8 Foods To Control High Blood Pressure
Did you know? Almost one-third of people suffering with High Blood Pressure are unaware of their condition unless their symptoms are very severe. It can be discovered only by regular checkups or by monitoring your blood pressure at home. First, let us dive into some common facts and general information about High Blood Pressure.
What is High Blood Pressure?
It is a common condition in which the force of the blood against the artery walls is too high. A blood pressure reading is given in millimeters of Mercury (Hg). The readings have two numbers separated by a line. The normal reading of blood pressure rounds up to 120/80 in adults. In case of High Blood Pressure or Hypertension, the pressure can go above 140/90.
The top reading or the systolic pressure measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats. While, the bottom reading or the diastolic pressure measures the pressure in the arteries as the heart relaxes i.e., in between beats.
As people are most likely unaware of the symptoms, here is a list of common Symptoms of Severe High Blood Pressure:
- Severe headaches
- Nose bleeding
- Fatigue or confusion
- Vision problems
- Chest pain
- Difficulty in breathing
- Irregular heartbeat
- Blood in the urine
- Pounding in your chest, neck, or ears
If ignored or neglected, uncontrolled High Blood Pressure can lead to severe health problems including heart attack or stroke.
People sometimes feel that other symptoms may be related to High Blood Pressure, but they may not be, such as:
• Trouble in sleeping
- Facial flushing
- Blood spots in eyes
Now, High Blood Pressure is common in older people. So you may wonder, what triggers it?
Well, there are several factors that may cause High Blood Pressure, but the exact cause is still unknown. The following factors may increase one’s risk for High Blood Pressure, clearly indicating the Don’ts for Hypertension:
- Overweight or obesity
- Lack of physical activity
- Excess of Sodium consumption
- Excessive alcohol consumption (more than 1-2 drinks per day)
- Excessive Caffeine Consumption
- Chronic Kidney Disease
- Adrenal and Thyroid disorders
Research suggests that lifestyle plays an important role in keeping the Blood Pressure under control. For instance, making simple changes in your diet can work like magic. It is also the easiest way to live a healthy lifestyle. Dietary changes and regular exercise helps lower Hypertension, both immediately and in the long term while also lowering the risk of other associated conditions.
Wondering what diet can be followed to lower Hypertension?
1. Adopt DASH Diet Enriched With Key Nutrients
Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) is perfectly designed and planned to help manage Blood Pressure. It is rich in fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy and other fibre-rich foods. These foods have high amounts of key nutrients like that of Potassium (K), Magnesium (Mg), Calcium (Ca), Fibre and Protein. They are essential to lower Blood Pressure naturally.
Pro Tip: Approach a professional Dietician for a detailed diet plan as per your body type.
2. Garlic’s Active Ingredient Reduces Blood Pressure
With natural antibiotic and anti-fungal properties, garlic has been informed as a great help in reduction of Blood Pressure by the National Institute of Health (NIH). The main ingredient of garlic is Allicin, a compound which is often responsible for and is considered as the powerhouse of health benefits. This compound is released when garlic is crushed or chopped, thereby increasing the production of Nitric Oxide in the body. Nitric Oxide is known to help the smooth muscles to relax and the blood vessels to dilate, making these changes favourable for reduction of High Blood Pressure.
Pro Tip: Use garlic instead of salt to further promote the good health of your heart.
3. Blood Pressure Reducing Magic Element – Beets
Beetroots, commonly known as beets are high in blood pressure-reducing nitric oxide. According to a research conducted in 2015, it was reported that drinking red beetroot juice, once every day for 4 weeks, led to lower blood pressure in people with Hypertension. And some even showed positive results within 24 hours. Magical, isn’t it?
Pro Tip: Enjoy the delectable beets in a salad, soup or just shake it up in a juice and pave your way to reduced blood pressure levels in Hypertension.
4. Oats Lower the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
Studies have shown that consuming just 3 servings of whole grains, especially oatmeal, every day have reduced the risk of heart diseases by 15%. According to another research, it was concluded that oats contain a type of fibre called Beta-Glucan, which may reduce Blood Pressure and also blood cholesterol levels. Amazing how foods can add so much to your life right?
Pro Tip: Oatmeal for breakfast is a great way to start your day and say goodbye to all heart related problems.
5. High Fibre Sweet Potatoes are an Essential
Who doesn’t love potatoes?
We all do! Right?
Well, sweet potatoes are even better!
Rich in Potassium (K) and Magnesium (Mg), sweet potatoes form an integral part of following a Blood Pressure-reducing diet. They are high in fibre, making them beneficial for our hearts too.
Pro Tip: Go all out and make your favourite potato fries with sweet potatoes, and trust us, you will love it.
6. Green Leafy Veggies are Rich in Nitrates
An excellent source of Potassium and Nitrates are the very own green leafy veggies. Kale, cabbage, fennel, Romaine lettuce, mustard greens, spinach, Swiss chard, beet greens, arugula and collard greens are high in Nitrates, which help reduce Blood Pressure. Include a minimal quantity of 1-2 servings of Nitrate-rich veggies in your diet and reduce Hypertension up to 24 hours.
Pro Tip: Ditch the regular salads and stir these up into a delicious smoothie, top it off on omelette or as a filling inside your sandwiches.
7. Salmon Reduces Inflammation
Thank heavens for a neat option! No?
Salmon and Mackerel are rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids which not only reduces inflammation but also helps lower Blood Pressure. We knew they are a great source of Vitamin D, but did you know they also help regulate the Blood Pressure? It helps the body absorb Calcium and protects against depression as well.
Pro Tip: Bake a classic, delicious Salmon for yourself and enjoy on a rainy day.
8. Proteins and Fibre Packed Lentils
Research says that an effective diet is that which is rich in Fibre and Proteins. An excellent example of rich diet comprises of pulses, including beans, peas, lentils and chickpeas, which are a great source of Vegetarian Protein and Fibre. These are known to be helpful in decreasing levels of High Blood Pressure and Cholesterol.
Pro Tip: Use their versatility to your benefit and include these in whichever form you like in your diet.
You can also resort to meditation and practice deep breathing, once every day to keep your Blood Pressure in control. It calms the blood vessels and reduces stress, thereby reducing Blood Pressure. It’s important to remember that High Blood Pressure doesn’t usually have symptoms. So, everyone should get it checked regularly. Do not panic, just follow these dietary measures and you are sure to get back on the fitter side.