Hypertension is one of the most common conditions in India. It refers to the high blood pressure against artery walls. If the condition persists for the prolonged duration, then it can damage your blood vessels which can lead to other diseases like stroke, heart disease, kidney problems etc. Hypertension can go unnoticed for a long time because it produces no symptoms. Genetics, age, gender and race are risk factors for high blood pressure. But you can control it with proper diet and exercise.
There are few food groups which are very beneficial in the control of hypertension:
Green leafy vegetables
Sodium causes your blood pressure to rise, and potassium is very helpful in flushing out the extra sodium from your body through urine which results in low blood pressure. Green leafy vegetables are a rich source of potassium so a person having hypertension should eat following vegetables sparingly:
- Swiss chard
- Brussels sprouts
Additionally, you should avoid canned vegetables because they are packed with some extra sodium. You can blend these vegetables with bananas to give yourself a potassium punch
Milk products are a good source of calcium which is helpful in reducing the high blood pressure. If you don’t like to drink milk, you can take yoghurt which is equally effective in reducing high blood pressure.
Calcium is very important in making the blood vessels tighten and relax when they need to. Calcium also makes your bones and teeth strong. There are studies to show that calcium can help in reducing high blood pressure.
To add the benefits you can incorporate nuts and fruits to your yoghurt. Before buying the yoghurt just make sure that it doesn’t have any added sugar.
Omega 3 and salmon
Fishes like salmon and mackerel are high in omega-3 fatty acid, and they are also a great source of lean protein. Consuming omega-3 fatty acid has many health benefits like it reduce the inflammation, lower the triglycerides and it also lowers the blood pressure.
Pistachios are great in reducing the blood pressure as they reduce the peripheral resistance caused by the vessel constriction. It also reduces the heart rate. If you are suffering from high blood pressure, toss some pistachios in your salads or sauces or just eat them plain.
Garlic raises the amount of nitric oxide in the body which promotes the vasodilatation. Vasodilatation leads to a reduction in blood pressure. There are few herbs along with garlic that can help you in reducing your salt intake. These herbs are basil, cinnamon, Thyme, rosemary etc.
These red seeds are good to eat, and they also reduce high blood pressure. You can consume it directly or can drink the pomegranate juice but just make sure that the juice is fresh, not packaged one which is available in the market as it is loaded with too much of sugar.
Consuming flavonoids can prevent the risk of hypertension, and the rich sources of flavonoids are berries like blueberries, strawberries and raspberries. You can easily incorporate them in your morning cereal breakfast or granola. You can also make a delicious and healthy dessert by using berries.
Some important tips to follow:
- Read labels on the packaged food before buying. You should not be buying the food which is high in saturated fat and trans-fat.
- Avoid food which is high in saturated food like egg yolks, whole cream, ice cream, butter, cheese and fatty meats.
- Pick up the lean sources of protein like soy, fish, low-fat dairy, skinless chicken etc.
- Avoid picking the food on which hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated in written on the labels. They are high in saturated and trans-fat.
- Limit the intake of processed and fried food.
- Make sure that you are not using a lot of fats while cooking. The best and healthy ways to cook fish, chicken and meat are by grilling, poaching, baking and broiling them.
- Increase your intake of soluble fibres like bran, lentils, beans etc.
- Avoid eating fast foods which are high in unhealthy fats and carbohydrates.