High Blood Pressure Diet: What To Eat and What To Avoid
This is caused by high levels of pressure in the arteries. High blood pressure rarely presents any symptoms, giving it the name “the silent killer”, since it can cause serious consequences such as heart attack if left untreated.
It is super common in India and 1 in very 5 young adults Indians have it. Fortunately, if detected early, high blood pressure can be treated with a few lifestyle changes, dietary changes, and/or medications. For those who have high blood pressure, it is imperative that a heart healthy diet is maintained. Studies have shown that certain foods can not only help you control your blood pressure, but also help reduce it. Likewise, certain foods are known to make your blood pressure dramatically rise even if consumed in small amounts.
This is why we’ve created a handy guide for you with some suggestions of what to eat and what to avoid if you have high blood pressure otherwise known as hypertension.
Food to have in high blood pressure
Certain fruits are extremely helpful for reducing blood pressure. Berries, for example, contain anthocyanins which is a type of flavonoid. Research has such that people with diets high in anthocyanin have up to eight percent reduced high blood pressure compared to those with less anthocyanin consumption.
They are also an excellent option to naturally lower hypertension. Bananas contain lots of potassium which is an essential mineral. As said by the American Heart Association, potassium counteracts some of the effects of potassium and relieves tension in the walls of blood vessels. If bananas aren’t your thing, avocados, tomatoes, cantaloupe, sweet potatoes, and beans are all also potassium rich foods.
Another food good for high blood pressure patients are kiwis. Kiwis are filled with bioactive substances and are rich in Vitamin C which help improve blood pressure levels.
It is also a good option for those seeking to improve their heart health. Watermelon contains citrulline, which is an amino acid shown to help manage high blood pressure. Try tossing these fruits into a fruit salad or blending them into a nice cold smoothie for a tasty and heart healthy treat.
If you have a sweet tooth, dark chocolate is another excellent option for those with high blood pressure. Dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa has been shown to reduce hypertension in clinical trials. Try replacing your usual desserts with a tasty square of dark chocolate or utilize dark chocolate chips for recipes that require chocolate chips.
They are also fiber rich and contains beta-glucan which is known for alleviating heart diseases. We recommend starting your day with a fresh bowl of oatmeal instead of the usual cereal which usually contains high amounts of sugar and lots of calories.
Leafy green vegetables
They have several health benefits one of which is reducing blood pressure. Leafy green vegetables contain a lot of nitrates which alleviate high blood pressure. Examples of leafy green vegetables include cabbage, lettuce, spinach, kale, etc. These are just some of the widely popular and recommended items. However, there are plenty of other options as well. As with anything, despite how healthy it is, be sure to eat in moderation to avoid negative consequences.
Food to avoid in high blood pressure
Now that we know what’s good, it’s important to also learn what’s bad and increases blood pressure rather than decreasing it.
Salt and foods high in sodium
These are the number one thing to avoid to keep blood pressure levels normal.
Fast food and packaged or canned foods
like ramen contain insanely high levels of sodium that cause your blood pressure to soar. Avoid these foods if you’re at risk.
It is also good to avoid or consume in very low amounts due to its reputation of causing blood pressure spikes. High contents of caffeine is found in coffee, tea, energy drinks, and sodas. Large amounts of alcohol also do a lot of damage to your heart and long term use leads to hypertension problems.
In summary, we all need to be more conscious of our blood pressure levels and we can make small changes in our diet to help keep our hearts healthy. Pick wisely when choosing what to eat and avoid those which will cause harm to your body.
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