Natural Ways to Lower Blood Pressure

Natural Ways to Lower Blood Pressure

Natural Ways to Lower Blood Pressure

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is known to be one of the leading causes of cardiovascular (ie, heart and blood vessel-related) disease (CVD) and death.1–3 Although various medications are available for hypertension management, making lifestyle changes is considered one of the most important ways to manage blood pressure. The 2020 Global Hypertension Practice Guidelines by the International Hypertension Society recommends the following natural ways to lower blood pressure.4


  1. Reduce Salt

Research has shown that higher sodium intake is associated with higher blood pressure, CVD risk, and coronary (ie, artery-related) events, while reduced sodium intake is associated with lower blood pressure, and in some cases, lower CVD risk.5–7 The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) recommends daily sodium intake of less than 2,300 mg in healthy adults.8 Avoid or lower the consumption of foods high in dietary sodium to reduce daily sodium intake: processed foods, packaged foods, and restaurant foods.5


  1. Eat a Healthy Diet

Regularly consuming unhealthy diets is known to play a significant role in the development of hypertension and CVD.2,3,9 Consuming a healthy eating pattern like the DASH diet characterized by a high intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fat-free or low-fat dairy products, poultry, fish, nuts, beans, and seeds can help lower blood pressure.10 Heart-healthy diets are also low in sodium, sweets and sugars, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, and red meats. This pattern of eating provides a rich source of protein, fiber, calcium, potassium, and magnesium which are associated with lowering blood pressure.


  1. Limit Alcohol Intake 

High alcohol consumption is known to play a significant role in the development of hypertension and CVD.2,3,9 The 2020-2025 DGA recommends adults of legal drinking age to limit alcohol consumption to <2 drinks/day for men and <1 drink/day for women.8 The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends people to limit their alcohol intake, avoid binge drinking, and for those who do not drink to not start drinking.4,5 


  1. Lose Weight

Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health. Obesity is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality and is associated with various heart-related issues including dyslipidemia (ie, imbalance of blood lipid levels) and coronary artery disease.11,12 Research shows that higher body mass index is related to a higher risk of hypertension.13


  1. Quit Smoking

Smoking is known to be a risk factor for dyslipidemia, hypertension, and CVD.14–18 All major organizations including the AHA strongly recommend stopping the use of all tobacco products including e-cigarettes.19,20 Studies show that smoking cessation counseling, routine assessment of tobacco use, and pharmacotherapy are some effective ways to encourage cessation.


  1. Exercise

Regular physical activity is known to be beneficial for both the prevention and treatment of high blood pressure.4 Both aerobic and resistance exercises can help manage blood pressure. Engaging in moderate intensity aerobic exercises (eg, walking, jogging) for 30 minutes on most days of the week or resistance training 2-3 days a week can help reduce blood pressure.


  1. Reduce Stress

Studies show that chronic stress is associated with hypertension developing later in life.4 Consuming a healthy diet, engaging in regular exercises, getting adequate sleep, and utilizing relaxation techniques (eg, deep breathing exercises, music, and mindfulness exercises) can help reduce stress.21,22


1. Oparil S, Acelajado MC, Bakris GL, et al. Hypertension. Nat Rev Dis Primers. 2018;4:18014. doi:10.1038/nrdp.2018.14
2. Facts About Hypertension | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Published July 6, 2023. Accessed July 21, 2023.
3. Mills KT, Stefanescu A, He J. The Global Epidemiology of Hypertension. Nat Rev Nephrol. 2020;16(4):223-237. doi:10.1038/s41581-019-0244-2
4. Unger T, Borghi C, Charchar F, et al. 2020 International Society of Hypertension Global Hypertension Practice Guidelines. Hypertension. 2020;75(6):1334-1357. doi:10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.120.15026
5. Lichtenstein AH, Appel LJ, Vadiveloo M, et al. 2021 Dietary Guidance to Improve Cardiovascular Health: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2021;144(23):e472-e487. doi:10.1161/CIR.0000000000001031 6. O’Donnell M, Mente A, Yusuf S. Sodium Intake and Cardiovascular Health. Circ Res. 2015;116(6):1046-1057. doi:10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.116.303771
7. Wang YJ, Yeh TL, Shih MC, Tu YK, Chien KL. Dietary Sodium Intake and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease: A Systematic Review and Dose-Response Meta-Analysis. Nutrients. 2020;12(10):2934. doi:10.3390/nu12102934
8. U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025. 9th Edition. December 2020. Available at
9. Belanger MJ, Kovell LC, Turkson‐Ocran R, et al. Effects of the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension Diet on Change in Cardiac Biomarkers Over Time: Results From the DASH‐Sodium Trial. JAHA. 2023;12(2):e026684. doi:10.1161/JAHA.122.026684
10. In Brief: Your Guide to Lowering Your Blood Pressure with DASH.
11. Health Effects of Overweight and Obesity in 195 Countries over 25 Years. N Engl J Med. 2017;377(1):13-27. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1614362
12. Mitchell N, Catenacci V, Wyatt HR, Hill JO. Obesity: Overview of an Epidemic. Psychiatr Clin North Am. 2011;34(4):717-732. doi:10.1016/j.psc.2011.08.005
13. Khanna D, Peltzer C, Kahar P, Parmar MS. Body Mass Index (BMI): A Screening Tool Analysis. Cureus. 14(2):e22119. doi:10.7759/cureus.22119
14. Kim SW, Kim HJ, Min K, et al. The Relationship Between Smoking Cigarettes and Metabolic Syndrome: A Cross-Sectional Study with Non-Single Residents of Seoul Under 40 Years Old. PLoS One. 2021;16(8):e0256257. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0256257
15. Regufe VMG, Pinto CMCB, Perez PMVHC. Metabolic Syndrome in Type 2 Diabetic Patients: A Review of Current Evidence. Porto Biomed J. 2020;5(6):e101. doi:10.1097/j.pbj.0000000000000101
16. Singer GM, Setaro JF. Secondary Hypertension: Obesity and the Metabolic Syndrome. J Clin Hypertens. 2008;10(7):567-574. doi:10.1111/j.1751-7176.2008.08178.x
17. Grundy SM, Cleeman JI, Daniels SR, et al. Diagnosis and Management of the Metabolic Syndrome. Circulation. 2005;112(17):e285-e290. doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.105.169405
18. Balhara YPS. Tobacco and Metabolic Syndrome. Indian J Endocrinol Metab. 2012;16(1):81-87. doi:10.4103/2230-8210.91197
19. ElSayed NA, Aleppo G, Aroda VR, et al. 5. Facilitating Positive Health Behaviors and Well-being to Improve Health Outcomes: Standards of Care in Diabetes—2023. Diabetes Care. 2022;46(Supplement_1):S68-S96. doi:10.2337/dc23-S005
20. Virani SS, Newby LK, Arnold SV, et al. 2023 AHA/ACC/ACCP/ASPC/NLA/PCNA Guideline for the Management of Patients With Chronic Coronary Disease: A Report of the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology Joint Committee on Clinical Practice Guidelines. Circulation. 0(0). doi:10.1161/CIR.0000000000001168
21. Worthen M, Cash E. Stress Management. In: StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing; 2023. Accessed October 26, 2023.
22. Kumar A, Rinwa P, Kaur G, Machawal L. Stress: Neurobiology, Consequences and Management. J Pharm Bioallied Sci. 2013;5(2):91-97. doi:10.4103/0975-7406.111818



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