8 Best Foods To Reduce Your High Blood Pressure
The first thing you might think of when reducing your high blood pressure is through limiting high salt foods and eliminating highly processed meals. However, promoting a healthy diet worthy of your heart involves more than just that.
There is much more to the process of maintaining your health.
This comes in several approaches and it does not just involve medication alone. Even the foods you choose to eat will play a big role in how your blood pressure will behave. The condition of high blood pressure is very common and affects an estimated one in every three adults in the United States alone but you can take charge of it through these foods.
Berries are considered among the most powerful foods you can eat. They include strawberries, cranberries, raspberries and blueberries – all of them have antioxidant compounds that are known as anthocyanins in medical circles. These antioxidants also serve as flavonoids. You can eat them after a meal or as an addition to your oatmeal, yogurt or smoothies.
A recent study showed that people who had the highest intake of these anthocyanins, especially after eating plenty of strawberries and blueberries, experienced a reduction of 8% in their blood pressure, compared to those that had low or no intake.
When trying to counteract the harmful effects of too much sodium, it is best to consume foods rich in potassium – and bananas are one of them. An average banana contains 420mg of potassium, which is quite high. It is 9% of the recommended intake.
They also have high fiber content and natural sweetness, which makes them excellent snacks and additions to your smoothies, snacks and baked items instead of using sugar.
Fat-free or low-fat yogurt
This is an excellent calcium source, one of the compounds that will help in regulating your blood pressure. In fact, a serving of about 12-ounces will provide almost 30% of the daily recommended intake of calcium that you require.
It might not be the tastiest option though if you are not used to it so liven it up by adding some berries, almond slivers, granola, or any other fruit you deem interesting.
There are plenty of studies in the medical field that confirm beets have a positive effect on reducing your blood pressure, both in the long and short term. One study from 2015, for instance, showed that people with hypertension drinking beetroot juice had lower blood pressure by about 4/8mmHg, as they continued drinking a glass of it (250ml) every day for 4 weeks.
The reason behind this is unclear, although speculation links it to the high levels of inorganic nitrate present in the juice and the beetroot itself. Consider adding it to salads, drinking the juice, or eat it as a side dish with some veggies.
It contains citrulline, an amino acid that helps to regulate blood pressure. This is due to it assisting the body to make nitric oxide, a gas that encourages the arteries to relax and become flexible (this gas is also prominent in berries). This helps to aid the blood flow as well.
Research has uncovered that animals that consume high amounts of watermelon have better heart health overall, such as mice in a certain control study, as well as less unhealthy weight gain.
Consider eating it as a standalone fruit, or add it to your smoothies and fruit salads. You can also blend it in the form of a chilled watermelon soup to boost your intake.
All forms of leafy green veggies have very high levels of potassium and nitrates, which all help to regulate your blood pressure. In fact, eating as little as one or two servings can reduce your high blood pressure for as long as 24 hours after intake.
However, it is best to prepare them at home instead of eating the canned versions, which likely contain high levels of sodium. It is better to get the frozen ones as they have as many nutrients as the fresh veggies, and you can consider steaming, blending them and taking in form of a smoothie (add some nut milk and bananas for taste).
Examples of these greens are collard greens, cabbage, lettuce, kale, fennel, spinach, mustard greens, and Swiss chard.
Containing the compound allicin, garlic is a powerful food that helps reduce blood pressure significantly. The compound is released for use by the body when you chop or crush the garlic.
However, avoid taking garlic supplements, as research on them is insufficient to conclude they help with hypertension. Stick to fresh garlic.
Sweet potatoes are rich in magnesium and potassium, two minerals that play an important role in the body, making them essential foods. They also have high amounts of fiber, which is good for digestion and heart health, among other things.
It is not a difficult thing to find foods that will help you manage hypertension, as long as you know where to begin. Hopefully, this list will give you an idea of where to start on your journey to healthier eating.