High blood pressure has become a common disease in our world today. It is suffered by both young and old people, but most cases of high blood pressure are found in older adults. High blood pressure can also be referred to as Hypertension.
High blood pressure is a medical condition which occurs when your blood pressure increases to unhealthy levels. High blood pressure typically develops over the course of several years. The symptoms are usually unnoticed, but even without symptoms, high blood pressure can cause damage to your blood vessels and organs, especially the brain, heart, eyes and kidneys. There are several obvious symptoms that can be attributed to high blood pressure, they include;
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Blood in the urine
- Visual changes
Treatment for high blood pressure includes both medication and choosing healthy lifestyle options. Healthy lifestyle option involves eating foods that can aid in reducing your blood pressure. There are notable foods that have proven to be effective in reducing blood pressure, they include;
- Skim milk and yoghurt
Skim milk is an excellent source of calcium, which is an important element of blood pressure-reducing diets. You can opt for yoghurt in place of skim milk. Eat 5 or more servings of yoghurt in a week to experience 20% reduction in risk of developing high blood pressure. When buying yoghurt, try to check for added sugar, because the lower the sugar quantity, the better.
Banana is a potassium-rich food which is a good option if you want to reduce your blood pressure. You can slice a banana into your cereal or oatmeal for a potassium-rich addition. You can also take a banana along with boiled egg for a quick healthy breakfast or snack.
- Leafy Vegetables
Leafy vegetables are high in potassium and potassium helps your kidney get rid of more sodium through your urine. This leads to reduction in blood pressure. Steer clear of canned vegetables because they often have added sodium. Use mainly frozen and fresh vegetables. Some leafy vegetables that are high in potassium include; kale, turnips and spinach.
- Dark Chocolate
Several studies have found that eating dark chocolate is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. High blood pressure is a cardiovascular disease, so eating dark chocolate inadvertently reduces the blood pressure. You can add dark chocolate to yoghurt or eat it alone as a healthy dessert.
Berries, especially blueberries, are rich in natural compounds called flavonoids. Studies have shown that consuming compounds that have flavonoids may prevent hypertension and lower blood pressure. Add blueberries, raspberries and strawberries to your diet. You can put them in your cereal or granola, you can also use them as a quick and healthy dessert.
Oatmeal are higher-fiber, low-fat and low-sodium food. Eating them is a good way to lower your blood pressure. Also, eating oatmeal as breakfast is a good way to energize you for the day ahead. You can add berries, granola and milk to oatmeal to enhance the taste.
- Olive Oil
Olive oil is an example of a healthy fat. Olive oil contains polyphenols, which help to fight inflammation. This aids in reducing the blood pressure. Olive oil can also help you meet your daily serving of fat in the diet. It is a good alternative to canola oil, butter or salad dressing.
- Garlic and Herbs
Garlic can help reduce hypertension by increasing the amount of nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide helps to widen the arteries and reduce the pressure of blood on the artery walls. You can also incorporate flavourful herbs into your daily diet. Herbs like thyme, rosemary and cinnamon are good options.
- Water Melon
Water melon contains an amino acid called citrulline. Citrulline helps to manage high blood pressure. It does this by helping the body to produce nitric oxide. Nitric oxide has been reported to be a gas that relaxes blood vessels and encourages flexibility in the arteries. This aids the flow of blood which can help reduce the blood pressure. To boost water melon intake, add it to fruit salads and smoothies.
Incorporate these foods into a balanced diet and engage in adequate physical activity to treat high blood pressure and overall health.