Dietary recommendations for people with high blood pressure
One of the easiest ways you can treat hypertension and prevent possible complications is through your diet. What you eat can go a long way toward easing or eliminating hypertension.
Here are some of the most common dietary recommendations for people with hypertension.
a) Eat less meat, more plants.
A plant-based diet is an easy way to increase fiber and reduce sodium and unhealthy saturated fat you take in from dairy foods and meat. Increase the number of fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, and whole grains you’re eating. Instead of red meat, opt for healthier lean proteins like fish, poultry, or tofu.
b) Reduce dietary sodium.
People with hypertension and an increased risk for heart disease may need to keep their daily sodium intake between 1,500 milligrams and 2,300 milligrams per day.
The best way to reduce sodium is to cook fresh foods more often. Avoid eating restaurant food or prepackaged foods, which are often very high in sodium.
c) Cut back on sweets.
Sugary foods and beverages contain empty calories but don’t have nutritional content. If you want something sweet, try eating fresh fruit or small amounts of dark chocolate that haven’t been sweetened as much with sugar.
Foods That Are Good for High Blood pressure
Many risk factors for high blood pressure are out of your control, such as age, family history, gender, and race. But there are also factors you can control, such as exercise and diet.
A diet that can help control blood pressure is rich in potassium, magnesium, and fiber, and lower sodium.
13 Foods That Help Lower Blood Pressure
1. Leafy greens.
Potassium helps your kidneys get rid of more sodium through your urine. This, in turn, lowers your blood pressure. Leafy greens, which are high in potassium, include: romaine lettuce, arugula, kale, turnip, greens collard, greens spinach, beet greens, Canned vegetables often have added sodium.
But frozen vegetables contain as many nutrients as fresh vegetables, and they’re easier to store. You can also blend these veggies with bananas and nut milk for a healthy, sweet green juice.
Berries, especially blueberries, are rich in natural compounds called flavonoids. One study found that consuming these compounds might prevent hypertension and help lower blood pressure.
Blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries are easy to add to your diet. You can put them on your cereal or granola in the morning, or keep frozen berries on hand for a quick and healthy dessert.
Beets are high in nitric oxide, which can help open your blood vessels and lower blood pressure. Researchers also found that the nitrates in beetroot juice lowered research participants’ blood pressure within just 24 hours.
You can juice your beets or simply cook and eat the whole root. Beetroot is delicious when roasted or added to stir-fries and stews. You can also bake them into chips. Be careful when handling beets — the juice can stain your hands and clothes.
4. Skim milk and yogurt.
Skim milk is an excellent source of calcium and is low in fat. These are both important elements of a diet for lowering blood pressure. You can also opt for yogurt if you don’t like milk.
Try incorporating granola, almond slivers, and fruits into your yogurt for extra heart-healthy benefits. When buying yogurt, be sure to check for added sugar. The lower the sugar quantity per serving, the better.
Oatmeal fits the bill for a high-fiber, low-fat, and low-sodium way to lower your blood pressure. Eating oatmeal for breakfast is a great way to fuel up for the day. Overnight oats are a popular breakfast option.
To make them, soak 1/2 cup of rolled oats and 1/2 cup of nut milk in a jar. In the morning, stir and add berries, granola, and cinnamon to taste.
Eating foods that are rich in potassium is better than taking supplements. Slice a banana into your cereal or oatmeal for a potassium-rich addition.
7. Salmon, mackerel, and fish with omega-3s.
Fish are a great source of lean protein. Fatty fish like mackerel and salmon are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which can lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and lower triglycerides.
In addition to these fish sources, trout contains vitamin D. Foods rarely contain vitamin D, and this hormone-like vitamin has properties that can lower blood pressure. One benefit of preparing fish is that it’s easy to flavor and cook.
Unsalted seeds are high in potassium, magnesium, and other minerals are known to reduce blood pressure. Enjoy ¼ cup of sunflower, pumpkin, or squash seeds as a snack between meals.
9. Garlic and herbs.
Garlic can help reduce hypertension by increasing the amount of nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide helps promote vasodilation, or the widening of arteries, to reduce blood pressure.
Incorporating flavorful herbs and spices into your daily diet can also help you cut back on your salt intake. Examples of herbs and spices you can add include basil, cinnamon, thyme, and rosemary.
10. Dark chocolate.
A study found that eating dark chocolate is associated with a lower risk for cardiovascular disease. The study suggests that up to 100 grams per day of dark chocolate may be associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. Dark chocolate contains more than 60 percent cocoa solids and has less sugar than regular chocolate.
You can add dark chocolate to yogurt or eat it with fruits, such as strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries, as a healthy dessert.
Pistachios are a healthy way to decrease blood pressure by reducing peripheral vascular resistance, or blood vessel tightening, and heart rate. You can incorporate pistachios into your diet by adding them to crusts, pesto sauces, and salads, or by eating them plain as a snack.
12. Olive oil.
Olive oil is an example of healthy fat. It contains polyphenols, which are inflammation-fighting compounds that can help reduce blood pressure. It’s a great alternative to canola oil, butter, or commercial salad dressing.
Pomegranates are a healthy fruit that you can enjoy raw or as a juice. One study concluded that drinking a cup of pomegranate juice once a day for four weeks helps lower blood pressure over the short term.
Pomegranate juice is tasty with a healthy breakfast. Be sure to check the sugar content in store-bought juices, as the added sugars can negate the health benefits.
What other foods help in reducing blood pressure? Please share your experience!wauguzikenya