Suffering from hypertension? Then you are at greater risk of diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular diseases. Fortunately for you, there is a simple solution – namely, your diet. If you manage to get the right nutrition, you can not only control hypertension but also reduce the risk of other comorbid conditions drastically.
Before you start to combat hypertension, however, it is necessary to understand what it is. The blood flowing in your vessels exerts a tension on the vessel walls. This is normal pressure. It is necessary to have this pressure to ensure that all parts of your body receive nutrients. When this pressure drops, you run the risk of losing the blood supply to the brain. But when the pressure increases, there is potential for damage to a number of parts of the body, including the eyes, brain, heart and the kidney.
If you’re suffering from hypertension, then you most likely are already on medication. But medication alone is not much help, without following a proper diet. Read on to learn what foods you should include in your diet, in order to keep your blood pressure under control.
Here is the underlying formula: Consume a diet that contains potassium, magnesium, and loads of fiber, while reducing the intake of sodium. Reduce the intake of common salt, and other products with high salt content, in order to avoid sodium.
Keeping this in mind, here are the foods that will help you fight hypertension.
The rich potassium content of leafy green vegetable’s helps your kidneys excrete sodium in urine, by acting on the sodium-potassium pump. This helps to lower blood pressure.These are some of the leafy greens that you can take:·
- Romaine lettuce
- Turnip greens
- Collard greens
- Beet greens
- Swiss chard
Make sure that your diet has some of these leafy greens each day. Don’t use canned vegetables, as they tend to contain more sodium.
Berries are an excellent option for fighting hypertension due to the presence of flavonoids. These are mainly antioxidants and have a very positive effect on the blood vessel walls. Add any of the following berries in your cereal in the morning, or have them in the form of a smoothie – blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries.
Rich in nitric oxide, red beets help in opening the blood vessels to lower blood pressure. The results will be immediate. You can see a visible drop in the blood pressure within 24 hours of taking beetroot juice. You can ingest this in the form of juice, or cook as a vegetable to eat with your lunch. Boiled beetroot is an excellent option, as it retains all the nutrients.
Skim milk and yogurt.
Rich in calcium and poor in fat, skim milk should be a part of your diet to fight hypertension. If skim milk doesn’t suit you, opt for yogurt. Taking yogurt thrice a week is shown to reduce blood pressure, among other benefits. You can even try different preparations with yogurt, like smoothies.
If there is a diet that is the best for hypertension and lifestyle-related disorders, then oatmeal would be the one. Rich in fiber, low in fat and sodium, eating oatmeal for breakfast would help reduce the blood pressure. Starting your day right with oatmeal is the way to go.
Rich in potassium, bananas are something that you must eat for maintaining the optimum blood pressure. A banana a day will keep hypertension away. Eating it after dinner will help prevent constipation, as it contains loads of fiber.
Salmon, mackerel, and fish with omega-3s
Fishes that are opulent in omega-3 fatty acids help to lower cholesterol levels, reduce blood pressure, reduce inflammation and so on. They also supply lean protein.
Unsalted seeds of sunflower, pumpkin, and squash are rich in potassium and magnesium. Have them as snacks. You are sure to see a reduction in your blood pressure.
Garlic and herbs.
Ancient Indians used garlic in all their foods, which are still seen in the south of India. Garlic releases nitric oxide, which is a potent vasodilator. It enlarges the vessels, leading to the reduction of blood pressure. You can also include herbs like thyme, rosemary, basil, cinnamon, etc.
Finally a great option for your sweet tooth, dark chocolate is known to be highly beneficial for your heart and blood vessels. Eating dark chocolate, along with yogurt, fruits or desserts, makes it a great option.
Pistachios are known to reduce blood pressure. Eating a serving of them each day will bring you long-term benefits. You can even mix it with other nuts.
Olive oil is rich in polyphenols and healthy fats. The benefits of consuming it include longevity and reduced incidence of cardiovascular diseases.
A pomegranate is a great choice for breakfast. Eating a pomegranate as a fruit, or drinking it as juice in the morning, helps to keep your blood pressure under control for the day. Doing this regularly will reduce the blood pressure within a month. Drink the juices without sugar.There are also specific diets called DASH diets that have been specifically designed to tackle hypertension.If you want your diet to work better, engage in regular exercise. Combining exercise and diet, you can take a holistic approach to safeguarding yourself from hypertension, and its adverse consequences.