In most cases, you will not know you have high blood pressure (hypertension) unless you are diagnosed. Despite this, it is good news that certain lifestyle changes can help to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of complications like heart attacks, strokes, and dementia.
What is one of the most important lifestyle factors to consider? The food that you eat has a significant impact on your health. Your diet can have either a positive or a negative effect on your blood pressure.
The purpose of this article is to share with you how you can control your blood pressure through diet, including foods that may assist you in lowering your blood pressure and foods you are advised to avoid if you suffer from hypertension. Furthermore, I will discuss other natural methods that you can use to control your blood pressure to maintain a healthy heart in the future.
Your food choices can affect your blood pressure positively and negatively. To manage blood pressure, it is essential to eat a healthy diet consisting of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, fish, lean meats, and low-fat dairy products.
In contrast, eating more red meat, fried foods, salt, and added sugars can increase the risk of high blood pressure if you consume too much of these things.
DASH diet was developed in the 1990s, and it helps reduce high blood pressure and prehypertension in people who suffer from high systolic or diastolic blood pressure (systolic pressure 160mm Hg or a diastolic pressure of 80-89 mm Hg) or are prehypertensive (systolic pressure 120-139mm Hg).
It emphasises consuming vegetables, fruits, whole grains, seeds, beans, nuts, and low-fat dairy products as part of the diet. As a result of their high fibre content, potassium content, and other nutrients, these foods have been shown to support a healthy heart. You should not consume red meat, full-fat dairy products, sweets, and other foods and beverages high in sodium, saturated fats, and added sugars as part of the DASH diet.
Certain foods improve blood pressure. Please be sure to regularly include the following foods in your diet.
A recent study of more than 53,000 adults found that eating one cup of raw or half-cup of cooked leafy greens daily can lower systolic blood pressure and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Leafy greens are credited with health benefits due to their nitrate content. During the body's conversion of nitrates into nitric oxide, blood vessels relax and dilate, reducing blood pressure and improving blood flow.
Beneficial leafy greens include:
You can lower your blood pressure by eating nutrient-rich whole-grain amaranth. Many other grains do not contain as much dietary fibre, proteins, lipids, and minerals as this grain.
According to animal studies, amaranth may reduce blood pressure and have antihypertensive properties. According to a 2017 study, consuming more whole grains may lower hypertension risk by 15%.
It is delicious, nutritious, and filling to eat carrots. The following is another reason to include them in your regular diet. Blood pressure may be maintained by them, according to studies.
Carrots are believed to protect the heart and metabolic health due to the amount of vitamin A, polyphenols, fibre, and minerals they contain.
Including tomato products in your diet can also help lower your blood pressure. The nutrients found in tomatoes support physical and mental health and help prevent heart problems.
People with untreated prehypertension or hypertension may benefit from drinking unsalted tomato juice. A review published in 2021 reported that tomato extract might lower blood pressure in healthy and hypertensive individuals.
A study suggests that eating more cruciferous vegetables may reduce the risk of heart disease. In addition to providing significant amounts of vitamins and minerals, broccoli may also prevent chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease.
One study found that eating broccoli, carrots, raisins, carrots, soybeans, and raisins four times a week is linked to lower blood pressure. According to the study, a person's high blood pressure risk may be reduced by eating more fruits and vegetables longer.
Berries are linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, and blueberries may improve blood vessel function and lower blood pressure.
Berries' heart-health benefits may be attributed to plant compounds called anthocyanins, which give foods blue, purple, or red hues.
Nitrates are abundant in red beets, as they are in leafy greens. Several studies have found that beetroot juice can lower blood pressure in healthy and hypertensive people. There may be similar health benefits to eating beets.
To make skim milk, fat is removed from whole milk. High blood pressure may be reduced by consuming skim milk. It might be due to calcium, potassium, or protein, among other nutrients. It is also possible to lead a healthier lifestyle by consuming low-fat dairy products. Adults who consume high dairy in yoghurt are also at a lower risk of hypertension by 10%. This may not be the yoghurt itself but because people eating yoghurt tend to eat healthier heart-friendly diets.
It has been suggested that oats may lower blood pressure because they are rich in beta-glucan fiber.
Adding oats to the diet can significantly lower blood pressure systolic and diastolic in people with hypertension.
In one study, this led to a 7.5 mm Hg decrease in systolic blood pressure and a 5.5 mm Hg decrease in diastolic blood pressure.
Approximately 9% of the daily recommended intake of potassium can be found in a medium banana.
As potassium reduces sodium in the body and eases tension in blood vessel walls, it helps manage hypertension.
If you have kidney disease, it is important to speak with your healthcare provider before consuming more potassium.
Certain populations may benefit from eating salmon and other fatty fish by reducing blood pressure. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in fish is believed to contribute to this change, but it's unclear how it occurs. If you want to consume fish oil supplements, you should stick to salmon, sardines, Atlantic mackerel, and lake trout because there is mixed evidence that they are as beneficial.
There is evidence that consuming flaxseed, sunflower, chia, and pumpkin seeds may lower blood pressure because they are good potassium, magnesium, and fibre sources. The most beneficial seeds are unsalted.
High blood pressure has been shown to be lowered by dark chocolate. According to scientists, flavanols in cocoa relax blood vessels and lower blood pressure by boosting nitric oxide production.
Many health benefits are associated with pistachios, including fiber, plant protein, healthy fats, potassium, and magnesium. Nuts may lower blood pressure due to this combination.
According to one small study, adults who consumed 10% of their daily calories from pistachios had a 4.8 mm Hg reduction in systolic blood pressure. A quarter cup of pistachios contains 10% of your daily calorie intake if you consume 2,000 calories.
According to some studies, pomegranate juice may lower blood pressure at both the systolic and diastolic levels. Angiotensin-converting enzymes (ACE) appear to be decreased by the fruit. Blood pressure rises as a result of ACE narrowing blood vessels.
The least processed olive oil is extra-virgin olive oil. According to a review, the high levels of oleic acid (a fatty acid) and polyphenols found in extra-virgin olive oils contribute to reducing blood pressure.
Avoiding (or at least significant reduction) certain foods may help manage hypertension and prevent further complications. Below are some nutrients and foods you should be mindful of.
By consuming too much salt (also known as sodium chloride), the body retains more water, increasing the blood volume. Adding blood volume may raise blood pressure, stressing the heart and blood vessels. Sodium intake should be 1,500 mg daily if you have high blood pressure.
You can reach this goal by:
Also, could you increase your potassium intake? When you do this, you will be able to expel more sodium and relax the blood vessel walls, reducing blood pressure. If you have kidney disease, be aware that too much potassium can be harmful. Before consuming any additional potassium, discuss it with your healthcare provider.
When caffeine is consumed, blood pressure spikes suddenly in healthy individuals; however, this spike may last longer than three hours in people with hypertension. Consuming caffeine in moderation and monitoring your body's reaction is best, as there's no evidence caffeine has long-term effects on blood pressure. The best way to avoid caffeine is to cut it out completely.
Hypertension is associated with drinking more than 1-2 alcoholic beverages daily.
Multiple explanations can be offered, such as impairing the functioning of blood vessels, reducing the availability of nitric oxide, disrupting vascular function, and/or disrupting the balance of hormones.
It can increase blood pressure by consuming large amounts of fried food. Who is responsible? Salt and saturated fat levels are likely to be high. Instead of cooking food, steam, grill, roast, or bake it.
Blood pressure can be managed in more ways than one. Other lifestyle changes can also support healthy blood pressure.
Physical activity reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and lowers blood pressure. Hypertension may be reduced with exercise because it strengthens the heart and reduces stress.
During the week, aim to exercise 150 minutes at a moderate intensity, such as:
It is better to be active for a few minutes every day than to exercise for hours for two or three days at a time. Please just consult your doctor before beginning any fitness routine if you have high blood pressure.
Cigarettes contain nicotine, which raises blood pressure by narrowing arteries and increasing heart rate. Furthermore, nicotine can lead to heart disease by hardening artery walls.
It is beneficial to your health in numerous ways to quit smoking. For assistance:
It's unclear whether chronic stress affects blood pressure directly, although short-term stress can cause a spike in blood pressure. In spite of this, stress management can have a variety of benefits for mental and physical health.
Consider the following ideas:
Sleeping seven hours a night is recommended for adults. A decrease in blood pressure occurs during that rest. If you don't get enough sleep, your blood pressure will remain elevated for longer, increasing your risk for hypertension.
A sleep disorder like sleep apnea has also been associated with higher blood pressure. Follow a relaxing bedtime routine, limit screen time, and reduce caffeine intake to increase your chances of a good night's sleep.
It's essential to have regular blood pressure readings since high blood pressure rarely shows any symptoms. Many pharmacies and doctors' offices offer blood pressure checks. Monitoring your blood pressure will let you know if you need to see your doctor.
Foods that lower blood pressure over time include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds (and foods low in salt, sugar, and red meat).
Keeping adequately hydrated can help your kidneys eliminate extra salt, contributing to high blood pressure, although drinking plenty of plain water won't lower it. By staying well-hydrated, you can also make some blood pressure medications work more effectively.
A healthy lifestyle can lower blood pressure naturally by participating in regular aerobic exercise, eating a plant-based diet, managing stress, and avoiding smoking and excess sodium, sugars, and alcohol.
High blood pressure can be treated and managed with Mobi Doctor if you are not experiencing a hypertensive crisis.
Mobi Doctor allows you to talk to a doctor from home while receiving individualised care and expert advice.