High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is the most common factor in strokes and heart diseases. This is a very common disease; around one million people around the globe are experiencing high blood pressure.
Some products such as angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors are commonly used to lower high blood pressure. However, according to the doctors in Islamabad, dietary modifications and lifestyle changes can also play an important role in lowering blood pressure levels to optimal ranges and reducing the risks of strokes and heart diseases.
A healthy diet is important to lower high blood pressure and maintain optimal levels. Healthy diets rich in nutrients such as magnesium and potassium help reduce blood pressure levels.
Foods for High Blood Pressure
Here are some foods to maintain normal blood pressure:
- Swiss Chard
Swiss chard is a leafy green rich in blood pressure regulating nutrients, including magnesium and potassium. 145 grams of cooked Swiss chard delivers 30% and 17% of your daily magnesium and potassium, respectively.
In patients with hypertension, a 0.6g increase in dietary potassium is associated with a 1.0 mm Hg reduction in high blood pressure. One cup (almost 145g) chard contains 792mg of this important nutrient.
Magnesium also plays an important role in blood pressure regulation. Magnesium acts as a natural calcium channel blocker and reduces blood pressure, it also blocks the movement of calcium into arterial and heart cells, and allows blood vessels to relax.
- Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits such as lemons, grapefruit, and oranges may have a strong blood pressure lowering effects. These fruits are loaded with minerals, vitamins, and plant compounds that keep your heart healthy by reducing heart disease risks like high blood pressure.
Studies have also indicated that drinking grapefruit and orange juice can help reduce blood pressure. However, grapefruits can interfere with the common blood pressure-lowering products. Therefore, consult your doctor before adding grapefruit to your diet.
- Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds may be small in size, but they are full of nutrients. These seeds are rich a source of potassium, magnesium, an amino acid, and arginine needed for nitric oxide production, which is important for blood pressure reduction and blood vessel relaxation.
The oil of these seeds can also be a powerful natural remedy for hypertension. A study indicated that women who got 3g of pumpkin seed oil daily for six weeks led to a significant reduction in high blood pressure.
Taking whole grains such as amaranth can play a role in lowering blood pressure levels. Some studies indicate that diets full of whole grains can decrease the risks of hypertension.
Research shows that a 30g increase in whole grains per day is correlated with an 8% reduction in high blood pressure levels. Amaranth is considered as a whole grain particularly high in magnesium. 246g (almost one cup) provides 38% of your daily magnesium needs.
Celery is a famous vegetable that may have beneficial effects on blood pressure. It possesses compounds known as phthalides. This compound may help reduce blood pressure levels and relax blood vessels.
Raw carrot intake along with cooked celery is also associated with reduced blood pressure.
Pistachios are full of nutrients and their intake is linked with healthy blood pressure levels. They are high in nutrients such as potassium that are essential to regulate blood pressure. A study found out that daily intake of pistachio had the strongest effect on reducing high blood pressure.
- Salmon and other Fatty Fish
Fatty fishes such as salmon are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have many important heart health benefits. Omega-3 fatty acids may help reduce blood pressure levels by decreasing blood vessel constructing and reducing inflammation.
Bananas contain a good amount of potassium, a mineral responsible for playing an important role in managing high blood pressure. One banana (medium-sized) contains almost 422 milligrams of potassium.
Potassium decreases the effects of sodium and also reduces tension in the walls of blood vessels. Other potassium-rich foods can include:
- Honeydew and cantaloupe melon
- Sweet potatoes
- Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate may also lower high blood pressure. A study found out that cocoa-rich chocolate reduces blood pressure in patients with prehypertension or hypertension. Try to choose good-quality chocolate that contains 70% of cocoa and eat a single square each day.
Strawberries and blueberries contain antioxidants known as anthocyanins, a type of flavonoid.
Researchers have found that a high intake of anthocyanins from blueberries and strawberries is associated with an 8% reduction in high blood pressure. You can enjoy these berries as a sweet treat after meals or add them to oatmeal.
Hypertension or high blood pressure can be a deadly disease that may lead to heart diseases or strokes; therefore, it is essential to add healthy foods to your diet to prevent or control high blood pressure.