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How to Lower Blood Pressure Quickly

Three Parts:Lowering Blood Pressure with DietLiving a Low Blood Pressure LifestyleLowering Blood Pressure with Medication

If your blood pressure is abnormally high, you will need to lower it as quickly as possible. There are ways to do this using nothing but diet and lifestyle, but if you are already facing hypertension, your best bet might be to get your doctor to prescribe a medication. Here's what you need to know about the options available to you.

Part 1
Lowering Blood Pressure with Diet

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    Maintain a balanced diet. A diet composed of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy can lower your blood pressure by as much as 14 mm Hg, especially when that diet also contains minimal amounts of saturated fats and cholesterol.[1]
    • Dietary changes are usually the first step in dropping your blood pressure. The effects may be gradual if you do nothing more than balance your diet, but if you focus on consuming foods known to drop blood pressure and accompany your diet changes with activity and lifestyle changes, your blood pressure will drop much faster.
    • After you drop your blood pressure to the level it needs to be at, you can indulge in the occasional candy bar or cookie, but you should also strive to follow a diet like this most of the time to prevent your blood pressure from spiking up again.
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    Skip the salt. Sodium is the natural foe of high blood pressure. A small drop in your sodium intake can often lower your blood pressure by 2 to 8 mm Hg.
    • Limit your sodium intake to 2300 mg a day or less. If you are older than 51 years of age or if you have underlying conditions causing an increased blood pressure, stick to 1500 mg of sodium a day at maximum.
    • If you need to add flavor to your food, you can do so safely with many herbs and spices. Some herbs and spices, in particular, can actually help you decrease your blood pressure.
      • Cayenne pepper expands blood vessels and improves blood flow.
      • Turmeric decreases inflammation in the body overall, thereby improving cardiovascular function and causing a drop in blood pressure.
      • Garlic lowers both cholesterol and blood pressure.
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    Limit your intake of alcohol. In small amount, alcohol can actually cause your blood pressure to drop. In higher amounts, though, it can cause your blood pressure to increase.
    • For men and women over the age of 65, drink one glass of wine or a beverage with a similar alcoholic content per day. For adults under the age of 65, you might be able to drink up to two glasses a day.
    • For tracking purposes, one drink or glass equals 12 oz (355 ml) of beer, 5 oz (148 ml) of wine, or 1.5 oz (45 ml) of 80-proof liquor.
    • In moderate amounts, wine and other alcohol can lower your blood pressure by 2 to 4 mm Hg.
    • Note that this is only helpful if you already drink alcohol, however. The results are less pronounced and riskier if you do not drink regularly.
    • Large volumes of alcohol can decrease the effectiveness of blood pressure medication.
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    Drink low-fat or nonfat milk. Milk is packed with potassium and calcium, and both nutrients have been linked to low blood pressure. Dairy also contains vitamin D, which may also help.
    • Low-fat and nonfat milk is preferable to whole milk. Whole milk contains Palmitic acid, which, according to some studies, can block internal signals responsible for relaxing blood vessels. As a result, your blood vessels stay constricted and your blood pressure remains high.[2]
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    Drink hibiscus tea. Herbal teas containing hibiscus can lower blood pressure quickly and dramatically if you drink three cups on a daily basis.
    • Steep the tea for six minutes before enjoying it cold or hot.
    • If you take no other measures other than drinking hibiscus tea three times a day, you can lower your systolic blood pressure by seven points within six weeks.
    • Hibiscus tea contains anthocyanins and other antioxidants that strengthen your blood vessels, preventing them from narrowing and causing your blood pressure to spike.
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    Pour a glass of cranberry juice. A glass of cranberry juice can lower blood pressure as effectively as a glass of red wine.
    • Cranberry juice contains antioxidants known as Proanthocyanidins. These nutrients restrict the body's production of ET-1, a compound known to constrict blood vessels and elevate blood pressure.
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    Eat fruits and vegetables that lower blood pressure. While fruits and vegetables are an important part of a balanced diet in general, some have a notably beneficial effect on lowering blood pressure.
    • Eat kiwis. In a study done by the American Heart Association, scientists discovered that eating three kiwis a day for up to eight weeks could dramatically lower systolic blood pressure. Kiwis are rich in an antioxidant known as lutein.[3]
    • Enjoy a slice of watermelon. Watermelon contains fiber, Lycopenes, vitamin A, and potassium, all of which have been linked to low blood pressure. It also contains an amino acid called L-Citrulline/L-arginine, which early studies indicate may help lower blood pressure, as well.
    • Include a wide variety of potassium-rich fruits and vegetables in your diet. Scientists generally agree that potassium is a vital addition to any diet designed to lower blood pressure. Good sources of potassium include peas, bananas, potatoes, tomatoes, orange juice, kidney beans, cantaloupe, honeydew melons, and raisins.
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    Consider drinking coconut water. Coconut water is high in potassium, electrolytes, and other nutrients linked to lower blood pressure.
    • A study published in the West Indian Medical Journal indicated that coconut water dropped systolic pressure in 71 percent of participants and dropped diastolic pressure 29 percent of participants.[4]
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    Consume more tofu and soy products. Soy products contain isoflavones, nutrients that may have a direct link to lower blood pressure.
    • In a 2012 study, researchers discovered that diets rich in isoflavones were likely to result in blood pressure that was 5.5 points lower than blood pressure linked to low levels of isoflavones.[5]
    • Green tea and peanuts also contain a healthy amount of isoflavones.
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    Indulge in a bit of dark chocolate. Chocolate in general is rich in flavanols. These nutrients encourage the blood vessels to dilate wider, thereby lowering blood pressure.
    • While chocolate may help in all forms, dark chocolate and pure cacao contain higher concentrations than milk chocolate and may be the best choices.
    • Studies suggest that consuming chocolate can reduce blood pressure in individuals with high blood pressure, but the results are less pronounced in individuals with normal or near normal blood pressure.
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    Spice things up with chili peppers. Capsaicin, a spicy component of chili peppers, might encourage a drop in blood pressure when consumed.
    • This was determined by a 2010 study, in which rats with hypertension experienced a drop in blood pressure after consuming capsaicin. Note, however, that it is still unclear whether or not the same results apply to humans.

Part 2
Living a Low Blood Pressure Lifestyle

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    Set aside 30 minutes for moderate-level exercise. Exercising for at least 30 minutes on most days of the week can quickly and substantially drop your blood pressure. You can get exercise through both athletic activities and common chores.[6]
    • Before increasing the amount of exercise you do in a day, you should ask your doctor for guidance. Increasing your physical activity too dramatically can actually put you at greater risk of heart attack or stroke.
    • Power walking is one of the simplest exercises you can add to your routine. Walking at a brisk pace for 30 minutes can lower your blood pressure by nearly 8 mmHg.
    • Other athletic activities you can try include volleyball, touch football, shooting baskets, bicycling, dancing, water aerobics, swimming, and jumping rope.
    • Helpful chores include washing the car, washing windows and floors, gardening, raking leaves, shoveling snow, and walking up and down stairs.
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    Take a deep breath. Slow, meditative breathing relaxes the body, causing it to produce more nitric oxide and fewer stress hormones.
    • Nitric oxide opens up the blood vessels, thereby reducing your blood pressure.
    • Stress hormones elevate renin, a kidney enzyme linked to high blood pressure.
    • Take at least five minutes in the morning and five minutes to focus on inhaling deeply, taking deep "belly breaths" each time.
    • For an even more pronounced effect on blood pressure, consider learning formal meditation, doing yoga, or trying Qigong or tai chi.
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    Reduce the number of hours you spend working. Studies suggest that working more than 41 hours per week increases your risk of developing high blood pressure by 15 percent. As such, if you need to quickly lower your blood pressure, you should try shaving off a little time from your work schedule when possible.
    • This is especially significant if your job is notably hectic or stressful. Stress hormones cause your blood vessels to constrict, which only makes it harder for your heart to pump blood through them. As a result, your blood pressure rises.
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    Listen to music. Listening to soothing music for 30 minutes daily can help drop blood pressure, especially if done in conjunction with deep breathing techniques and hypertension medication.
    • Choose soothing music, like classical, Celtic, or Indian music.
    • Studies show that after one week, your systolic reading can drop 3.2 points.
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    Quit smoking. Nicotine is one culprit behind high blood pressure. If you smoke or are around people who smoke, cutting this from your life is one way to quickly drop your blood pressure.
    • Smoking increases your blood pressure by 10 mm Hg up to an hour after you smoke. If you smoke continually, your blood pressure will be continually elevated. The same effect applies to people who are continually around smokers.

Part 3
Lowering Blood Pressure with Medication

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    Take CoQ10 supplements. Coenzyme Q10 is a natural supplement and antioxidant that has the ability to reduce blood pressure by 17 mmHg over 10 mmHg when taken regularly. The supplement dilates your blood vessels, making it easier for the heart to pump blood through them.
    • Ask your doctor about the supplement. He or she make recommend that you take a 60 to 100 mg CoQ10 supplement up to three times daily.
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    Ask about diuretics. Diuretics flush excess sodium and water out of the body.[7]
    • Since sodium is a known culprit of high blood pressure, the removal of excess sodium can cause a significant drop in blood pressure.
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    Consider beta-blockers. Beta-blockers cause the heart rate to drop.
    • As a result, the heart pumps out less blood, thereby lowering your blood pressure.
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    Try ACE inhibitors. ACE stands for "Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme." This enzyme causes your body to produce angiotensin, a chemical responsible for constricting the arteries throughout the body.
    • An ACE inhibitor causes your blood vessels to open, making it easier for blood to flow through them and causing your blood pressure to drop.
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    Learn about angiotensin II receptor blockers. This medication directly blocks the effect of angiotensin, which is responsible for causing the arteries to constrict.
    • Angiotensin needs to join with a receptor in order to affect the blood vessel. These medications block the receptors, thereby preventing the chemical from having an impact.
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    Inquire about calcium channel blockers. Calcium channel blockers work by blocking calcium from entering the heart and arteries.
    • Calcium causes smooth muscle cells in these areas to become hard, which means that the heart must use more force to pump blood through the arteries.
    • This medication relaxes narrow blood vessels, thereby lowering blood pressure.
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    Find out about alpha blockers. Alpha blockers reduce resistance in the arteries.
    • As a result, vascular muscles relax, making it easier for blood to flow through.
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    Ask about alpha-2 receptor agonists. This medication reduces the function of the sympathetic part of the involuntary nervous system.
    • This means that less adrenaline is produced. Adrenaline, along with other stress hormones, can cause blood vessels to constrict.
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    Take a combined alpha-beta-blocker. These are a first-line of defense for patients facing crucially high blood pressure and drop blood pressure quicker than most other medications.
    • This medication reduces the resistance put up by your arteries and cause your heart rate to drop.
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    Learn about central agonists. These medications prevent your blood vessels from contracting quite as easily, thereby making it easier for your blood to flow through them.
    • Note that the effect is similar to that accomplished by alpha-beta-blockers.
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    Find out about peripheral adrenergic inhibitors. The brain is the primary target of this group of medications.
    • Neurotransmitters responsible for telling the smooth muscles of your heart and blood vessels are blocked when taking these medications, so the message telling those blood vessels to constrict never reaches its destination.
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    Take a blood vessel dilator or vasodilator. These medications only cause the blood vessel muscles to relax.
    • As a result, they dilate, allowing blood to flow through with less pressure.


  • One of the best ways to lower blood pressure over an extended period of time is to lose weight. Blood pressure usually increases as weight increases, and losing as few as 10 lbs (4.5 kg) can reduce your blood pressure significantly. Healthy weight loss should be accomplished by a healthy diet and increased levels of exercise.

Article Info

Categories: Cardiovascular Health and Blood Pressure