About 75 million Americans are suffering from hypertension, says the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. High blood pressure can lead to various health issues such as heart stroke, brain problems, kidney disease, etc.
Medical experts believe that certain lifestyle changes can help manage hypertension. One of them is eating a diet, which is rich in potassium, magnesium, and low in sodium. So, which foods should you eat to bring your blood pressure levels back to normal? Read on to learn the top 6 foods that can help you deal with hypertension and promote wellness.
Leafy greens are the most nutritious foods that can help you stay healthy. They are rich in potassium, which helps reduce the sodium content in the body, thus lowering the blood pressure levels.
Some of the best sources of potassium are—arugula, kale, turnip greens, spinach, romaine lettuce, collard greens. For example, a cup of cooked spinach contains over 800 mg of potassium while a cooked cup of swiss chard has about 1000 mg of potassium.
So, next time when you go to the market, don’t forget to bring home some leafy greens. You can also purchase frozen vegetables, which contain the same nutrients as fresh ones. Blend these veggies with banana & milk to create a nutritious juice.
Beets are great sources of nitric oxide that helps open the blood vessels, thus controlling hypertension. A 2015 research published in Hypertension reported that drinking red beet juice helps in lowering blood pressure levels in hypertension patients. The participants drank 250 ml of juice daily for four weeks.
In the study, participants who drank 1 cup of beet juice had a blood pressure drop of about 8/4 mm Hg. However, for many, it helped bring blood pressure levels within the normal range. It was found that the high amounts of inorganic nitrate in beets helped reduce blood pressure levels.
You can consume beets in various ways. The best way is to make beet juice. According to the book “Healing Foods”, beet juice can help lower blood pressure within an hour. Moreover, you can add beets to the salad, cook it, or eat the whole root.
Bananas contain potassium, a mineral that helps manage high blood pressure. A medium-sized banana has about 422 mg of potassium.
The American Heart Association says that potassium helps in reducing the sodium effects. Thus, the more potassium sources you take, the more sodium you lose. Moreover, potassium can help in easing tension in the walls of blood vessels, thus managing hypertension. For adults, the average potassium intake is 4700 mg per day.
Ways to consume banana—slice it to your oatmeal/cereal or eat it with eggs for breakfast.
For patients with kidney disease, taking too much potassium can lead to heart disease. Thus, before adding high-potassium sources in your diet, you should see a doctor online to seek professional advice.
This is another great food for reducing high blood pressure levels. A study published in the National Institute of Health evaluated the effects of kiwi consumption on patients with moderately elevated blood pressure levels. Researchers found that a daily serving of kiwi can help lower blood pressure. They compared the effects of eating kiwis and apples. Researchers reported that eating three kiwis per day for eight days reduced both systolic & diastolic BP compared to eating an apple a day.
Moreover, kiwis are good sources of vitamin C, which is effective in controlling the elevated levels of blood pressure. You can include kiwis to lunch or in smoothies.
Watermelon contains citrulline, an amino acid that helps lower blood pressure. Citrulline increases the levels of nitric oxide in the body, thus relaxing the blood vessels and improving flexibility in arteries. This helps in boosting the blood flow, thus controlling the BP levels.
In a study published in the American Journal of Hypertension, researchers found that watermelon extract helped adult patients with obesity & prehypertension lower BP in ankles and brachial arteries.
In an animal study, researchers found that a watermelon-rich diet resulted in better heart health.
There are many ways to consume watermelon. You can add it into salads, make juice or chilled watermelon soup.
Eating fresh-cut watermelon or drinking a glass of juice can benefit patients with type 2 diabetes.
Also Read- Type 2 Diabetes – Causes, Symptoms, Medications & More
Blueberries and strawberries have chemical compounds called anthocyanins, which provide many health benefits. A recent study published in the Journals of Gerontology: Series A reported that anthocyanins may help boost blood vessel function, thus reducing SBP.
“We have linked the powerful effects of blueberries in helping to reduce blood pressure and improve blood vessel function to the blue colored anthocyanins they contain,” said Christian Heiss, senior author of the study.
In a large study of over 34000 patients with high blood pressure, researchers found that high anthocyanin intake from blueberries and strawberries helped in reducing the risks of hypertension by 8 percent.
Along with eating healthy foods, you need to consider other lifestyle changes to lower blood pressure levels. These include reducing body weight, exercising regularly, managing stress, Limiting alcohol intake, and quitting smoking. Although there’s a wide range of medications for hypertension out there, they can lead to unpleasant side-effects. Use natural methods for controlling blood pressure, and stay healthy.
To design a customized treatment plan for hypertension, it’s important to seek professional help from a licensed doctor. During the coronavirus lockdown, it’s not safe to go out. You can use telemedicine to see a doctor online instead. It allows you to seek medical advice remotely within a few minutes. The complete process involves-
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, can lead to damaging blood vessels, thus causing heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and various other health issues. For managing high BP, there are plenty of medicines, such as beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, ARBs, calcium channel blockers, and alpha-blockers. Each of these medicines works differently and may lead to certain side-effects.
Eating a healthy diet is one of the best, natural ways to manage high blood pressure. Some of the top foods for hypertension patients are leafy greens, watermelon, kiwis, berries, bananas, beets. These foods are rich in nutrients that help in reducing blood pressure levels. For instance, watermelon contains citrulline, which enhances nitric oxide, thus relaxing the blood vessels and controlling high BP levels. You can eat some of the foods raw, make juices, or add to salads.
See a doctor online to get instant medical advice for high blood pressure.