High blood pressure is a serious health condition that can contribute to heart attacks, strokes, aneurysms, kidney disease, and other problems. High blood pressure (or hypertension) is a common medical problem, especially among diabetics.
While there are many ways to rein in high blood pressure, one of the simplest and best methods is to eat a good diet. Here are ten foods found to be especially effective in lowering blood pressure in clinical research.
Foods high in potassium, such as bananas, help to lower blood pressure. This is because an excessive salt intake is one of the leading factors in hypertension, and potassium helps to naturally regulate salt levels in the body. Plus, bananas are an easy-to-eat natural snack.
Beans of all sorts can reduce blood pressure. Besides their potassium content, beans have lots of heart-healthy fiber. A healthy heart can better maintain good blood pressure. Beans are also high in protein, which has been connected to low blood pressure in research.
This dark, leafy green is great for your health in general, and will specifically help blood pressure because of the potassium, magnesium, and folate found in the vegetable. Like potassium, folate and magnesium are valuable for keeping blood pressure down.
An easy natural snack, blueberries provide your body with flavonoids, a group of natural compounds shown to help prevent hypertension by lowering blood pressure levels.
You wouldn’t think that a food as tasty as chocolate could have any positive health benefits, but chocolate does lower blood pressure. Research has discovered that the cacao found in chocolate contains compounds that limit blood pressure levels by dilating blood vessels. Opt for dark chocolate, which has more cacao.
The juice of this root holds nitrates that have been found to quickly lower blood pressure among hypertension patients. Once ingested, nitrates become nitric oxide, a gas that helps blood vessels stay dilated by relaxing their smooth muscle.
The minerals potassium and magnesium are found in abundance in potatoes, so eating this food will put a damper on your high blood pressure. Potatoes also contain nitrates. Avoid loading your potatoes with large amounts of salty butter or sour cream, or frying them in unhealthy seed oils.
Products with lots of calcium are good for high blood pressure, making milk a great option for those with hypertension. Try drinking skim milk, though, since milk rich in fat will exacerbate blood pressure problems.
Daily consumption of at least two tablespoons of phenol-rich extra virgin olive oil can be effective in lowering blood pressure. In one study, 35 percent of the participants were able to discontinue their hypertensive medications after consuming EVOO for six months.
Find recipes with olive oil to replace unhealthy fats in your daily cooking.
A high-fiber diet protects from hypertension, making oatmeal a good choice. Since fiber is digested slowly, blood sugar levels are kept in check, which in turn reduces blood pressure. Plus, oatmeal has very little fat and sodium.
Hypertension is sometimes termed a ‘silent killer’ because the malady has no obvious symptoms. Considering how common the condition is, check with your doctor and consider making changes to incorporate more of these heart-healthy foods in your diet.