Medicines are not always the first line of treatment for high blood pressure. In some cases, your doctor might recommend few lifestyle changes that can help you to control high blood pressure without medicines. Dr Santosh Kumar Dora, Senior Cardiac Electro Physiologist, Asian Heart Institute (AHI), Mumbai shares few non-drug ways to keep hypertension in control.
Follow DASH diet: The first and most important measure to control hypertension without drugs is to be extremely particular about your diet. Follow DASH (Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension) diet that consists of fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, low salt intake and less fat intake.
Cut down on non-vegetarian food: While you should limit the intake of boneless chicken and fish, red meat and seafood is a strict no-no for people with hypertension. Hence, make sure most of your diet is loaded with fresh fruits and vegetables.
Exercise every day: You do not have to be a fitness freak or know in detail about exercises to ensure you are physically active. Even walking for 30 minutes every day five days a week is all you need to keep your blood pressure in control.
Lose weight (especially around the waist): It goes without saying that the more weight you have around the waist, the higher is the risk of hypertension. Hence, cut down abdominal fat by strict diet control (not fat rich foods and red meat) and regular workout.
Watch out for sodium in diet: A key risk factor that can up your blood pressure is an excess intake of sodium in the diet. Hence cut down on foods high in sodium like salt and also eating out (as restaurant foods are loaded with sodium). Instead, eat home cooked food and opt for potassium-rich foods like banana and pumpkin seeds.
Drink in moderation: Do not binge but drink in moderation as anything in excess can harm your health. Additionally, if taken with blood pressure medications, then it might decrease the effectiveness.
Reduce stress: Not everything is in your hands but staying away from triggers that can cause stress and ensure that you get your daily dose of relaxation can go a long way in reducing stress and controlling hypertension. Also, meditation, indulging in a hobby and doing yoga can help.