15 Foods that are essential for people with high blood pressure.

Continuous lifestyle improvement is better than delayed happiness. Experience life with a healthy heart.



Introduction


Blood pressure is the force exerted by circulating blood against the walls of the body’s arteries, i.e. the major blood vessels in the body.


It is written in two numbers. The first (systolic) number represents the pressure in blood vessels when the heart contracts or beats. The second (diastolic) number represents the pressure in the vessels when the heart rests between beats.


High blood pressure is also called as hypertension and is diagnosed when it is measured on two different days, the systolic blood pressure readings on both days is ≥140 mmHg and/or the diastolic blood pressure readings on both days is ≥90 mmH.


blood pressure categories



Analysis of blood pressure


  1. Normal

Blood pressure numbers of less than 120/80 mm Hg are considered within the

normal range.


2. Elevated

Elevated blood pressure is when readings consistently range from 120-129 systolic and less than 80 mm Hg diastolic.


3. Hypertension Stage 1

Hypertension Stage 1 is when blood pressure consistently ranges from 130-139 systolic and or 80-89 mm Hg diastolic.

4. Hypertension Stage 2

Hypertension Stage 2 is when blood pressure consistently ranges at 140/90 mm Hg or higher

5. Hypertensive crisis


This stage of high blood pressure requires medical attention, the blood pressure readings exceed 180/120 mm Hg.



Conclusion for analysis -


Blood pressure is thus the result of two sets of forces – the force of the heart and the resistance of the vessel walls – coming together to push the blood through the body's circulatory system.



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  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Trusted Source (CDC), an estimated 75 million Americans have high blood pressure.

  • An estimated 1.13 billion people worldwide have hypertension, most (two-thirds) living in low- and middle-income countries.

  • Stress on the blood vessels makes people with high blood pressure more prone to heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, heart attack, stroke, kidney disease and aneurysms.

  • High blood pressure people also suffer with chronic conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease, sleep apnea and high cholesterol increase the risk for developing high blood pressure.

  • A study published in the journal Hypertension found that people with white coat hypertension are at a significantly greater risk for developing sustained high blood pressure than people who have normal blood pressure.

  • A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that if people cut just 1/2 teaspoon of salt per day, it could help lower the number of new cases of high blood pressure per year by up to 120,000.



healthy life

Lifestyle plays an important role in treating your high blood pressure. Here are few lifestyle changes to prevent high blood pressure –






weight loss

Weight loss is one of the most effective lifestyle changes for controlling blood pressure as it helps in reducing the blood pressure by about 1 millimetre of mercury (mm Hg) with each kilogram (about 2.2 pounds) of weight lost.




smoking

Each cigarette one smokes increases the blood pressure for many minutes after you finish. It’s difficult to stop smoking completely but we can reduce its usage slowly and consistently we avail strong control over blood pressure.



coffee

The current research suggest that daily coffee consumption is unlikely to have a significant impact on blood pressure or overall risk of heart disease as coffee contains antioxidants that promotes heart health.


meditation

Develop habit of meditation atleast for 20 minutes in day to prevent mental issues like depression, anxiety and stress etc.


Besides, consistent meditation with exercise will surely boost immunity. It's important to be consistent because if you stop exercising, your blood pressure can rise again.

sodium

Reduce sodium in the diet as even a small reduction in the sodium in the diet can improve the heart health and reduce blood pressure.





To decrease sodium in your diet, consider these tips:


Ø Read food labels and choose low-sodium alternatives of the foods and beverages

Ø Eat fewer processed foods like ready to cook palak paneer, pavbhaji etc. as sodium will be already added during processing.

Ø Try to avoid salt. Just 1 level teaspoon of salt has 2,300 mg of sodium. Use herbs or spices to add flavor to your food and avoid salt as few gram masala already has citric acid in it. It’s wise to think twice and add salt.


However, if you don't feel you can drastically reduce the sodium in your diet suddenly, cut back gradually. Your palate will adjust over time.


diet

Eating a diet that is rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products can lower the blood pressure by up to 11 mm Hg . This eating plan is known as the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet.



The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet was introduced in 1996 and it remains among the most effective approaches to treating blood pressure that has been studied.



Assume a person who approaches doctor for medication of controlling high blood pressure. And doctor gives medication and also ask him to follow a diet. The diet given by doctor was really good but the patient did not like all the food mentioned in the diet. Then will the patient follow this diet? Not at all or he might eat it but with stress. Isn’t it true?



So, let’s walk through 15 foods that are essential for preventing high blood pressure and most important these foods are preferred and liked by all of us . i.e. Preventing High Blood Pressure is no more a struggle.

banana








Bananas


This fruit is mostly liked by everyone and easy to digest. According to the American Heart Association, potassium reduces the effects of sodium and alleviates tension in the walls of the blood vessels and controls blood pressure.


Bananas are recognized as a rich source of potassium which contains about 420 milligrams or 11 percent of the 4700 milligrams. It contains tryptophan, a substance which the body converts into the feel-good hormone serotonin.


Besides, The National Association of Mental Health discovered people with depression felt better after eating a banana.


garlic







Garlic


It can help reduce hypertension by increasing the amount of nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide helps promote vasodilation, or the widening of arteries and controls high blood pressure.


Quick recipe - Peel garlic, crush it nicely keep it aside. On a hot jowar roti or bhakri add 2 spoon of ghee and sprinkle crushed garlic pieces. Roll it and eat! Or if you don’t like raw garlic then prepare ginger garlic paste in grinder and use it in your dishes.


milk







Milk


A glass of milk offers a solid serving of both calcium and vitamin D, nutrients that work as a team to help lower blood pressure by 3 to 10 percent. According to the Bauer those numbers may not sound impressive, but they could translate to a 15 percent reduction in heart disease risk.


And lately drinking milk with turmeric is very essential for strong immunity due to Covid Outbreak and on flip side keeps our blood pressure under control.


yogurt








Yogurt


If you’re not a fan of milk, yogurt could be a great alternative to fulfill our daily dairy needs and help prevent or lower high blood pressure.


According to the American Heart Association, women who ate five or more servings of yogurt a week experienced a 20 percent reduction in their risk for developing high blood pressure.


Dairy like milk,yogurt etc also contains calcium, which is essential for healthy blood pressure since the mineral helps blood vessels tighten and relax when necessary, according to Harvard Medical School.


olive oil







Olive oil


The polyphenols in olives are known for fighting inflammation and reducing blood pressure as it improves blood vessel health and help them stay elastic. In the European Journal of Nutrition, participants took either an olive leaf extract or a placebo each day. After six weeks, the olive-leaf group had lower blood pressure than the placebo group.


It’s a smart choice for a healthy fat. Hence, use it instead of butter, vegetable oil, or canola oil in your cooking.


leafy greens








Leafy Greens


Many leafy greens, including everything from arugula and kale to spinach and collard greens, contain potassium and magnesium which are key minerals to control blood pressure, according to Harvard Medical School.


Quick recipe to inculcate few leafy greens in the diet – Wash any green leafy vegetable like spinach and dill leaves and finely chop any one of them. Take a bowl, add – yogurt, chat masala, salt ,jeera powder and mix it well. Then chop cucumber and add it in the yogurt. Finally add raw green leafy vegetable. Trust me you will love it!



fish







Fish


Salmon and mackerel is loaded with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids help reduce inflammation, lower risk of heart disease and lowers blood pressure into a healthy range.


Research published in the June 2012 edition of the British Journal of Nutrition reveals that omega-3 supplementation reduced blood pressure among older patients and so make this tasty protein-rich fish a must-eat for anyone whose blood pressure has crept into a concerning range.


Hence, fish dish can be a great way to include those family members who require a low-sodium meat dish to keep blood pressure under control.


apples








Apples


An apple a day really does keep the doctor away, particularly for those struggling with high blood pressure. Available all around the season, apples form an inexpensive and effective natural remedy to control blood pressure naturally.


A cup of apple slices provides 117 mg of potassium, which helps you to maintain electrolyte balance in the body. This humble fruit also exerts diuretic effect, thereby increasing the urine output and aiding in normalizing your blood pressure.


tomatoes








Tomatoes


A little tomato on your menu could be the key to healthier blood pressure.


It contains lycopene, a nutrient that could be beneficial for lowering our cholesterol, preventing skin damage, and decreasing our blood pressure. A study published in the journal Nutrients suggests that adding lycopene to our diet could help significantly reduce blood pressure.




flax seeds






Flax seeds


Flax seed is a rich dietary source of α-linolenic acid, lignans, and fiber, with a number of positive health benefits on blood pressure.


A Canadian study found eating 30 grams of flax seeds daily for six months lowered systolic and diastolic blood pressure by 10 mmHg and 7 mmHg, respectively (23).

For those who were already taking blood pressure medication, flax seeds lowered blood pressure even further and decreased the number of patients with uncontrolled high blood pressure by 17% (23).

Furthermore, according to a large review that looked at data from 11 studies, taking flax seeds daily for more than three months lowered blood pressure by 2 mmHg. This can further lower the risk of dying from stroke by 10% and from heart disease by 7%.


pistachios








Pistachios


Pistachios have a low glycemic index, so they do not cause a sharp rise in blood sugar. It has the strongest effect on reducing both systolic and diastolic blood pressure as per American Journal of clinical Nutrition.


The study points out that pistachios contain monounsaturated fatty acids and high amounts of phytosterols which may have beneficial effects on blood pressure and other nutrient qualities that lead to a reduction in oxidized LDL cholesterol and an improved antioxidant status.


pomegranate







Pomegranate


Pomegranates have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and have long been linked to regulating blood pressure.


A study carried out at Queen Margaret University found that those who drank 500ml of pomegranate juice had a reduction in blood pressure and lower levels of unsaturated fats which are linked to the storage of abdominal fat.


Tip - We can either drink pomegranate juice or eat seeds in fruit salad or we can even add pomegranate seeds in the curd rice with few coriander leaves for delicious taste.


legumes







Legumes


Legumes” sounds like such a fancy word. Let’s clarify that we’re talking about beans, folks. It provides a unique blend of fiber and protein, are packed with potassium and magnesium and many choices even provide some calcium that will keep our blood pressure in check.


Legumes are high in viscous soluble fiber, which not only slows their absorption in the small intestine, but also binds up certain molecules having to do with cholesterol. This makes legumes very low in glycemic index and load, meaning they result in lower blood sugars and less insulin released after eating them. This fiber also lowers cholesterol levels.


Guess what? Legumes are also high in protein making them very filling and satisfying. So people tend to eat less of other things. And they contain plenty of potassium, magnesium, folate, and other plant nutrients that are associated with lower blood pressure and improved cardiovascular health.


beetroot








Beets


In terms of lowering blood pressure beetroot is an excellent source of potassium and nitrates, which are both thought to be important in helping to manage blood pressure.


The chemical formation of nitrite from the dietary nitrates in the juice helps to lower blood pressure. Nitrite can be converted to nitric oxide (NO) by the cells that line blood vessels; this nitric oxide is a powerful dilator of blood vessels which results in lower blood pressure.



sweet potatoes






Sweet Potatoes


Sweet potatoes are a good source of hypertension-fighting resistant starch and vitamin C, as well as being loaded with blood pressure-lowering beta-carotene. One cup of sweet potato baked in its skin provides 950 mg of potassium. That’s more than twice the amount in a medium banana.


Potassium essentially sweeps excess sodium and fluid out of the body which lowers blood pressure and reduces strain on the heart.


Simple recipe - Boil sweet potatoes in pressure cooker. Then as it cools down crush it and keep aside. Place a vessel on stove and add 5 spoons of ghee. Finally add crushed sweet potatoes and leave it on flame for 15min till it turns brown. Its yummy dish! Give a try and comment below if liked!


celery








Celery


Celery is popular vegetable that may have positive effects on blood pressure. It contains compounds called phthalides, which may help relax blood vessels and lower blood pressure levels.


It also contains low amounts of salt, and high fiber, magnesium and potassium. At almost every turn, science and medicine considers celery as super food for controlling blood pressure and dramatically improve our health.



citrus fruits





Citrus fruits


A 5 month study involving 101 Japanese women demonstrated that daily lemon juice intake combined with walking was significantly correlated with reductions in SBP, an effect that the researchers attributed to the citric acid and flavonoid content of lemons.


Flavonoids founds in citrus fruits have anti-inflammatory capabilities that are thought to help protect against the chain of events that causes the nervous system to deteriorate. Furthermore, a 2017 review suggests that grapefruits are linked to a decrease in systolic blood pressure.


All types of citrus fruits like – grapefruit, oranges, lemons etc have powerful blood pressure-lowering effects. These fruits are loaded with vitamins, minerals and plant compounds, good source of fiber as they have a higher ratio of soluble to insoluble fiber, lowers cholesterol, aids digestion and has rich source of dietary flavonoids which reduces the risk of adverse cardiovascular issues and keep our blood pressure under control.

Conclusion


In a nutshell, lets summarize that "Don't let your heart be your silent killer." People take ownership of sickness and disease by saying things like My high blood pressure, My heart disease, My depression, My,My,My! Please don’t own such status in the community as it does not belong to you.


Rightly quoted “Big journey begin with small steps". Hence, try to change the food habits slowly and gradually along with other healthy lifestyle modifications can significantly prevent high blood pressure. Furthermore take the right steps to monitor and manage heart to decrease risk of heart disease and which will eventually increase our life expectancy.