Ways to 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 and lose weight – a little red wine only [11, 33]. – Read 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 of 10 g a day to a 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, improve diet, lose weight and keep your arteries from going hard [31]. 

5. Improve Diet (simple NHS tips) and lose weight: 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 yoghurt. Reduce processed meats! [36].

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Action? Like to improve 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 are strongly supported by research studies.

video cameraThis means going through all the main muscles in your body, in turn, tensing them and then relaxing them. Look at NHS Inform video on progressive muscle relaxation (3.5 mins)

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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 being good for our physical health, more exercise that you enjoy, 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 more exercise that you enjoy, maybe a workout from the NHS Fitness Studio’s selection of online exercise videos?

11. Cut down on caffeine, e.g. coffee and coke.

Stop sign

12.  stop smoking

page updated 16 October 2021.  © 2021 social enterprise Diabetes-cutmyrisks.co.uk.™ Ltd.