary effects.
    • Caffeine-sensitive people should avoid or cut down on caffeine or try decaffeinated caffeine to prevent the risk of hypertension (elevated blood pressure).
    • Various studies support taking tea and coffee as they can have a positive effect on the heart, thereby keeping heart diseases, including blood pressure, at bay.
  15. Take blood pressure-lowering supplements
    • Taking these supplements has been shown to have a positive effect on blood pressure:
      • Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid: Adding fish oil to your diet significantly affects your heart health and blood pressure.
      • Whey protein: They have several benefits in addition to alleviating blood pressure.
      • Magnesium: Magnesium supplementation is essential to treat magnesium deficiency. Magnesium deficiency can lead to high blood pressure.
  16. Include more calcium and protein in your diet
    • Studies have reported that people on low-calcium and protein diets have a high risk of elevated blood pressure. 
    • The recommended daily amount of calcium and protein that has been shown to lower the risk of high blood pressure include:
      • Calcium: 1,000 mg for adults and higher amounts for older adults
      • Protein: Daily intake of 100 grams per day
    • Calcium supplements improve blood pressure, whereas calcium-rich foods are requisite for overall health. Some of the calcium-rich food include:
      • Sardines
      • Tofu
      • Beans
      • Other green leafy vegetables
    • High-quality proteins are commonly found in foods such as:
      • Poultry
      • Eggs
      • Fish such as salmon or tuna
      • Beef
      • Chickpeas
      • Cheese like cheddar
      • Peanut butter or any other nut butter
  17. Get support
    • Getting support from family and loved ones can work wonders. Some of the benefits of strong support include:
      • Encourages you to be more fit
      • Drives you to physician’s office
      • Gives you an emotional and morale boost
      • Offers practical tips to cope with the medication
    • Join a fitness club, personal trainer, or pickleball club; they can provide you with exercise and understand your body’s weaknesses.
    • You can also join support groups if you don’t find the required support from your friends and family.
  18. Drinking water
    • Studies report that drinking six to eight glasses of water daily can affect blood pressure.
    • Dehydration can lead to blood pressure as the blood becomes thicker due to lesser water content. If there’s low water content, the kidney releases renin to retain more water and sodium content inside the body to tackle the fluid crisis. Additionally, dehydration can lead to the release of vasopressin hormone in the brain, which causes constriction of the blood vessels and sodium retention in the body. All these changes can lead to high blood pressure.
    • Hence, drinking adequate water to keep your organs and cells hydrated may reduce the risk of vasopressin (hormone that promotes the retention of water) secretion, lowering your risk of hypertension.


How to Lower Blood Pressure: Exercise and Tips See Slideshow

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Medically Reviewed on 11/29/2022