10 Super foods to Lower Blood Pressure
High Blood Pressure also known as Hypertension is a major risk factor for heart attacks and strokes. It effects almost 25% of the population in the developed world, which gives us the first major clue as to its cause. There are many factors that contribute to Hypertension, including poor diet, stress, poor exercise habits and genetics.
There are so many people on prescription medication and this article does not encourage people to change this unless they consult with their doctors. To manage high blood pressure, prevent or reduce it, we can engage in many simple and natural behaviours. This article focuses on the benefits of certain foods or as they have become known “Superfoods” that can help with this killer condition. A Superfood is a food that contains essential nutrients that have a powerful effect of body health and are commonly prescribed in nutritional healing. Many superfoods have been shown reduce blood pressure in just 2 weeks, when combined with regular walking. The superfoods mentions in this article have also been shown to improve your sleep and reduce headaches.
These delicious veggies served boiled (not deep fried or topped with fatty sauses) have been shown to benefit your heart. They are rich in potassium and contain a blood pressure-lowering compound called kukoamines. Studies show that people who consume purple potatoes twice a day for a month lowered their blood pressure by 3%-4% without gaining weight. The blood pressure reducing effects are likely due to the high concentration of antioxidants found naturally in potatoes. Antioxidants protect your body from “free radicals”, which are little molecules in our bodies that can damage healthy cells.
Eating just 3 kiwis a day may naturally lower blood pressure according to a 2011 study, as opposed to eating an apple a day. The 8 week study found that individuals who consumed the kiwis had significantly lower systolic blood pressure than those who ate an apple a day. Kiwis are rich in the antioxidant Lutein, which helps deal with free radicals which are often linked to high blood pressure. Generally Kiwis are one of the most antioxidant rich fruits, as reported by the Journal of the American College of Nutrition along with grapes, and wild blueberries.
Hawthorn have been shown improve the amount of blood pumped out of the heart during contractions, the nutrients help widen the blood vessels, and increase the communication of nerve signals. Research also shows that hawthorn benefits people in lowering their high have blood pressure. A compound in hawthorn called proanthocyanidin has an effect of relaxing blood vessels away from the heart.
Hibiscus Tea has been used to treat high blood pressure in both African and Asian traditional medicine. In 1996, researchers in Nigeria confirmed this ancient knowledge by showing that hibiscus flowers reduced blood pressure. Soon after, researchers in Iran showed the same benefit. After measuring the blood pressure of 54 hypertensive adults, the researchers gave them 10 ounces of either black tea or hibiscus tea for 12 days. Average blood pressure decreased slightly in the black tea group, but decreased a significant 10 percent in the hibiscus group.
Garlic with its anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties, can treat coronary heart disease by clearing arteries. Garlic relaxes your arteries and lowers blood pressure with the gas it produces in the stomach. Eating one garlic clove a day can significantly reduce your blood pressure in as little as three months. You can also use garlic powder in preparing recipes or take a garlic supplement.
Apples are rich in potassium and phosphorus and are low in sodium. Apples with honey have long been used to reduce blood pressure problems. Potassium has been found to reduce the risk of heart attacks. By eating an apple or two a day, sodium in the tissues is reduced and replaced by potassium and blood pressure comes down.
One banana a day can provide a dose of potassium, helping to reduce blood pressure and deflect cardiovascular diseases. Bananas have a high content of potassium, which is also known to reduce the risk of stroke. Salt should be avoided by people suffering from Hypertension, and bananas are low in sodium.
Dark chocolates contain cacao which helps to dilate the blood vessels causing reduction in blood pressure. It is necessary to use chocolates which contain at least 70% cocoa powder. Eat one tiny square of dark chocolate daily for three to four months. Becareful because chocolate is high in calories so consume only small quantities without causing weight gain. Select the chocolates that are less in sugar and without milk to get maximum effect.
Watermelon is important for cardiovascular health as it contains the carotenoid phytonutrient called Lycopene like tomatoes, which has anti- inflammatory and antioxidant health benefits. Citrulline present in watermelon helps the smooth muscles around the arteries to relax and ensures free flow of blood through it therefore reducing blood pressure.
Regular consumption of raisins (three times a day) may significantly lower blood pressure, according to research, among individuals with mild increases in blood pressure, especially when compared to eating other common snacks. The results of the small study were presented recently at the American College of Cardiology’s 61st Annual Scientific Session. This is the first controlled study to scientifically support raisins’ blood pressure-lowering effects compared to alternative snacks.
If you are experiencing the symptoms of high blood pressure, it is recommended to check your blood pressure regularly. If you have very high blood pressure, you must see your doctor, who may prescribe medication. Try these superfoods to reduce or prevent high blood pressure. Making essential lifestyle changes along with taking these Superfoods for high blood pressure will provide better results at a faster rate.
James O’Sullivan from Galway is a credible and engaging speaker, a people friendly practitioner and lecturer of Integrated Medicine, serving his patients, his students and the public with the positive benefits of both Conventional Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine. He is a respected author and has appeared on many public media.
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to diagnose or assess. The information provided is not to be considered a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care practitioner.