High blood pressure is known as hypertension in medical language. When blood flows through the arteries, it creates pressure on the artery walls. People suffering from high blood pressure often exert more pressure on the walls of the artery leading to various kinds of health problems. it has been seen that high blood pressure leads to damage to blood vessels and this might lead to various health ailments including heart ailments, stroke, kidney diseases and various kinds of cardiovascular diseases. Hypertension is often referred to as the silent killer as the symptoms of the problem often go unnoticed. As a result, the treatment of the problem also doesn’t take place. It is only when the damage takes place beyond repair, one realizes the same.
The number of sufferers from high blood pressure is increasing globally. Various factors contribute to the problem. While some of the causes are beyond control, some of the factors can be controlled. Things that are out of control include family history, gender, age, race, etc. Factors that can be controlled include diet and exercise. If you want to control blood pressure via diet, make sure that it is rich in magnesium, potassium, and fiber. Also, the sodium content in the diet should be low.
After a certain age, you must keep checking your blood pressure from time to time. In case you see that the blood pressure remains high, it is recommended to get in touch with a doctor at once. Depending on the condition of the patient, the doctor might initially ask diet control and exercise for reducing blood pressure. However, if the pressure is quite high, medications might be prescribed. Along with this, various kinds of supplements are also available, which help in keeping blood pressure under control. Among various such supplements, StrictionBP needs special mention. Taking the supplement as recommended helps in keeping blood pressure under control. Also, it is completely natural and hence free from side effects.
Important diet tips for keeping high blood pressure under control
There is a special kind of diet which helps in keeping high blood pressure under control. The low-salt Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet has proven records of lowering blood pressure. The results of such a diet can be seen within a few weeks. The best thing about this diet is that it abounds in fiber and all kinds of essential nutrients. Foods included in this diet have high sources of calcium, magnesium, and potassium and have low sodium content. Mentioned below are some of the goals of the DASH diet:
- It is recommended to consume whole grains instead of pasta products or white flour.
- Sodium content consumption should be limited to not more than 2300mg a day. If you can eat just 1500mg/day it is the best thing.
- Consume legumes, nuts, and seeds every day.
- Go for monounsaturated oils like canola oil or olive oil.
- Include fresh vegetables and fruits in the diet every day. These include all essential nutrients for proper maintenance of the body.
- Try including low-fat dairy products in the diet as it helps in lowering systolic blood pressure.
- Modest amounts of protein sources like skinless poultry, fish and soy products are excellent for lowering blood pressure levels.
Mentioned below are some food items which help in lowering blood pressure:
- Yogurt and skim milk – You might not know but skim milk is low in fat content and is a great source of calcium as well. If you are looking to lower blood pressure, calcium and low-fat foods are important. If you don’t like milk, you can always choose yogurt. Women consuming 5 or more servings of yogurt in a week had a lower risk of developing high blood pressure (1). If you want to have extra heart-healthy benefits, add almond slivers, fruits, and granola in the yogurt. Lower sugar content in yogurt is good for health.
- Berries – Blueberries in particular among different kinds of berries are a rich source of natural compounds known as flavonoids. It has been found in studies that these components play a crucial role in keeping blood pressure low and prevents hypertension. You can easily add raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries in the diet. Add them to the morning cereals or you can munch on them in the form of snacks whenever you are hungry.
- Fish high in omega-3s including mackerel and salmon – If you are looking to include lean protein in your diet, there is no better option than adding fish. Salmon and mackerel are fatty fish and abound in omega-3 fatty acids. These help in reducing inflammation and lowering triglyceride levels and blood pressure levels. There is another fish called trout, which is a rich source of vitamin D. There are very few foods that contain vitamin D and this vitamin is said to reduce blood pressure levels. The fish can be prepared and cooked in various ways.
- Leafy green vegetables – It has been already said that potassium plays an important role in helping the kidneys to get rid of more amount of sodium via urine. This helps in lowering the blood pressure levels in the body. Some leafy green vegetables which have high potassium content include spinach, arugula, beet greens, turnip greens, romaine lettuce, collard greens, Swiss chard, etc. Refrain from canned vegetables as these might have added sodium. However, you can always use frozen vegetables.
- Red beets – Red beets abound in nitric oxide and these help in opening the blood vessels and lower levels of blood pressure in the body. The nitrates present in beetroot juice reduce blood pressure in just 24 hours. You can cook the whole beet or extract juice from the same. There are different interesting recipes of beetroots.
- Oatmeal – If you are looking for a healthy breakfast option, try including oatmeal in your diet regimen. The advantage of oatmeal is that it has high-fiber and low sodium and low fat. Thus it is an excellent means of lowering blood pressure. You can add various kinds of fresh fruits and nuts to oatmeal to make it tasty.
- Dark chocolate – Just cutting on your favorite foods is not required for lowering blood pressure. You can add dark chocolate to your diet as there is enough evidence that this ingredient is closely associated with a low risk of cardiovascular ailments (2). 100 grams of dark chocolate per day is great for keeping cardiovascular diseases away. When compared to normal chocolate, dark chocolate has more percentage of cocoa solids and much less sugar content. Dark chocolate is an excellent healthy dessert.
- Bananas – Rather than taking potassium supplements, it is better to eat foods that are a rich source of potassium. Include banana in your diet for adding potassium. You can add banana to the oatmeal or breakfast cereal. Include a banana with a boiled egg for a quick snack or breakfast.
- Herbs and garlic – It has been noted in various reviews that garlic helps in reducing hypertension by increasing nitric oxide content in the body. Nitric oxide plays an important role in promoting vasodilation. This means that the arteries are widened and hence pressure of blood on the arteries is less reducing blood pressure. Along with garlic, you can also incorporate flavorful spices and herbs in the diet as these help in cutting back on salt intake. Some common herbs and spices which can be included are cinnamon, rosemary, basil, thyme, etc.
- Various kinds of seeds – Unsalted seeds have seen to be high in various kinds of minerals like magnesium, potassium, etc. and these help in reducing blood pressure. You can add almost ¼ cup of squash seeds, pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds in the diet as healthy snacks that can be enjoyed between meals.
- Pomegranates – Pomegranates are excellent fruits, which can be eaten raw or enjoyed in the form of juice. In one study it was found that drinking a cup of pomegranate juice daily for about a month could reduce blood pressure within a short period. Take the juice along with breakfast. If possible extract fresh juice and refrain from store-bought juices as they might have high sugar content.
- Olive oil – Olive oil is an excellent healthy fat, which has polyphenols. Inflammation-fighting compounds play a crucial role in reducing blood pressure. The DASH diet also includes olive oil and it is a great alternative for commercial salad dressing, butter or even canola oil.
These diet tips will help in maintaining healthy blood pressure levels without many efforts.