Best Foods to Lower High Blood Pressure – Your Guide to a Healthier Diet
With this day and age, we have countless of diseases, illnesses and unhealthy issues that sometimes creep up on us out of nowhere without our knowledge. What’s worse is that these deadly health hazards found a way to stay silent and hidden until they become strong and we end up finding out about them too late.
Others shock us with their “surprise attack” and leave us having a hard time to recuperate and get better. One very good example of this is the fatal and notorious high blood pressure. In this guide we introduce to you some of the best foods to lower high blood pressure.
Blood Pressure Alert!
An elevated blood pressure can happen to anyone, any age and sadly at anytime. Most people do not know that they are already suffering from it and other are suddenly “hit” with a major increase in blood pressure. This condition differs from one person to another which makes it difficult for us to keep an eye on. But when we know why and how it affects us, we can at least prevent it from happening.
High Blood Pressure?
As plainly as it is called, high blood pressure is the increase of the pressure within our blood vessels due to the constriction of it. This means that our vessels get damaged over time due to constriction and can lead to serious health conditions such as stroke, heart attacks, heart and kidney diseases and many more. It is known as the “silent killer” because there are no actual signs and symptoms for it unless you regularly measure your blood pressure.
What Causes Blood Pressure to Increase
Even though we cannot determine a viable “attack” we can know if we are a candidate for it. Basically, high blood pressure is due to an unhealthy and stagnant lifestyle accompanied by a unhealthy diet. These are some risk factors in your meal plan that may cause your blood pressure to elevate:
- High salt diet
- Minimal fruit and vegetable intake
- Too much alcohol consumption
- Inadequate potassium, calcium and magnesium rich foods in diet
Super Food for a Super You
Now that you know that diet plays a major role when it comes to regulating your blood pressure, you need to adjust it accordingly and make it healthier and better for your body. Here are ten great examples of foods that can help your fight against high blood pressure.
You can never go wrong with a vegetable portion in your plate. Overall, vegetables are very nutritious and nourishing, and in any fight against any health condition, veggies are always present. So try to add these veggie babies on your diet for a healthier circulatory system.
1. Green Leafy Vegetables
Aim for vegetables that are rich in potassium. The reason for this is because potassium can aid your kidneys with eliminating sodium from your body. A decrease in sodium means a better chance of having a lowered blood pressure. Some examples of potassium rich green leafiness are:
- Swiss chard
- Collard greens
- Romaine lettuce
- Beet greens
- Turnip green
Garlic contains a hefty amount of nitric oxide in them which can help your body battle out high blood pressure. What nitric oxide does is that it promotes vasodilatation or the widening of our blood vessels which overall is the cause of a high blood pressure.
3. Whole Grains
Whole grains are also a great addition to your meal, and can even fight against high blood pressure. This is due to its ability to absorb and eliminate cholesterol (due to high-fiber content) which, when excessive in amount in our bodies, can cause cholesterol plaque build-up in our blood vessels. Just imagine the added pressure of having something clogged-up in an already constricted pathway. That is why cholesterol reduction and elimination is highly recommended for a healthy diet.
If you want to have a complete, holistic and healthy diet, then you also need to consider what you drink. The liquid you consume also plays a vital role in your health. Since liquids are faster absorbed by our bodies, healthy options must also be provided. Here are some good examples of healthy liquids.
Water is the cheapest and most available drink there all over the world and it is good for your body as well. Drinking more than 8 glasses of water a day can make your body fit and healthy all throughout the day. Dehydration can trigger your vessels to react and it can cause high blood pressure. So stay hydrated and always drink water. Try measuring 18 ounces of water in a water bottle and drink this amount for four to five time a day or even more to stay well hydrated.
When considering milk, there is a huge emphasis of what type you need to consume if you want to have your blood pressure normalized. It is evident that there are so many types of milk out there but you only need two options to do the job and that is Skim and Low-Fat Milk. Since calcium deficiency is linked to high blood pressure, our main target is to increase the level of calcium in our bodies without the risk of adding unwanted fats during the process.
3. Red Wine
Who says you need to give up on alcohol if you want a healthy diet? A good diet is one that allows you to have that guilty pleasure satisfied but in a healthy manner. Red wine is a type of alcoholic beverage that also has healthy benefits if consumed in a titrated and regulated manner. This drink has been found to increase the “good” cholesterol or HDL of your body which is responsible for removing plaque formation found in your arteries and blood vessels. Another great thing about it is that it has a chemical known as resveratrol which is an anti-clotting agent and can help in lowering your body’s blood pressure. Just keep in mind that you are only allowed two glasses a day form men and one glass a day for women and no more than that.
Healthy Snack Buddies
Most of us love to have a snack or two during our breaks or even while at work. That is why we also need to keep our snack healthy and safe for our body. If you plan to keep your blood pressure regular, they try to nibble on these healthy snacks.
It has been reported that people eating pistachios tend to have lowered the body’s HDL or bad cholesterol with just two to three servings a day. This nut also aids in relaxing the blood vessels of the body thus lowering the chances of a high blood pressure episode.
2. Dark Chocolate
Please take note; we are talking about DARK chocolate here and not your regular ones. Dark chocolate contains more than 60 percent cocoa solid and has less sugar as compared to regular chocolate. This type of chocolate it a healthy one because it has a lot of flavonoids found inside it. It also aids in widening of the blood vessels that gives our blood a better and smoother flow. So chow down on at least 100 grams of these black beauties a day for a healthy snack time.
Majority of berries are rich in chemical called flavonoids which aid in preventing hypertension and lowers blood pressure. So try munching of blueberries, cherries, strawberries and the likes for a healthy and sweet victory.
Banana lovers rejoice, you are helping your body battle out high blood pressure. Bananas are known to be rich in potassium which is, like what was previously mentioned, what our body needs to keep our blood pressure at bay. So continue eating bananas and make your way to a healthier you.
Tea Time and Smoothie-Juice Breaks
Compared to solid food, liquids are faster absorbed by our bodies and have a tendency to spread its nutrients faster in return. That is why a lot of people are raving about “healthy juices” in a form of tea, smoothies or even your old fashioned blended fruits. Here are some great examples of juices that can defeat high blood-pressure.
The hibiscus tea is packed with blood lowering components such as bioactive phytochemicals which is similar to antioxidants and ACE inhibiting properties. With both combined, not only is our blood vessels kept safe and healthy, our blood flow will be able to smoothly stream all across our body. So try replacing your morning cup of coffee with this healthy tea.
Beet is rich in potassium that by just consuming two cups of it a day can develop significant changes in your health. It also has a variety of vitamins, nutrients and minerals which are helpful with our body’s goal of having the best blood flow possible. But the most vital key ingredient of beet is its nitrate content which turns to nitrites once consumed. It acts by relaxing the muscle tissues and facilitates the increase of blood flow throughout the body. Why make it into a smoothie, well it’s because most people are not too happy with the taste. So better mix the beet with other fruit smoothie to make it more pleasant to drink.
Considered as the super fruit of our time, the cranberry is a great juice to drink for any health condition in fact. THIs fruit has both anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidizing properties that can help your body fight against a high blood pressure attack. It widens the blood vessels, prevent them from being damaged, shower our body with vitamin C and promote a healthy blood flow all at the same time. Best go with your own home made cranberry juice though, so you won’t have to worry about excessive sugar content likes those found on readymade juices. Another option is to tediously check the readymade cranberry juices and its content. Make sure to aim for the unsweetened ones or those with the most minimal sugar content available.
Either consume it raw, juice it or combine it with other fruits. Make it a smoothie, pomegranate is a sweet and yummy fruit that can be best absorbed when it is in liquid form. Similar to the hibiscus tea, it contains ACE (angiotensin converting enzymes) inhibiting properties. It is responsible for elevating your blood pressure through constriction (similarly as to how dehydration affects our blood vessels).
You are what you definitely eat and what you eat can make or break you and your health. Everyone deserves to have a healthy, happy, fit and disease/illness free life, well, if they really want to that is. Sure it is not easy to suddenly change what you are used to, especially when it comes to food. But you owe it up to your body to make it healthy. It is your responsibility to fuel it with nutritious food. Start making your menu healthy and your drinks nutritious. You will eventually realize that all your hard work and commitment will reward you ten folds with a healthy and health hazard free body.