Also known as hypertension, high blood pressure affects large population across the world. Hypertension is a major cardiovascular risk factor, not only for heart attack but for stroke and kidney failure. Millions of people take regular medication to combat hypertension. Medications, dietary changes, and other lifestyle modifications can reduce high blood pressure while lowering the risk of associated conditions
If you are at risk of approaching the hypertension stage — blood pressure in excess of 140/90 — there is a lot you can do to stop it before resorting to medication. The formula for keeping your blood pressure under control is to get some exercise, learn relaxation techniques and eat right. Changing the diet can significantly reduce high blood pressure. The Mediterranean diet has proven to lower blood pressure.
The Mediterranean diet limits sugars, refined carbohydrates, and saturated fat while going heavy on fruits, veggies, whole grains, and healthy fats.
Given below is a list of some foods which will help you reduce and control your blood pressure.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away is a well-known proverb. Apple helps to lower blood pressure naturally. The antioxidants in the apple help to stave off issues down the road.
The oils in walnuts help to reduce blood pressure and keep it under check. Doctors recommend replacing snacks with walnut.
Drinking beet juice can reduce blood pressure in the short and long terms. In 2015, a hypertension study reported that drinking red beet juice led to lower blood pressure in people with hypertension who drank 250 milliliters, about 1 cup, of the juice every day for 4 weeks. The researchers noticed some positive effects within 24 hours.
In this study, those who drank 1 cup of the beet juice every day had an average drop in blood pressure of around 8/4 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). For many, this change brought their blood pressure within the normal range. On average, a single blood pressure medication reduces levels by 9/5 mm Hg.
Beets are rich in nitrate, which your body turns into nitric oxide, which relaxes blood vessels and is a natural blood thinner.
Garlic helps to give your heart a break. It is recommended to swallow a bulb of garlic every morning on empty stomach. Garlic can boost nitric oxide levels, which helps your blood vessels relax. That means your heart doesn’t have to work as hard.
In one study, systolic blood pressure dropped 10 points in people who ate ground flaxseed every day. Diastolic pressure went down by seven points.
Low-fat yogurt is a great food to reduce your blood pressure. Eating good-quality yogurt offers you two proven hypertension busters: calcium and probiotics. Calcium helps keep your blood vessels working like they should. That means you can layer on the heart-healthy and guilt-free goodness.
Pistachios are great for reducing blood pressure, both the systolic and diastolic readings (the upper and lower numbers). They are packed with healthy fats similar to almonds and walnuts.
Eating chocolate that contain more than 50% cocoa in moderation, helps lower your blood pressure. Dark chocolate contains antioxidants that have been shown to help lower blood pressure.
Blueberries contain potassium and antioxidants that keep your blood pumping and hence your heart in healthy condition. Anthocyanin in blueberries help keep arteries wide and flexible. Thus they not only lower your blood pressure, but also improve your overall heart health.
Rich in potassium, figs restore balance and help lower blood pressure. This sweet, chewy, and slightly crunchy fruit deserves to be part of your heart-healthy diet.
Green tea contain antioxidants and has special health benefits. Regularly drinking green tea can reduce your blood pressure and your risk of stroke and coronary artery disease.
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. Potassium reduces the effects of sodium and alleviates tension in the walls of the blood vessels.
Other potassium-rich foods include:
-cantaloupe and honeydew melon
The researchers compared the effects of apples and kiwis on people with slightly high blood pressure. They found that eating three kiwis a day for 8 weeks resulted in a more significant reduction in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure, compared with eating one apple a day for the same period. Researchers suspect that the bioactive substances in kiwis caused the reduction. Kiwis are also rich in vitamin C, which may significantly improve blood pressure readings in people who consumed around 500 mg of the vitamin every day for about 8 weeks. Kiwis are also easy to add to lunches or smoothies.
Oats contain a type of fiber called beta-glucan, which may reduce blood cholesterol levels. Beta-glucan may also lower blood pressure, according to some research.
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 reduce hypertension for up to 24 hours.
Examples of leafy greens include:
An analysis of three studies showed that cinnamon decreased short-term systolic blood pressure by 5.39 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure by 2.6 mm Hg.
Add cinnamon to the diet by sprinkling it over oatmeal or freshly chopped fruit, as an alternative to sugar.
Chia and flax seeds
Chia and flax seeds are tiny seeds that are teeming with nutrients that are essential for healthy blood pressure regulation, including potassium, magnesium and fiber. A small, 12-week study that included 26 people with high blood pressure found that supplementing with 35 grams of chiaseed flour per day led to blood pressure reductions in both medicated and unmedicated people, compared with a placebo group. Additionally, results from a review of 11 studies suggested that eating flax seeds may help lower blood pressure levels, especially when consumed in their whole seed form for 12 weeks or longer.
Salmon and other fatty fish
Fatty fish are an excellent source of omega-3 fats, which have significant heart health benefits. These fats may help reduce blood pressure levels by reducing inflammation and decreasing levels of blood-vessel-constricting compounds called oxylipins. Research has linked higher intakes of omega-3-rich fatty fish to lower blood pressure levels.
A study in 2,036 healthy people found that those with the highest blood levels of omega-3 fats had significantly lower SBP and DBP than those with the lowest blood levels of these fats. Higher omega-3 intake has also been associated with a lower risk of hypertension.
Apart from eating a healthy diet, it is essential to make certain lifestyle changes that can help you to lower your blood pressure and keep it down.
• Keep your weight under control
• Exercise regularly
• Reduce your alcohol consumption
• Don’t smoke
• Reduce your caffeine intake
• Reduce your stress
• Monitor your blood pressure regularly and visit your doctor immediately in case of any issue.