High Blood Pressure: How to Lower It Without Medicine

If your blood pressure is mildly-elevated, it's possible to normalise it through weight loss, regular exercise and healthy eating. The National Heart Centre Singapore (NHCS) Department of Cardiology, a member of the SingHealth group, explains. (iStock photo)    

Blood pressure refers to the force of the body's blood pushing against the inner walls of the blood vessels, especially the arteries. A healthy blood pressure reading should be lower than 120 (systolic)/80 (diastolic) mmHg. A blood pressure of 140/90 mmHg or higher indicates high blood pressure.

What the numbers mean

For mildly-elevated blood pressure, there are several things you can do to bring your blood pressure back to normal.

Related article: High blood pressure can lead to kidney failure, why?

1. Adopt a healthier diet

a) Avoid foods high in cholesterol and saturated fats such as:

  • Animal fats
  • Eggs (Health Promotion Board recommends no more than 4 eggs per week)
  • Red meat (e.g. beef and lamb)
  • Coconut milk
  • Palm oil

Instead, choose:

  • Lean meats
  • Fish
  • Low-fat dairy products

b) Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables

c) Cut back on salty foods

Related article: How to reduce salt in your diet, whether you have meals at home or out

2. Exercise regularly

Exercise for 150 minutes per week, at least 30 minutes each time. Brisk walking is one of the simplest and effective forms of exercise.

3. Maintain a healthy body weight

In Asians, a healthy BMI (Body Mass Index) falls below 22.9, while a BMI of above 27.5 is considered obese.

4. Don't smoke!

If you smoke, quit! Not only can smoking raise blood pressure, it is also a risk factor for coronary artery disease and stroke.

5. Keep stress in check

Better management of stress can help lower blood pressure levels. To manage stress better:

  • Exercise regularly
  • Adopt a balanced approach to work and family life

If your numbers continue to increase…

If your blood pressure level continues to rise, your doctor may put you on drug treatment, complemented by a healthy lifestyle. Treatment of hypertension for most is lifelong.

Related article: Worried about diabetes? The SingHealth Pre-DICTED Programme can help!


Articles on HealthXchange.sg are meant for informational purposes only and cannot replace professional surgical, medical or health advice, examination, diagnosis or treatment.