15 Best Foods that Lower Blood Pressure
This article will talk about the best foods that you can eat to help lower your blood pressure. But before we discuss the different foods that are good for your blood pressure, we will first talk about the causes of high blood pressure and how to lower it down. So if you have problems with high blood pressure, just read on and learn more about how you can make yourself healthier with foods that are good for you.
What Makes Blood Pressure High?
Blood pressure is the amount of force the blood is being pushed against the blood vessel walls. So if a person has high blood pressure, it means that the blood vessel walls are receiving a high amount of pressure for a sustained period. High blood pressure is also called hypertension and it is a very dangerous health condition because your heart will work double time in pumping the blood. This may lead to heart failure, hardening of the arteries, stroke, and kidney disease. The exact reason for high blood pressure is still not clear but there are many factors why your blood pressure may spike up.
- Old Age – as you grow older, your risk of having high blood pressure goes up. It is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle as you grow old to lessen the risk of this type of disease.
- Overweight and Obesity – research has shown that overweight people are more likely to develop high blood pressure than those with normal weight.
- Lack of Exercise – being inactive and having a sedentary lifestyle is very unhealthy. It raises the risk of hypertension or high blood pressure.
- Fatty Diet – too much fat in your diet can raise the risk of developing high blood pressure. Some dietitians stress out that it is not the amount of fat you consume, but it is actually the type of fat. There are healthy fats and there are also saturated and trans-fat, mostly animal-sourced, that is bad for you.
- Alcohol – research has found that people who regularly drink too much alcohol have higher systolic blood pressure.
- Smoking – it reduces the oxygen content in your blood, which makes your heart work harder, leading to high blood pressure. Smoking also constricts your blood vessels, which spikes up your blood pressure.
- Stress – studies have shown that mental stress is the cause of so many diseases, including hypertension. If you are exposed to mental stress every day, you should find out how to reduce your stress in order to avoid developing high blood pressure and other diseases.
- Pregnancy – high blood pressure is a common complication encountered during pregnancy. They are at higher risk of hypertension than women who are not pregnant.
- Diabetes – people who have diabetes usually develop complications, including hypertension. With regular blood sugar control using insulin, this reduces the risk of high blood pressure.
- Genetics and Family History – if your parents or close family members have high blood pressure, there is a higher risk that you would also have hypertension.
How to Lower Blood Pressure
If you want to say goodbye to hypertension completely, you would have to make a commitment to change your lifestyle for the better. It sounds easy but it takes a lot of discipline to reduce weight, stop smoking, lessen alcohol intake, and practice regular exercise. You should also consult your doctor and talk to them about the changes you want to make in order to fight high blood pressure and improve your health.
- Eat Healthy Foods – introduce more fruits and vegetables to your diet. When eating meat, try to trim the fats out and do not choose processed meats.
- Regular Exercise – studies have shown that exercising daily for 30 minutes to an hour can lower a person’s blood pressure. Remember to choose an exercise program that is tailored to your health condition and needs.
- Reduce Alcohol Consumption – too much alcohol in your body can elevate the blood pressure. The best solution is to reduce your alcohol intake and drink only in small amounts.
- Lose Weight – when you lose weight or reduce your waistline, it has significant and positive effect in lowering your blood pressure.
- Getting Enough Sleep – people who have the habit of staying up late frequently are more at risk of developing high blood pressure. Adults should get 7 to 8 hours of sleep every day.
- Avoid Stress – try to incorporate relaxation techniques or stress-management approach to lower stress.
On the next page, you’ll find the 15 best foods that lower blood pressure.
15 Best Foods that Lower Blood Pressure
The risk factors for hypertension or high blood pressure are beyond our control such as genetics or family history and age. However, you still have a lot of control when it comes to your daily diet, exercise, and lifestyle. It is proven that the right diet can help lower your blood pressure, so here are 15 of the best foods that you should include in your diet right now.
Oatmeal is rich in fiber and low in fat and sodium. It is also a great meal to eat in the morning and give you the needed fuel for the rest of the day. You can add other fruits or vegetables in your oatmeal to increase its nutritional value.
Leafy vegetables such as kale, arugula, spinach, collard greens, and romaine lettuce are very rich in potassium. Eating potassium-rich foods help your kidney eliminate sodium through the urine, which lowers your blood pressure. It is better to choose frozen or fresh vegetable instead of canned vegetables that contain some sodium.
Flaxseed is strongly linked to lowering both the systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure. Flaxseed contains alpha linolenic acid, fiber, peptides, and lignans, which is greatly responsible for the reduction of blood pressure.
Cocoa-rich foods and dark chocolate are very much responsible for reducing blood pressure among people with hypertension. There are also studies showing that the polyphenols in cocoa can help expand blood vessels, which in turn eases the flow of blood.
Blueberries and other berries contain high levels of flavonoids that are proven to lower high blood pressure and treat hypertension. You should add more strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries to your cereals, oatmeal, and other dessert meals.
Yogurt and Skim Milk
Yogurt and skim milk are excellent sources of calcium, and they are also low in fat. These two elements are important for reducing your blood pressure. Studies have shown that women who consume yogurt regularly have reduced their risk of developing hypertension. Look for yogurts that have lesser sugar quantity.
Red beets are rich in nitric oxide, which is known for opening blood vessels and lowering blood pressure. There are so many ways to consume red beets. You can whip up your own beet juice or cook them. You can also bake them into beet chips or roast them. The nitrates contained in the beets are effective in easing blood pressure.
Banana is another potassium-rich food that can help lower your blood pressure. You can eat a banana in a variety of ways. You can add them to your cereals and oatmeal. It is also a very healthy snack or quick breakfast in the morning.
Garlic is rich in the nitric oxide that can promote the widening of the arteries, which in turn reduces your high blood pressure. Using garlic and other herbs are recommended because it helps reduce your use of salt. You can use other spices and herbs such as rosemary, cinnamon, basil, and thyme.
Fish such as salmon and mackerel are very rich in omega-3 fatty acids that are known to reduce inflammation and lower high blood pressure. Fish is a great source of lean protein and vitamin D, which also helps reduce hypertension. You can season your fish with lots of herbs and garlic for flavor and bake it or grill it.
Eating pistachios are known for reducing the tightening of the blood vessels, thus easing the blood pressure. A study has shown that eating one serving of pistachios per day can treat hypertension. You can pistachios as a snack or add them to your salads, sauces, and other meals.
Olive oil is included in the list of healthy fats that are good for your health. It also contains polyphenols that reduce inflammation and ease blood pressure. You can use it for your salad dressing or incorporate it into your cooking.
A study has found that eating 3 servings of whole grain meals has significantly reduced the systolic blood pressure. It has beneficial effects on the cholesterol level, which helps in lowering the risk of hypertension or high blood pressure.
Drinking one glass of pomegranate juice each day can significantly lower your blood pressure. The best and healthiest way to enjoy pomegranate is to eat it raw or drink it as a juice. If you are going to buy pomegranate juice, make sure you are getting the ones with less added sugar.
A research has discovered that drinking 3 servings of hibiscus tea daily for six weeks have greatly reduced the blood pressure of people who have hypertension. Hibiscus contains high levels of antioxidants, which can have a positive effect on the blood pressure.