Great Ways to Lower Your Blood Pressure

As we established in a previous post about diabetes, South Asian people and people of South Asian descent are particularly susceptible to high blood pressure. Click here to read that post. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t ways you can help yourself through simple dietary changes.

Even though high blood pressure often calls for medication, there are lifestyle changes we can make that bring improvements. In fact, the changes we’re laying out in this post are often among the first suggestions from professionals. They may not always be enough to lower to a healthy range, but healthy changes are always beneficial.

In this post, we’re going to lay out exactly what hypertension is and what it means for your health, as well as some of the most common ways people can naturally reduce their blood pressure. Lastly, we’ll be discussing ways you can modify a South Asian diet to make it healthier.

What Is Blood Pressure and How Is It Measured?

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a very common chronic condition. It simply refers to how much blood is being pumped through your arteries and the resistance each pump faces, which creates the pressure. Over time, resistance in your arteries can cause health issues if left unaddressed.

When you have your blood pressure measured, you receive it in two numbers. The first number, which is the higher number, measures pressure in your arteries when your heart beats. The second number, which is lower, measures pressure in your arteries between beats.

A healthy blood pressure is less than 120/80 mmHg (that’s millimeters of mercury). Blood pressure of 129/80 is still okay, but elevated, and anything over 130/80-89 is cause for attention. Blood pressure that reads 140/90 or more is a level of hypertension that should be immediately addressed.

What Happens If I Don’t Address Hypertension?

The tricky thing about high blood pressure and hypertension is that you can have it for years without experiencing symptoms. It typically does not become an apparent issue until middle age, but it can be present for long before that point. Left untreated, hypertension significantly increases your risk of health conditions such as heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.

Luckily, however, blood pressure is also incredibly easy to measure! If you don’t know where to get your blood pressure tested, SEWA-AIFW offers free testing at our monthly health clinics. Click here to see our events calendar and find the next clinic.

Ideally, you should be getting your blood pressure tested at each doctor’s visit, or at least once every two years from age 18.

If left unaddressed, hypertension can lead to serious health conditions later in life. Such conditions include:

  • Heart attack or stroke

  • Heart failure

  • Aneurysm

  • Weakened blood vessels in the kidneys or eyes

  • Memory troubles

  • Dementia

Remember that these conditions are the result of allowing hypertension to simply progress. The good news is that there are a lot of things we can do to address high blood pressure.

The Most Common Ways to Address Hypertension

Many doctors and medical professionals agree on several ways to address hypertension. These are often among the first recommendations after a diagnosis. However, if diagnosed with hypertension, whether by your doctor or a test at one of our health clinics, it’s important to work with a medical professional to come up with a plan for strategically lowering your blood pressure.

That said, here are a few very common ways to help alleviate hypertension.

Lose Weight

Weight loss is one of the best ways to manage blood pressure. Your blood pressure tends to increase with weight, so losing excess weight is a great way to push it lower.

Losing weight is especially helpful if you are already overweight or have hypertension. If your weight is not a concern or within a healthy range, then losing weight isn’t advisable. Otherwise, losing 10 pounds can have a significant improvement on your blood pressure, as well as other