Diet for Management of High Blood Pressure
As we know the heart pumps the blood through the arteries to various parts of the body. For a smooth blood flow a certain amount of pressure is exerted by the blood on the arterial walls. The normal pressure is 120 by 80 mm of mercury. When the pressure goes above this limit and stays high for a long period of time its called high blood pressure or hypertension. A fast paced yet sedentary lifestyle coupled with unhealthy eating habits contributes to erratic blood pressure levels. Let’s not forget sleepless nights, caffeine beverages and of course, alcohol that further skyrockets hypertension. Sure there are other underlying factors that impact blood pressure like age or some medical conditions. But food is something that can directly fluctuate BP. Let’s talk about how diet effects your blood pressure and what food to eat and avoid for managing hypertension.
Nutrient’s that’ll help Bring Down the BP
Foods rich in calcium such as milk tofu and yogurt help the heart muscle to contract and dilate better. Making the blood flow smoother.
Potassium rich foods help in balancing the excess water in the body. Which is collected due to the water retention effect of sodium. This helps to lower blood pressure.
for potassium consume coconut water fruits like bananas dates oranges pomegranate figs mangoes, melons and vegetables like broccoli, tomatoes potatoes beetroot and bell peppers.
Another important mineral to consume is magnesium. Magnesium rich foods such as almonds walnuts barley spinach pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds help in relaxing the muscle that controls the blood vessels.
Also have omega-3 rich foods like fish and flax seeds as they improve blood circulation. Include these foods in your regular diet to keep your blood pressure in check.
Diet for High Blood Pressure
Unfortunately, there’s no magic- bullet food that can lower blood pressure in an instant. However, diet consisting of certain foods can help control blood pressure.
Start with walnuts
Eating a half cup of walnuts daily helps to lower blood pressure. Improves blood flow and even shrinks your waist. Walnuts contain healthy fats, magnesium and fiber, which may be why they’re good for blood pressure.
Eat your Beets
Second, beets and beet juice are rich in nitrates, which can help widen your blood vessels and improve blood pressure. In one study, drinking just eight ounces of beet juice lowered participants’ blood pressure for 24 hours, so drink up.
Flaxseed is a Third Good Choice
People with hypertension who ate just three tablespoons of flaxseed daily for six months lowered their blood pressure by an average of 10 percent.
Not sure how to eat flaxseed?
Grind it up and add it to yogurt or a smoothie!
Finally, don’t forget about potassium
Include potassium rich foods like bananas, salmon and plain yogurt in your daily diet. Potassium relaxes the walls of blood vessels, and helps counteract the effect of sodium,which raises blood pressure.
All these foods not only help your blood pressure, but they’re good for your body in other ways too .
Foods that raise BP
Unmanaged hypertension can later on lead to stroke or a heart attack. Good news is, that by getting rid of certain foods your blood pressure you can control your BP! Wondering which foods to exclude? Bacon and deli meats? No more bread? Not pizza! This is getting out of hand! Keep reading till the end to learn about foods proven to give high blood pressure.
Did you know that we need about 500 grams of sodium everyday? As little as that may sound, we tend to overeat the recommended amount and super salty snacks are to blame. But how do they affect blood pressure? When you eat too much salt the body tends to hold on to some extra water in order to sort of wash out the salt. The added burden of extra water puts stress on the heart and blood vessels which aggravates blood pressure levels. If you’re feeling snacky then pick a healthy, not so salty alternative.
Honestly though, how can you expect food stored in tin cans to be healthy? Most of these cans have an inner lining of BPA, a harmful chemical responsible for raising blood pressure. Canned food makes cooking meals very easy but the health hazard that comes along with it is huge. Although most companies have made their cans BPA-free, they still add a massive amount of salt to enhance the flavor. For example, one can of soup contains 100 to 900 mg of salt, which is enough to dramatically raise your blood pressure.
Yes, it’s true. Pizza is your worst enemy when it comes to hypertension. This comfort food of the world, has all the ingredients that lead to a rise in blood pressure. It is loaded with tons of salt- so much so – that just one slice of pepperoni contains more than half of your daily recommended salt need. Now imagine downing a whole pizza. Also, you can’t fool high BP with a veggie pizza because it contains just as much salt. The high content of saturated fat is also another factor that raises blood pressure.
If you thought salt was your worst enemy when it comes to blood pressure, think again. Sugar can do more damage than salt! Not just sugary desserts, beverages are equally harmful. Sugar is available in basically every food you eat. Eating high sugar food will lead to unintentional weight gain and spikes in blood pressure. To manage blood pressure better steer clear from pre-packaged meals, processed desserts and even granola bars. Exclude these snacks from your diet if you want to control your blood pressure.
Condiments and sauces
Condiments and sauces? For real? These seemingly harmless toppings for food like ketchup, salad dressing, chili sauce and soy sauce could be one of the reasons for your unmanaged blood pressure. They usually slip under the radar but the harm they cause is long lasting. Sure this doesn’t mean you will have to give up on condiments and sauces completely!
The next time you are shopping for them, make sure to check the label carefully because many have unhealthy amounts of salt and sugar that could sneakily cause high blood pressure. Even if the condiment doesn’t necessarily taste salty, it does have salt in it.
Who would have thought bread could cause a spike in blood pressure? Do you think bread contains sodium? No? Wrong! Bread seems to make an appearance in almost all our meals and depending on the loaf, a single slice of bread contains over 200 mg of sodium! This is over 15% the everyday recommended amount for sodium. If you’ve swapped regular white bread with brown or wholewheat, it still isn’t doing you any good. Unless you are looking for low sodium bread, it’s best to cut it out!
Crispy bacon is the go to breakfast choice for most Americans. Breakfast without bacon is something unimaginable, but should be done if you’re worried about high BP. Bacon is packed with, not only salt, but also saturated and trans fats. These saturated fats do the job of raising bad cholesterol levels. This high concentration of bad cholesterol gets accumulated in the blood vessels which makes them stiff and leads to a rise in blood pressure among other heart problems.
We’ve all come across the negative effects of deli meats. If you love adding bologna, salami or any other cold cuts to your sandwich then it is time for you to listen up! Cold cuts are riddled with insane amounts of sodium, even meats that claim to be ‘low-fat’ contain just as much! This staple food can be found anywhere, is packed in plastic, infused with artificial flavors, chemicals, preservatives and is just plain bad for you!
Some alternatives can be, roasted chicken or turkey and grilled chicken.
Who can say no to juicy grilled steak? If you are looking for ways to manage blood pressure then you have to! Eating red meat regularly, may lead to numerous health issues including rising blood pressure and heart disease. But, don’t dump your barbecue grilling setup just yet! You just don’t have to enjoy it everyday. For example, if you eat red meat twice a day then cut down to eating it just once a day to really enjoy its health benefits. You may already know that cutting back red meat is not only good for your physical health but it is also a way of saving the planet!
You can never have just one cracker. Just like other snacks like chips, popcorn and pretzels, crackers are also addictive and do more harm than good. Especially the ones you find in the market that are packed with saturated and trans fats and lead to high blood pressure. Don’t fall for the ones that say ‘low sodium’ since they are still loaded with salt in every serving. The main culprit is the unhealthy fat that further continues to wreak havoc.
We are not saying managing blood pressure is easy, you need to keep a keen eye on the foods you eat, the amount of exercise you get and other lifestyle choices. Pairing the right foods with an active lifestyle is also the easiest way to a healthier tomorrow. Therefore a diet tailored for blood pressure can help you control blood pressure and avoid the risk of chronic diseases.