High blood pressure is a serious and widespread problem for people around the world. It is often recommended that among lifestyle changes, diet can play a hefty role in attaining a healthier, higher quality of life.
An advantage of using diet to modify blood pressure is that foods typically do not have side effects such as those common with the use of medication. For example, the DASH diet utilizes calcium, magnesium and potassium-rich foods to combat high blood pressure.
The following article will discuss a few of the foods you can add to your diet that may lower your blood pressure.
Oatmeal has been a staple food for thousands of years. As the main ingredient in classic foods including granola and porridge, it is filling, low in sodium, and extremely high in fiber. This complex carbohydrate encourages a slower digestive process, which is better for the body.
Many studies have shown that the beta-glucans found in oat kernels are known to lower cholesterol and glucose in the blood. Today people in several cultures use it as a breakfast food.
Bananas are well known for their high potassium content. It can be used in a variety of ways to suit your needs and tastes. You can cut it up, blend it into a smoothie, or simply peel it and eat it. Potassium is absorbed by the body much more efficiently through ingestion of foods than through supplements, so try adding banana to healthy desserts and snacks.
As always, health through food is about balance. Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids which are seriously important for heart and arterial health. Western diets typically contain heavy doses of omega-6 fatty acids which destabilize the delicate balance between the two types.
These are found in fish, or you can simply take a supplement.
Keep in mind that not all olive oils are created equal. So do your research. The polyphenols, which are protective antioxidants, in olive oil makes it stand apart from other oils. Polyphenols can improve blood vessel health, helping them to stay elastic. It’s a very smart choice for a healthy fat. Use it instead of butter, or commercial vegetable oils in your cooking.
Calcium is a major player for good blood pressure because it helps your blood vessels tighten and relax when they should. Plain, low-fat yogurt is a good way to add calcium into your diet without too much-added sugar or unhealthy fats.
Green tea has become famous for its amazing health benefits around the world. It contains a wide array of antioxidants and polyphenols. The polyphenols in green tea have been found to increase blood flow and improve blood pressure.
Studies have proven that drinking just a few cups a day can widen arteries by almost 40 per cent, and tea drinkers have been found to have a lower risk of heart disease, so you might want to try a cup of green tea today!
Bananas contain plenty of potassium, a mineral that plays a vital role in managing hypertension. One medium-sized banana contains around 422 milligrams of potassium. So enjoy!
This whole grain is healthy, filling, and low in sodium and full of fiber, which helps to keep your weight and blood pressure under control. Cook your rolled or steel-cut oats with water or milk alternative. Swap out the sugar for maple syrup and or raisins or bananas for a touch of sweetness.
Drinking (organic) beet juice can reduce blood pressure in the short and long terms.
Leafy green vegetables
Leafy green vegetables are rich in nitrates, which help to manage blood pressure. Some research suggests that eating 1–2 servings of nitrate-rich vegetables every day can help to reduce hypertension.
Fermented foods are rich in probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that play an important role in maintaining gut health. Eating probiotics can have a positive effect on high blood pressure.
Reduce the sodium in your diet
Even a small reduction in the sodium in your diet can improve your heart health and reduce blood pressure.
Pretty much everything in this pint-sized superfood is working to make your heart healthy. Potassium and antioxidants keep your blood pumping. Even the color, a pigment called anthocyanin, helps keep arteries wide and flexible. That means they not only lower your blood pressure, but also improve your overall heart health.
With all of these options – and many more – it’s easy to say yes to enjoying a heart-healthy diet. Keep in mind that nutrition is only part of the picture. Regular exercise can also work with these superfoods to help reduce your blood pressure.