Top 20 Foods To Reduce High Blood Pressure, The Silent Killer That Damages You Internally
High blood pressure is a silent killer. According to the CDC, (Centre for Disease prevention and Control), almost 75 million of the adult population in America suffer from hypertension or high blood pressure, which has killed off the idea of healthy and safe living in modern times. Blame it on our crazy lifestyle, work pressure and stress or even our lazy, sedentary, inactive living habits; we are slowly becoming the victim of this modern-day plague. This slow killer produces no telltale symptoms which is why it gets unnoticed and untreated till it’s usually too late. That is why High blood pressure is referred to as a silent killer
High blood pressure can damage organs.
High blood pressure can cause damage to the blood vessels causing heart disease, strokes and kidney disease which can be fatal if not treated. But we can do much to control and reduce the condition such as exercise and diet. Here are 20 foods to reduce high blood pressure focusing especially on those rich in potassium, magnesium and fiber and low sodium content.
The aim is to lower the sodium content in the blood and body which can be reduced with the help of potassium through our kidneys, draining them out as urine. Leafy greens are the best source of potassium for this purpose such as Kale, arugula, Romaine lettuce, spinach, Beet greens, collard and turnip greens and so on. Avoid eating canned vegetables as they are high on sodium content but on the other hand frozen vegetables are as good as fresh produce and can be teamed up with bananas, other fruits and milk to make a yummy health shake.
Oatmeal actually meets up with all the 3 specification for an ideal food item to lower hypertension that is, it is high on fiber, low on fat and sodium content. This is why, oatmeal has traditionally been considered the best breakfast food all across Europe. The best way is to soak half cup of oatmeal and half cup of nut milk in a jar overnight and finally stir in some berries or granola and cinnamon before slurping it up in morning.
Banana is rich in Potassium. When added with the usual cereal or oatmeal or even boiled milk, this wonder fruit can work better then the best of diet supplements!
4Garlic and herbs
An important biological process called Vasodilation’ or literally meaning the widening of the arteries can reduce blood pressure and this can be achieved naturally by greater intake of Nitric Oxide in our system. The best way to do this is to eat more of garlic and herbs will also cut back your salt intake and reduce hypertension. You can also add more of basil, thyme, rosemary and garlic in your meals.
Perhaps this is the only item in the list which would need the least bit of resistance or cajoling for consumption. Yes, our much-loved chocolate comes with its own properties to fight against hypertension. Dark chocolate contains 60% cocoa solids and has less sugar as compared to the regular ones, which is why it is associated with lowering of cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Researchers have suggested that 100 grams of dark chocolate per day can substantially reduce hypertension.
Yet another way to reduce high blood pressure is to increase your intake of dry fruits especially pistachios. Medically proven to reduce peripheral vascular resistance, blood vessel tightening and regulation of heart rate, one pistachio a day can go a long way. Incorporate them in pesto sauce, salads, and desserts or best eat them plain as snacks!
It has always been common knowledge that pomegranates are an extremely healthy fruit item eaten raw or as juice. In fact, medical research has proven that a cup of pomegranate juice a day for at least 4 weeks can tangibly reduce hypertension for a short term. Make sure if you buy the juice it should be low on the sugar content as it would entirely defeat the object. So have a glass of this red juice every morning from now on! Be prepared for happy changes.
Unsalted Seeds such as pumpkin, sunflower or squash seeds are high in potassium and magnesium. They are also teeming with healthy minerals and salts crucial in the fight against high blood pressure. Enjoy them as snacks between meals or while commuting daily from work or home.
9Salmon, mackerel, and fish with omega-3s
Among foods to reduce high blood pressure, we cannot ignore a hearty dose of fish, rich in protein and Omega-3. Fatty fish like mackerel and salmon are traditionally included in many diets because they reduce inflammation and triglycerides thanks to a liberal content of vitamin D which has hormonal tendencies to lower blood pressure.
Another advantage of eating fish is its awesome taste! Whether you baked or steamed, it never loses its flavor and zing. Just place a fillet of Salmon on parchment paper and season it with herbs, lemon and olive oil and bake it for 12-15 minutes in a preheated oven at 450 F. the aroma and taste will drive you nuts, no wonder half of the globe is fish crazy!
10Skim milk and yogurt
Every culture promotes milk drinking in kids as a healthy breakfast option. If you are fortunate enough not to be lactose intolerant, fresh milk and yoghurt can actually work wonders. Skimmed milk is rich in calcium and low fat according to the American Heart Association. In fact, a study has actually proven that women who ate five or more servings of yogurt a week experienced a 20% reduction in hypertension.
You can achieve the same goal by adding granola, almonds, and your favorite fruits items in your milk or yogurt and make a creamy smoothie but without sugar, so homemade options are obviously better here.
Red beet is high in nitric oxide content and crucial for ‘Vasodilation’ which we discussed earlier in this article. Well how to incorporate this delicious and beautiful vegetable is entirely your preference, have it raw, roast it or stir fry it with other veggies or simply make them into soups or stews, it’s just heavenly in every way. Mind you, your laundry bills might go a bit higher if you spill them on your pristine clothing.
Berries are rich in natural compounds called Flavanoids and medical research has actually proven that by incorporating these compounds on a regular basis in our diet, it prevents hypertension on a long-term basis. Be it blueberries, strawberries or raspberries, just add them in your usual boring cereal bowl or granola or even add frozen berries to garnish your desserts, it does it magic every single time.
Gone are the days when olive oil was considered some exotic salad dressing item and nothing more. Olive oil defines the term;’ Healthy Fat’ as it contains polyphenols which fight inflammation and reduce blood pressure. Moreover, olive oil is a far better substitute for canola oil, butter or any other commercial dressings, so what are you waiting for? Have a glug of it every morning and charge yourself for the day.
As weird it may sound but it is really effective as it has been medically proven that with a high purple potato diet, patients have dramatically reduced their diastolic (the bottom number of blood pressure) reading by an average of 4.3%. Systolic pressure (the top reading) also reduced by 3.5%.
Traditionally in many Asian cultures such as Iran, hibiscus tea has been considered a healthy rejuvenating and social drink. Its medical properties were discovered quite late, especially its power to fight hypertension. It has been claimed if hibiscus tea is regularly drunk for 12 days it reduces the systolic pressure by 11.7 percent and diastolic pressure by 10.7 %. So drink on.
Coriander has always been used as a natural treatment for a number of ailments. But it was in 2009 when a revolutionary study proved the actual power of this spice, which made the world sit up and look at this dainty little seeds differently. Coriander was found to contain a hypotonsive effect which reduces the blood pressure.
Call it vegetable or berries, those hearty blood red tomatoes not only look sumptuous but are laden with Lycopene- a nutrient which has high hypotensive effects if eaten raw. Simply speaking, one must add as many red tomatoes in salads and sandwiches to reduce your hypertension of yours.
Since ancient times, sesame oil has been popular for its medicinal properties. Sesame oil lowers blood pressure and protects against cardiac hypertrophy (which is basically thickening of heart muscles caused due to hypertension).
Many researchers have further shown that sesame oil can increase potassium levels while reducing the sodium content in our bloodstream. So our advice would be to cook your meals in sesame oil in a regular basis for a long time effect.
19Tea & Blood Pressure
Drinking black tea is always associated with reduction in night fluctuation of blood pressure. Since blood pressure variability is a risk factor for several cardiovascular diseases, you can control it with a hot cup of green or organic tea.
Mangoes are rich source of fiber and Beta Carotene both of which are officially high blood pressure busters. In fact, according to research, it has been suggested that consuming mangoes can actually lower your blood pressure in matter of hours. Try freezing them and then blending them in to a tasty sorbet for those hot sunny days and see the difference yourself.
Bonus Point: The Dash Diet
The Dash Diet or dietary approaches to stop hypertension includes reducing your intake of sodium or salt, fat and alcohol. Just two weeks of the DASH diet can reduce your systolic blood pressure by 8-14 points. The chart below is an example of the DASH diet, while the link tells you all you want to know. The DASH diet advises more low fat protein and plenty of vegetables and fruits. Eat foods rich in calcium, potassium and magnesium.