High blood pressure or Hypertension has been one of the most severe medical conditions of this century.
Research from 2021 suggests that about half of the population of the United States has this condition.
Its occurrence is very common in other countries as well and millions of cases are reported every year.
There can be many reasons for having high blood pressure such as smoking, obesity, high sodium intake, genetics, old age, etc.
However, the most prominent cause is not maintaining a healthy lifestyle and a proper diet. There has been a significant surge in the consumption of oily and greasy fast food, which has increased the cases of hypertension throughout.
If such food items can increase the risk and chances of having high blood pressure, some food items can lower the blood pressure if they are incorporated into one’s diet.
We need to understand what high blood pressure or hypertension is before we get to know about these food items. Here’s everything you need to know about them.
Why Does High Blood Pressure Occur?
There can be many reasons for having or being prone to Hypertension. The optimum blood pressure is said to be 120/80 mmHg, in which 120 refers to the rate of the systolic pressure ( i.e. the pressure exerted by blood in the arteries, when the heart pumps the blood ).
80 refers to the rate of diastolic pressure (i.e. the pressure exerted by blood in the arteries, when the heart relaxes ). This range is usually disturbed due to the following reasons :
- Unhealthy lifestyle and coming in contact with pollution.
- Not getting involved in physical activities and exercises.
- Not being able to maintain a good body weight.
- Irregular Sleeping Pattern
- Regular consumption of sugary, oils, and greasy food.
Food Items Which Would Help You Lower Your Blood Pressure
We know that your diet, eating habits, and food items you consume have a major influence on your blood pressure. Here’s a list of food items that can lower your blood pressure.
Green Leafy Vegetables
Green leaf vegetables are one of the best food items, which can be incorporated into your diet when they are fresh and seasonal.
Most salty food items can increase the sodium levels in your body, which increases its water retention capacity and exerts more pressure on the arteries.
These vegetables are rich in fiber and potassium, which flushes out excess sodium through the urine.
Hence, try to have high proportions of celery, lettuce, broccoli, spinach, etc. in your meals.
The calcium content of freshly fermented yogurt is maximum. Calcium intake can be really helpful for patients with Hypertension because it helps in constricting and relaxing the arteries.
Yogurt has been proven to lower blood pressure for many patients. Moreover, its antioxidant properties provide additional nutritional benefits.
Plain yogurt would be the best for this. However, its flavor can be enhanced by throwing in some berries and fruits or adding spices to make a savory dip.
An average-sized banana has around 420 mg of potassium. It has been scientifically proven that potassium intake is highly beneficial for patients with Hypertension.
As it counterbalances the effect of sodium in the body and releases extra sodium through sweat and urine.
Bananas can be consumed in many ways such as smoothies, shakes, fruit salads, etc. This shows the role of sodium and potassium in our diet.
Beetroot always remains an underrated vegetable in your kitchen. If you are suffering from high blood pressure, beetroots and beet greens can have miraculous effects on you. It is one of the most effective foods for blood purification.
Apart from this, beetroots have a high percentage of nitrates which reduces the pressure on arteries and lowers blood pressure.
Moreover, it also has a high percentage of potassium which makes it a perfect food item for people dealing with Hypertension. It can be eaten raw in salads or can be used for making juices.
Although regular chocolates can lead to many problems, dark chocolate has a lot of health benefits.
It can be your biggest ally when you are dealing with high blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases.
It is rich in Flavanol, an antioxidant that promotes healthy artery functioning and lowers blood pressure.
However, it should be eaten in moderation as it has a high amount of calories and can have other health implications.
Fruits, in general, have a great nutritional profile. However, Citrus fruits can reduce blood pressure substantially.
Citrus fruits are rich in minerals and vitamins which are essential for the proper functioning of the heart.
Apart from these, it also contains Hesperidin which has been proven to decrease blood pressure in many patients. These fruits include oranges, grapes, tangerines, lemons, etc.
Oats are said to be one of the best breakfast options in the world. It can also be enjoyed as an evening snack. But how does it help in minimizing high blood pressure risks?
Oats are rich in fibers and antioxidants. Oats have a high proportion of Beta Glucan and Avenanthramide C, which helps in maintaining heart health and lowers blood pressure.
Oats, cereals, muesli, and quinoa have high nutritional qualities and can be your go-to food if you are suffering from Hypertension.
Pistachios are highly nutritious and it has good proportions of good fats, minerals, and vitamins.
It is rich in Potassium, which promotes good heart health and rejuvenates the functioning of the cardiovascular system.
Moreover, it also helps in reducing blood pressure. It is best to consume nuts with little or no salt seasoning, as the additional salt triggers high blood pressure.
High blood pressure is triggered by an increase in the cholesterol levels in the blood, which accumulates over the arteries.
The antioxidant properties of pomegranate keep a check on this phenomenon and promote good heart health. It might also help to slow down aging.
It can be a tedious job to peel down a pomegranate, but it can be consumed in the form of fruit salads, dessert toppings, and juices.
Lentils And Pulses
If you are suffering from or preventing the risks of high blood pressure, your daily meals must have a portion of lentils.
These are packed with different kinds of nutrients such as proteins, fibers, Potassium, Magnesium, etc.
Research has shown that lentils can help reduce blood pressure levels and enhance the body’s metabolism.
There are a lot of ways to include them in your diet. It can be a great meat substitute. They can also be used as salad dressings and sprouts.
It has similar properties as beetroots. The American Health Association urges people to include more Potassium-rich foods such as carrots, which helps in proper dilation of the arteries.
The Chlorogenic and Caffeic acids help in reducing inflammation, which is necessary for reducing blood pressure. Carrots have a mild sweet taste and can be used for salads, desserts, and juices.
Olive OilPregnancy can induce high blood pressure and can have other serious implications as well.
Although olive oil is said to be high in calories, it has been proven to be beneficial for women in reducing blood pressure. It can be used for salad dressings and as a replacement for butter or oil.
It can be said that maintaining a healthy lifestyle is not an easy job if we consider our hectic schedules and the environmental degradation around us.
This has been one of the main reasons for such a common occurrence of this condition worldwide.
However, ignorance can never be an option and you can minimize the risks of Hypertension by incorporating the aforementioned food items into your diet.