Cut blood pressure without drugs

Follow the blood pressure treatments your doctor recommends. Also, here are 12 extra ways to cut your blood pressure without drugs. Small changes improve your health [10, 18].   

[Time to read: 5 mins]   

1. Limit your alcohol – a little red wine only [11, 33]. – The UK NHS on alcohol limits.

2.  Lose weight – simple tips from NHS, but not always easy!

3.  Avoid salt – a lot in ready meals, so read the labels. Cut your salt from UK average 10 g a day to max. of 6 g a day. This could reduce your risk of a stroke by 1 in 5, and of a heart attack by 1 in 8 [31]. Remember some pub pie and mash can have 7.5 g salt. Two million deaths could be prevented each year if global salt use was reduced [WHO, 2016].

herbs & spices

4. More herbs and spices. Use your choice of flavours in fresh herbs and spices to reduce your salt and keep your arteries from going hard [31]. 

5. Change Diet (simple NHS tips): nuts are good (walnuts, cashews, almonds) and seeds [36]; also garlic; eat green leafy vegetables; increase other fruit and vegetables, e.g. avocado, sweet potato, white beans; plenty of oily fish [36];  a little dark chocolate [34]; fat-free plain yogurt. Reduce processed meats! [36].

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Action? Like to change your diet plan here?

6.  Get calm and stay calm, no matter how hectic or worrying your life is. So maybe:

  • Before you go to bed, write down things you were grateful for that happened today. e.g. ‘I am grateful for….a really productive morning of work.’
  • The American Academy of Sleep Medicine concluded that Progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) was one of only three non-medical treatments for sleeping problems that’s strongly supported by research studies. This means going through all the main muscles in your body in turn, tensing them and then relaxing them.
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7. “A small pet is a good companion”, as Florence Nightingale said. If you’ve enjoyed a pet before, research on pet assistance shows that a dog can improve mental & medical problems and emotions [38].

8.  Potassium is good, e.g. in bananas; but avoid too much sodium (salt) that can destroy it [31, 36].

9.  Get more sun and more sleep – can keep your blood pressure down. Most of us need about 8 hours of sleep a night, as the NHS advises.

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10. More Exercise that you enjoy: out of breath five times a week for 30 minutes! As well as good for our physical health, exercise of any kind releases dopamine, the ‘happy’ hormone, which leaves us feeling better [10, 11, 12].

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Action? change your exercise plan? Choose a workout from the NHS Fitness Studio’s selection of online exercise videos?

11. Cut down on caffeine (see myths & facts), e.g. coffee and coke.

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12.  stop smoking

page updated 12 June 2020.  © 2020 social enterprise Diabetes-cutmyrisks.co.uk.™ Ltd.