Ways to lower blood pressure naturally

By Rachel McNeill - Anchor

HOUSTON - One in three Americans will have high blood pressure sometime in their lifetime. Most people have no symptoms, but the complications can be deadly.

There's no question poor diet, lack of exercise and obesity are the biggest contributing factors to hypertension or high blood pressure.

Many people hope to avoid taking medications to treat it, so they turn to natural remedies.

The question is: what's effective and what's not?

So what's considered high?

120 over 80 is normal. Anything above 140 over 90 needs attention.

Cardiologist Dr. Jonathan Aliota with the Kelsey-Seybold Clinic told Local 2 that lowering salt in your diet and getting regular exercise can certainly help.

So can laying off the caffeine.

"Some studies show that even if you have two or three cups of coffee in the morning, you will still see a four to five millimeter (of mercury) increase in your blood pressure at the end of the day," Dr. Aliota explained.

When it comes to alcohol, just a third to a quarter of a glass a day can help drop blood pressure.

"The down side of this of course is if you don't have enough self control to have a quarter of a glass of wine," Dr. Aliota added. "As it turns out, more than two glasses will actually increase your blood pressure."

Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids like fresh salmon are effective.

"Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to drop high blood pressure if consumed approximately by a gram of omega three fatty acids a day," Dr. Aliota said.

Another suggestion is reducing stress, maybe yoga?

"Slow, deep breathing in a very meditative state will actually drop your blood pressure at that time," Dr. Aliota said. "I'm not sure how long that really lasts."

Listening to classical music though has been shown to have a lingering effect on lowering blood pressure.

Doctors said consistency is the key when it comes to lifestyle changes and taking prescribed medication.

Copyright 2013 by Click2Houston.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.