Most people eat because they love to eat; some eat what their taste buds enjoy and not what is always healthy for their bodies. While some, avoid foods with less or neutral tastes, foods with no grease, sugar, or salt. Unless faced with critical issues like high blood pressure, we see these foods as guilty pleasures; but the effects of these unhealthy foods on the heart are why you should pay more attention to what you consume.
According to Harvard Health Publishing (1), adding certain nourishments to your diet, particularly those high in nutrients like potassium and magnesium, lowers your blood pressure levels.
A healthy diet is important to reducing blood pressure, and by keeping up with habits like counting calories and eating in segmented sizes, you might bring down your blood pressure. Here are some of the best nourishments for high blood pressure
1. Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits, like oranges, grapefruits, and lemons, have been known to have a good impact on lowering blood pressure. They’re stacked with minerals, vitamins, and other natural plant compounds that keep the heart healthy by lessening coronary illnesses.
But know that while orange and grapefruit juice have great potential, they can meddle with your prescribed BP medications (2), so visit your medical consultant before adding them to your diet.
2. Beans and Lentils
Beans and lentils are full of nutrients that help control blood pressure, for example, fiber, magnesium, and potassium. Furthermore, various researches have shown that incorporating beans and lentils into your diet can have a beneficial and positive effect on high blood pressure levels.
In 2014, scientists who studied the impacts of a diet rich in beans and lentils on rodents noticed lower blood pressure and cholesterol. 30% of the rodents’ diet contained beans, pulses, peas, lentils, and chickpeas. (3)
Berries like blueberries and others contain high degrees of flavonoids, and they have been proven to bring down high blood pressure and treat hypertension. You should add more raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries to your oats, cereals, and other desserts.
Berries also have assortments of medical advantages, including their capability to reduce risks of heart diseases.
Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, chokeberries, and cloudberries are only a small portion of the berries that have been associated with reducing the impacts of blood pressure.
Eating whole grains like amaranth may help bring down your blood pressure levels. Studies also show that diets enriched in whole grains may reduce the danger.
A study found that a 30-gram daily increment in whole grains reduced 8% of high blood pressure danger. (4)
Amaranth is a whole grain that is especially high in magnesium. One cooked cup (246 grams) gives 38% of your day-to-day magnesium needs.
Crunchy, healthy, and delicious, carrots are a staple vegetable in many people’s diets. Carrots are high in phenolic compounds, like p-coumaric, chlorogenic, and Caffeic acids, that help loosen up blood vessels and reduce inflammation, which may assist in lowering blood pressure levels.
Although carrots can be beneficial when cooked or eaten raw, eating them raw might be more beneficial for lowering high blood pressure.
A study that involved 2,195 individuals ages 40–59 found that raw carrot ingestion was essentially helpful in lowering blood pressure levels. Scientists believe that drinking organic carrot juice for 3 months caused a decrease in SBP but not DBP (5).
Tomatoes are full of rich nutrients, including the carotenoid pigment lycopene and potassium.
Lycopene has been connected with many helpful effects on the heart’s well-being, and eating nourishments high in this supplement, like tomato products, may help reduce coronary illness like high blood pressure.
7. Spices and Herbs
Celery seed, saffron, cilantro, black cumin, lemongrass, ginseng, sweet basil, cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger are a small portion of the herbs and spices that have been proved to have a blood pressure-lowering potential, as per results from animals and human examination.
Cereal is wealthy in fiber and low in sodium and fat. It is additionally an incredible meal to eat in the morning and gives you the required energy for the rest of the day. You can also add fresh fruits or vegetables to increase its dietary benefit.
Higher consumption of beta-glucan fiber may bring down both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Barley likewise contains this fiber.
Flaxseed is also seen to be able to bring down both systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure. Flaxseed contains peptides, lignan, and alpha-linolenic acid, which is significant to decreasing blood pressure.
10. Black Chocolate / Cocoa
Cocoa-rich chocolate reduces blood pressure in individuals with hypertension or prehypertension. Select high-quality chocolate that contains at least 70% cocoa, and eat a single square or a piece estimating around 1 ounce every day.
Also, cocoa-rich nourishments and black chocolate are good for reducing blood pressure among people with hypertension.
11. Yogurt and Skim Milk
Yogurt and skim milk are dominant sources of calcium, and they are low in fat. These two components are significant for decreasing blood pressure.
Studies have also indicated that ladies who take yogurt consistently have less danger of developing hypertension (6). But make sure that the yogurts have lesser sugar amounts.
Red beets are wealthy in nitric oxide, which helps to open blood vessels and lower blood pressure. There are so many ways to eat red beets. You can prepare your own beet juice or cook them.
Besides, you can also prepare them as beet chips or roast them. The nitrates in the beets are compelling in reducing blood pressure.
Banana is another potassium-rich food that can help bring down blood pressure. You can eat a banana in different ways. You can add them to your oats and cereal. It is a healthy snack and can also be eaten as breakfast.
Garlic is an anti-toxin and antifungal food. Its primary ingredient, allicin, has lots of medical advantages.
Some studies recommend that garlic helps boost the body’s production of nitric oxide, which causes the smooth muscles to relax and the blood vessels to enlarge.
These changes can lessen hypertension. It can also enhance lots of appetizing meals, including sautés, soups, and omelets. Utilizing garlic in place of salt can advance the well-being of the heart.
Like mackerel and salmon, fish are very rich in omega-3 fatty acids. They are also known to reduce inflammation and lower high blood pressure.
Fish is also an extraordinary source of vitamin D and lean protein, which helps reduce hypertension. You can prepare your fish with spices and garlic to add flavor.
16. Pistachio Nuts
Pistachios are known for decreasing the tightening of the blood vessels, subsequently easing the blood pressure. Research has shown that eating one serving of pistachios each day can treat hypertension (7).
You can also eat pistachios as a snack or add them to salads, sauces, and other foods varieties.
17. Olive Oil
Olive oil is a healthy fat that is helpful to your well-being. It contains polyphenols that help reduce inflammation and blood pressure. You can also utilize it for your salad dressing or include it in your cooking.
18. Whole Grains
Eating 3 servings of whole-grain meals can significantly reduce systolic blood pressure. It helps with your cholesterol level, which helps in lowering the danger of hypertension or high blood pressure.
Drinking one glass of pomegranate juice every day can bring down your blood pressure. The best and most beneficial approach to enjoying pomegranate is to eat it raw or drink it as juice.
When you purchase pomegranate juice, ensure you are getting the ones with less added sugar.
According to experts, drinking 3 servings of hibiscus tea every day for about a month and a half has extraordinarily decreased the blood pressure of people with hypertension. Hibiscus contains high levels of cell reinforcements, which can positively affect blood pressure.
Day-by-day serving of kiwi can decrease blood pressure in people who have raised levels, according to research. The scientists thought about the impacts of apples and kiwis on people with marginally high blood pressure.
They found that eating three kiwis every day for about two months brought about a decrease in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure, in contrast to eating one apple daily for a similar period. (8)
An amino acid called citrulline can be found in watermelon. This helps with managing high blood pressure. Citrulline causes the body to create nitric oxide, a gas that loosens up blood vessels and assists the arteries’ flexibilities.
These impacts help the progression of blood, which can bring down high blood pressure.
Researchers also found that animals given a diet rich in watermelon had improved heart health. In one research, mice who drank watermelon juice had 50% less plaque in their arteries than the other group. (8)
For different ways to enjoy your watermelon drinks, you can add the fruit to salads and smoothies.
23. Green vegetables
Green vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, celery, romaine lettuce, kale, spinach, arugula, Swiss chard, celery, and collard greens are exceptionally rich in potassium.
Eating potassium-filled nourishments will assist your kidney to dispense with sodium through urination, which will help lower blood pressure.
It is smarter to pick frozen or fresh vegetables rather than canned ones that contain some sodium.
Green vegetables are also full of nitrates, which help to manage blood pressure. Some studies propose that eating 1–2 servings of nitrate-rich vegetables consistently can lessen hypertension for as long as 24 hours.
It might seem to you that there are some good sides to packaged foods, but words like ‘all-natural, ‘fruit juice concentrate’ are ways the food industry markets some of their food.
They want you to buy their food. After all, they need to make profits. These ads will also make you think the packaged foods may be good for you; but the truth is, it would be best to avoid them if you have high blood pressure.
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