High blood pressure is also called hypertension. It can occur for a number of reasons including indigestion, tension, and diabetes among others. It is necessary to prevent high blood pressure by keeping it in a normal range. More than medication can be used to lower high blood pressure. Healthy eating/ certain foods can help reverse the condition or even the need for that much medication. Below is a list of foods that are among your best bet, when it comes to lowering blood pressure.
This functional fruits are portable, easy peel and sweet. They are rich in folate, vitamin C, magnesium, and potassium. An average sized banana contains more than 400mg of potassium and only 1mg of sodium. Potassium is an important electrolyte and works with sodium to help regulate heart function and fluid balance. High sodium intake causes water retention in the body resulting to high blood pressure. Potassium therefore functions to lessen this effect. Taking two bananas a day could contribute largely to controlling high blood pressure.
These should be simply microwaved, cooked without oil or fat. They should be served with skin, without margarine, butter, sour cream or other toppings. Alternative methods of preparation would be baking and boiling spuds, including mash. Purple, white or red skin potatoes produce similar effects. One medium sized potato has only 110 calories and dozens of healthful vitamins and pytochemicals. These pytochemicals tend to have similar effects as the ACE-inhibitors, medication used to treat high blood pressure. Potato as a source of carbohydrate has low fructose content. Elevated fructose levels raise uric acid levels associated with increased hypertension risk. This is because uric acid reduces nitric acid synthesis, involved in blood pressure regulation through endothelial vasodilation. Potassium present is highly concentrated in the skin and the area beneath it. It acts as a blood vessel widener (vasodilator). Vitamin C functions as an antioxidant. This protects the body from free radicals. Fiber presents, acts in lowering cholesterol and improving the function of insulin which aids in lowering blood pressure. Kukoamines present are also associated with the lowering of blood pressure.
Consumption of this vegetable has the health benefits of lowering blood pressure. These dark leafy greens are low in calories, high in fiber and they provide iron, minerals and vitamins. The high potassium content helps to negate the effects of sodium. A low potassium intake may be just as big a risk as a high sodium intake. In addition to that, its nutrient dense nature contains antioxidants that help the body repair damage done by free radicals.
4. Blue Berries
They are low in sugar and high in pytochemicals. Their blue pigment is obtained from anthocyanin compounds. Anthocyanin is a type of flavanoid and an antioxidant. Anthocyanins are beneficial to the endothelial lining of the circulatory system, thus promoting healthy blood pressure. Flavanoids increase the activity of the endothelial nitric oxide synthase in the endothelial cells necessary for nitric oxide production. An increase in the output of nitric oxide results in relaxed blood vessels and improved blood flow.
5. Green Beans
Also known as French beans, string or snap beans. They provide nutrition that contributes to blood pressure health. Dietary potassium is involved in fluid level regulation in the blood stream that influences the regulation of blood pressure balance in return. Sodium present works in conjunction with potassium to regulate fluid and electrolyte level in the blood. Its successful execution prevents high blood pressure. Fiber, contributes substances to the intestinal waste that absorbs excess bile acids and prevents their re-absorption in the bloodstream. This is vital because bile acids produce cholesterol that when in excess, blocks blood flow and puts pressure on the heart muscle to pump blood faster. This in turn increases blood pressure.
Beets health benefits for high blood pressure control are not limited to just raw beetroot. Beets can be cooked, roasted, boiled, or juiced to make an excellent drink. The nitrates contained in beets are not destroyed by heat. Beets contain high levels of inorganic nitrates. In the body, these are converted to nitric oxide which relaxes and dilates blood vessels. Moreover, they contain anti-platelet effect which lessens the clotting tendency in blood thus increasing blood flow.
7. Dark Chocolate
In moderation, chocolate can be part of a healthy balanced diet. Dark chocolates are rich in flavanols due to their high cocoa content. They contain the highest concentration of flavanols compared to either milk or white chocolate. Cocoa consumption largely increases nitric oxide. Nitric oxide acts on small receptors in the blood vessels, prompting their dilation.
8. Low Fat Yogurt
Dairy foods have a trio of minerals-calcium, magnesium and potassium. The latter helps to maintain fluid and balance in the body, focusing on healthy blood pressure maintenance.
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