Many diabetic patients are have abnormally high blood pressure readings. High blood pressure is typically diagnosed when patients have two or more blood pressure readings that are greater than 140/90. For diabetic patients, it is preferred to see blood pressure readings below 130/80. When hypertension, of high blood pressure, is diagnosed many patients are asked to start medications. However, if your readings are only a little elevated and you are interested in natural high blood pressure reduction, you could try the following home remedies.
Two of the Best Natural High Blood Pressure Reducers
Sodium: Lower is Better!
One of the best ways to reduce blood pressure naturally is to LOWER your intake of salt! The American diet is overloaded with sodium with the average American consuming approximately 1,000 mg more than the recommended daily amounts of sodium per day. The Institute of Medicine advises that patients with hypertension consume no more than 1,500 mg of sodium today. This requires many patients to reduce their salt intake by more than half! However borderline hypertensive patients can often avoid use of medications if they stick to a low sodium diet because this important lifestyle change has been proven to reduce blood pressure readings by as much as 8 mm Hg!
Tips to Reduce Sodium Intake:
- Avoid prepackaged meals
- Buy fresh or frozen vegetables. Canned foods are very high in sodium.
- Limit fast food and dining out
- Read labels!
- Cook at home!
- Follow the DASH diet! (This is one of the best natural blood pressure reducers!)
Potassium: Cancel out Salt with Potassium
Studies have shown that patients who increase their potassium intake have lower blood pressure readings because this important substance balances out the bad effects of salt. Patients should try to include potassium rich foods in their diet to enjoy this benefit. It is not advised that patients with hypertension start a potassium supplement, unless advise to do so by their doctors, because too much potassium can lead to serious health problems.
Foods that are rich in potassium include:
- Sweet Potatoes
- Lima Beans
In addition to the above, studies strongly support the role of weight loss and exercise as ways to lower blood pressure without medications. The key to successful blood pressure management is a combination of healthy diet that is low in sodium, routine exercise and weight loss. Even a small change can make a big difference in patients looking to reduce blood pressure naturally!
Other natural, but less researched blood pressure reducers include:
- Garlic: Garlic is a favorite for use in improving cardiovascular health.
- Celery: This food is popular in Chinese medicine and some studies have shown over a 10 point reduction in blood pressure with celery.
- Tea: Many studies support the use of tea for improving heart health and as a natural way to lower blood pressure levels.
- Tomato: This food has been shown to lower blood pressure readings, possibly due to its potassium content.
- Basil: Studies have shown basil can reduce blood pressure temporarily.