Foods that can lower your blood pressure
High blood pressure has become a common lifestyle disease, afflicting even those in their 20s and 30s. It is unclear what exactly causes high blood pressure in younger people, although their food habits and the amount of exercise they get have been cited as factors. A diet high in sodium is often considered the primary reason for it.
- A healthy diet that focuses on fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains, with occasional meat is considered healthy for patients with hypertension.
- A more comprehensive DASH diet is advocated by the American Heart Association.
- High salt i.e. sodium intake has been associated with high blood pressure, whereas a diet rich in potassium & dietary fiber has been found to be cardioprotective and lower it.
Rich in fiber and low in sodium, citrus fruits contain antioxidants that promote heart health. Fruits like lemon, oranges, and grapefruits are effective in lowering blood pressure. They are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds that may help you to maintain a healthy heart by reducing heart disease risk factors like high blood pressure.
Carrots are rich in phenolic compounds that help relax blood vessels and reduce inflammation, which may help in lowering blood pressure. The fiber in carrots may help manage the condition. Carrots are also high in potassium and beta-carotene which are known to be effective in reducing high blood pressure. Eating raw carrots may be more beneficial than having cooked ones.
Beetroots are great for your heart health. Drinking beetroot juice can cause a drop in blood pressure, according to a 2012 Australian study. Beetroot is rich in nitrates, believed to relax blood vessels and improve the flow of blood. Once your digestive system converts nitrates into nitric oxide, it widens blood vessels, and eventually lowers blood pressure.
Another highly beneficial vegetable, spinach is low in calories, but rich in nutrients that are important for maintaining one's blood pressure levels. The high content of potassium helps counter high sodium levels. Spinach is also a good source of lutein, which prevents the thickening of artery walls, reducing strokes and blood pressure risks. Spinach is loaded with heart-friendly nutrients like folate and magnesium.
Those suffering from high blood pressure should eat foods low in salt, fat, and calories. Sodium is a mineral that elevates blood pressure, and since it is heavily present in common salt and MSG, patients are advised to keep their consumption to a minimum. Also, avoid cured and processed meat and seafood. If possible, avoid alcohol or limit alcohol intake.