by Stella 

6 Natural Ways to Reduce Stress Lower Blood Pressure

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1. Wholesome Organic Food


Wholesome organic food is a growing trend in the health and wellness industry. One particular type of food that stands out for its numerous health benefits is fatty fish. Fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines, are not only delicious but also packed with essential nutrients.

When it comes to preparing fatty fish, there are various cooking methods to choose from. Whether you prefer grilled, steamed, baked, poached, or even canned options, you can still enjoy the benefits it offers.

One of the key advantages of fatty fish is its high content of omega-3 fatty acids. These healthy fats have been widely studied for their role in reducing inflammation caused by stress. Omega-3s have also shown potential in lowering blood pressure and promoting heart health.

In addition to omega-3s, fatty fish is a great source of protein and contains important minerals like selenium, zinc, and iodine. It is also rich in vitamins A and D which play vital roles in supporting immune function and maintaining healthy bones.

Good omega-3-rich fish

  • Salmon
  • Sardine
  • Atlantic mackerel
  • Cod
  • Herring
  • Canned, light tuna


Plant based Omega-3 foods 

  • Chia seeds
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Algal Oil (oil from algae)
  • Hemp seeds
  • Walnuts
  • Perilla oil from perilla seeds
  • Flaxseeds


Probiotic-rich foods


Research has demonstrated that probiotic-rich foods contain beneficial bacteria that can aid digestion, support intestinal function, and protect against harmful bacteria. The consumption of these foods has been associated with various health benefits, including improved gut health and a reduction in the symptoms of certain conditions such as strep throat.

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that offer several health advantages when consumed in sufficient quantities. They are commonly found in fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, and tempeh. The fermentation process involved in preparing these foods supports the growth and proliferation of these helpful bacteria.

The beneficial bacteria found in probiotic-rich foods help maintain a healthy balance of microorganisms in the gut. They can enhance digestion by breaking down food components that may be difficult for our bodies to digest on their own. This can lead to improved nutrient absorption and overall digestive function.

Furthermore, probiotics have been shown to have antimicrobial properties that can help protect against harmful bacteria. By competing for space and nutrients in the gut, they can prevent the colonization of pathogenic bacteria and reduce the risk of infections.

Kimchi Probiotic Rich Food

Probiotic-Rich Foods

Yogurt, sauerkraut, Natto, Kimchi, Kombucha, tempeh, miso, pickles
Leafy greens, Gouda, cheddar, cottage cheese


Spices


Spices are an essential part of culinary traditions around the world, adding flavor, aroma, and color to various dishes. In this section, we will explore some popular spices and their diverse uses in cooking.

Basil is a versatile herb commonly used in Mediterranean and Italian cuisine. Its sweet and slightly peppery flavor makes it a perfect addition to pasta sauces, salads, and pesto.

Turmeric is a vibrant yellow spice known for its earthy flavor. It is widely used in Indian and Southeast Asian cuisines. Besides adding color to dishes, turmeric is also valued for its potential health benefits due to its active compound called curcumin.

Lavender is not only known for its calming scent but also for its delicate floral taste. It can be used in both sweet and savory dishes such as desserts, teas, or even as a garnish on salads.

Chamomile is a soothing herb often brewed into tea for its relaxing properties. Its gentle floral notes make it an excellent ingredient for infusions or as a natural remedy for digestive issues.

Nutmeg has a warm and slightly sweet flavor that pairs well with both sweet and savory recipes. It can be grated fresh or used in powdered form to enhance the taste of baked goods like pies or custards.

Thyme is an aromatic herb with a savory taste that complements various dishes such as roasted meats, soups, stews, and marinades. Its robust flavor profile adds depth to recipes.

Cinnamon is a widely loved spice known for its warm and comforting aroma. It can be used in both sweet treats like cinnamon rolls or spiced cakes as well as savory dishes like curries or stews.

Ginger has a pungent and spicy taste that adds zing to many Asian-inspired recipes. Whether used fresh or dried, ginger brings warmth to stir-fries, soups, marinades, and even beverages like ginger tea.

Cardamom is a fragrant spice with a distinct and slightly sweet flavor. It is commonly used in Indian, Middle Eastern, and Scandinavian cuisines. Cardamom pods or ground cardamom can be added to both sweet and savory dishes for a unique taste.

Garlic is a staple ingredient in many cuisines worldwide. Its strong and pungent flavor adds depth to countless recipes, from pasta sauces and stir-fries to roasted meats and marinades.

Parsley is an herb widely used as a garnish or ingredient in various dishes. Its fresh and vibrant taste makes it an excellent addition to salads, soups, sauces, or as a finishing touch on top of cooked meals.

By exploring the diverse flavors of these spices, you can elevate your culinary creations and add an extra dimension of taste to your dishes.


Fruits


Fruits are not only delicious but also offer numerous health benefits. Many fruits are high in antioxidants, which play a vital role in protecting our cells from damage caused by free radicals. Moreover, they are rich in vitamin C, an essential nutrient for a strong immune system and collagen production.

Fruits such as oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruits, pomelos, and tangerines are renowned for their rich vitamin C content. In addition to their delicious taste, these fruits possess special properties that can aid in stress reduction and lowering blood pressure. Incorporating citrus fruits into your meals not only enhances flavor but also provides numerous health benefits.

Antioxidants are natural compounds found in foods like berries (such as blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries). They help protect our bodies from harmful substances called "free radicals." These free radicals can damage our cells and lead to health problems. Berries, with their rich antioxidant content, provide a natural defense against this damage and offer various health benefits, including improved thinking abilities and a reduced risk of chronic diseases.

Incorporating these antioxidant-rich fruits into your diet can be a great way to support your overall well-being while enjoying their natural sweetness. Whether you eat them fresh or incorporate them into smoothies or salads, these fruits offer a delightful way to nourish your body with essential nutrients.

2. Low impact exercise for just 30 minutes a day


Engaging in low impact exercise not only benefits our physical health but also has a positive impact on our mental well-being. One of the key advantages of low impact exercise is its ability to release happy hormones, known as endorphins. These natural chemicals are produced by the brain and are responsible for reducing pain and boosting feelings of pleasure and happiness.

By participating in activities such as walking, swimming, or cycling, we can stimulate the release of endorphins in our body. This can help alleviate stress and anxiety, providing us with a temporary distraction from the pressures of daily life.

Furthermore, low-impact exercises are an excellent option for individuals with specific health conditions or those who prefer a less intense workout. These exercises are gentle on the joints and muscles, which helps to minimize the risk of injury. Despite being low-impact, they still offer the opportunity to improve cardiovascular fitness, build muscle strength, and enhance flexibility without putting excessive strain on the body.

Adding easy, gentle exercises to our daily routine brings big benefits for our overall health, both in our bodies and our minds. It's important to find activities that we really like and that fit our own preferences so we can keep doing them over time. When we pick exercises that make us happy, we create a lasting and enjoyable exercise habit that becomes a natural part of our life.

  • Yoga
  • Walking
  • Jogging
  • Water Aerobics
  • Stationary Bike

3. Warm bath or shower


If you're in need of relaxation and stress relief, consider indulging in a warm bath or shower. The warmth of the water can work wonders on tense muscles, providing a soothing sensation that can help alleviate the stresses of your day.

Taking a warm bath allows the heat to penetrate deep into the muscles, helping to relieve tension and promote relaxation. The warmth also increases blood circulation, which can aid in reducing inflammation and promoting healing.

Interestingly, experiencing a sudden decrease in body temperature following a shower can actually offer some advantages when it comes to stress relief. This is due to the contrasting temperatures of warm water and cooler air causing blood vessels to constrict. This constriction can help reduce tension and foster a feeling of tranquility.

Additionally, this rapid change in body temperature after a shower has been found to help with better sleep. As our body naturally cools down before sleep, this drop in temperature signals to our brain that it's time for rest. This can result in falling asleep faster and experiencing more restful sleep throughout the night.

Choosing between a warm bath and a quick shower is a matter of personal preference, as both have distinct advantages for relaxation and stress relief. Soaking in a bath can provide a relaxing experience, while taking a refreshing shower can offer quick rejuvenation. Ultimately, it's important to consider individual needs and preferences when deciding which option suits you best.

warm bath

4. Read an actual paper bound book or use blue light filtering glasses to read on a tablet


Long periods of staring at a tablet or electronic device can have negative effects on our eyes. Symptoms such as blurred vision, teary, itchy, and red eyes are commonly experienced by individuals who spend extended periods of time using these devices.

One major factor contributing to these symptoms is the blue light emitted by electronic screens. Blue light has been linked to eye strain, dry eye syndrome, macular degeneration, and cataracts. It can also disrupt our sleep patterns by suppressing the production of melatonin.

To address the potential negative effects of blue light exposure, individuals often choose to utilize blue light filters on their electronic devices. These filters work by reducing the amount of blue light emitted from the screen, which in turn can help alleviate eye strain and discomfort commonly associated with prolonged device use.

However, an alternative solution for those concerned about their eye health is to read actual paper books instead of using electronic devices. By switching to traditional books, individuals can minimize their exposure to blue light altogether and potentially reduce the risk of developing long-term eye conditions.

When it comes to protecting our eyesight, the choice between using a blue light filter or switching to physical books is ultimately subjective and depends on personal preferences and lifestyle factors. However, it's crucial for individuals who spend a considerable amount of time on devices like phones and tablets to be aware of the potential risks associated with prolonged screen time. Taking necessary steps to protect their eyesight is important in order to maintain healthy vision in the long run.


5. Listen to soothing music


In the busyness of our daily lives, turning to music for comfort is something everyone can relate to. Besides just being enjoyable, recent studies have shown that music has therapeutic benefits. One study, in particular, explores the interesting world of music therapy and how it can significantly affect our physical well-being.

Research reveals that engaging with music can lead to a decrease in cortisol levels, a hormone released during moments of stress to prevent an overactive inflammatory response and protect the immune system. This finding highlights music's potential as a natural stress-buster.

Moreover, the study underscores music's ability to lower heart rate, promoting a sense of calm and tranquility. As our hearts synchronize with the rhythm, we experience a tangible shift in our physiological state.

Perhaps most intriguingly, music therapy has been linked to a decrease in arterial blood pressure. This suggests that our musical preferences can play a pivotal role in managing our cardiovascular health.

These discoveries open up a world of possibilities for incorporating music into our wellness routines. Whether it's a soothing melody to unwind after a long day or an upbeat tune to kickstart your morning, the therapeutic potential of music is both accessible and profoundly impactful. So, why not let the power of music be a harmonious addition to your journey towards well-being?

  • Classical music
  • Nature Sounds
  • Meditation music
  • Ambient sound
  • White Noise (fan, heater, air conditioner sounds)

6. Unwind and Create: The Stress-Busting Magic of Hobbies


In our busy lives, finding time for hobbies like crochet, knitting, pottery, or art painting could be the key to a healthier, happier you. These activities are more than just fun—they're a powerful way to relax and boost overall well-being.

Research suggests that taking time for enjoyable, non-obligatory activities can have significant benefits. It's not just about reducing stress and lowering blood pressure; it's also about feeling satisfied and fulfilled. By weaving these stress-relieving hobbies into your daily routine, you can gradually transform your lifestyle for a more relaxed and fulfilling existence.

Consider dedicating just 15-25 minutes at a time to your chosen hobby. Turn off distracting text messages, emails, and social media. This simple act can work wonders for your stress levels, blood pressure, and heart health. By making this small change, you're not just extending the life of your body but also enhancing your mood for a happier everyday experience.

So, whether it's crafting a cozy scarf, molding a piece of clay, or painting a canvas with vibrant colors, embrace the joy of your chosen hobby. Your well-being will thank you.

About the author 

Healing hearts, one prescription at a time. Clinical pharmacist by day, plant whisperer and piano enthusiast by night. Passionate about optimizing health and promoting self-care. Join me on this journey of growth, harmony, and nurturing both mind and soul. Let's bloom together! 🌱🎶

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