If you’re suffering from, or know of someone who is suffering from hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, which refers to the pressure of blood against your artery walls, then you may be on the ‘look out’ for some healthy foods that will assist in reducing these symptoms. As you may know, high blood pressure can cause blood vessel damage which could ultimately lead to heart disease, kidney disease, stroke and other potentially harmful health problems. Hypertension is sometimes called the ‘silent killer’ because it produces no symptoms and can go unnoticed — and untreated — for years.
There are many factors which effect hypertension which are out of your control, these include age, family history, gender, and race. But we’re going to focus on one of the factors that you can control, diet! A diet that can help control blood pressure is rich in potassium, magnesium and fibre whilst being low in sodium.
With this in mind we have created an infographic article to highlight 8 of the best foods to assist you in the fight against hypertension.
- Oily fish like salmon, trout, sardines, mackerel and herring have up to 30% oil in their tissues in contrast to white fish having oil only in liver. Such fish are also low in methyl mercury content in contrast to other marine fish. First of all the oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids contributing a lot to blood pressure maintaining. It is a good source of vit A and vit D as well. For these reasons oily fish have a range of benefits concerning heart health and capillary vessels integrity. In contrast to fats of terrestrial animals fish oil is very low in cholesterol, which in excess leads to atherosclerosis and hypertension. On average 200-250g per week or 30-35g/day of oily fish is recommended for adult consumption.
- Beet is known for its ability to substantially decrease blood pressure and the risk of cardiovascular disease due to the high content of natural nitrates. Nitrates convert into nitric oxide within the body which results in vasodilation relieving the blood flow and increasing exercise endurance. Beetroots have a powerful liver detoxifying effect due to high content of betain. Its leaves are a very valuable source of folic acid which, being an essential vitamin, our body cannot synthetize on its own. Beetroots are also a good low-calorie food containing only about 43 Cal per 100g of raw, pickled or boiled product. Both the roots and the leaves can be eaten, however it’s better to cook the roots before eating. The cooking of the roots eliminates any ‘anti-nutritional’ factors like FODMAP (Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides and Polyols). Also the green parts of young leaves are preferable than the adult ones. They taste like spinach and could be put in sandwiches or used for low-GI smoothies and juices.
- Extra-virgin olive oil is one of three basic plant constituents of the Mediterranean cuisine. “Extra-virgin” means that oil was pressed out only mechanically, without using any chemical solvent. Such product contains as much natural olive nutrients as possible with oleic acid being the main one. It’s considered oleic acid is most responsible for the olive oil hypotensive effect i.e. the reducing of blood pressure. Indeed, those who follow Mediterranean type diet have significantly lower frequency of heart problems. Eating 1-2 tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil a day with greens, spring-mix salads will be a good option for sure.
- Bananas are well-known for their high potassium content. Potassium is one of the most important macro minerals being responsible for blood pressure regulation, heart muscle contractions and general homeostasis. 1-2 medium-sized bananas are usually recommended for daily consumption. They could be included into variety of dishes, fruit cocktails and smoothies.
- Green tea possesses a wide range of pronounced health effects. Due to high content of antioxidants like polyphenols and flavonoids it exhibits vasodilation properties resulting in decreased blood pressure and general tonic action. If you have one, it will also contribute in efforts towards your weight loss goal as a flavourful brewed green tea provides only 1Kcal per 100ml. A couple cups of the beverage will make your day better for sure.
- Garlic has been used by folk medicine for centuries. Its antimicrobial properties are well known, so consuming a half or entire clove a day whilst getting a cold can bring around restoration faster. Garlic is also helpful for blood health having strong anticlotting action which leads to lower blood pressure, especially in distal vessels and capillaries.
- Dark chocolate is made mostly of cocoa butter and is typically quite low in sugar. Polyphenols and flavonoids in its content exhibit strong antioxidant and anti-stress power which leads to the relieving of arterial tone and blood tension decreasing. For most people 30-35g of dark chocolate is recommended as a discretionary food for time-to-time consumption.
- Skimmed milk and non-fat yogurt are amongst the foods with low levels of cholesterol. The latter is responsible for elevation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and subsequently leads to increased blood pressure. Milk is an excellent source of highly digestible proteins, macro minerals like calcium and phosphorus as well as fat-soluble vitamins A and D. Skimmed milk is especially useful for children’s health while blood system growth. Whereas adults can benefit from fermented milk product like non-fat yogurt decreasing risk of hypertension. Skimmed milk or yogurt can be easily included in a diet. Taking such low-fat products for breakfast helps to start digestion readily as well as eating it for dinner reduces risk of excessive cholesterol consumption and normalizes arterial tension while asleep. About 2-3 glasses of skimmed milk and 1.5-2 cups of low-fat yogurt could be consumed a day with ease.
We hope with the products listed above, as well as with our tips it will be easier for you to keep your blood pressure on track.
Article written by MyNutriCounter