13/04/2023 / Health and Fitness
Know 22 foods for high blood pressure. Also, know what type of foods to avoid with high BP.
A human being is said to have hypertension when their blood pressure is relatively high. In adverse cases, hypertension can even lead to damage to arteries. The heart's muscle thickens and increases its size as it pumps a significant amount of blood. It takes years for hypertension to develop; it is not an immediate condition.
The busy life around us today has led to many worries in our daily lives. The fluctuation in blood pressure is common among people of all generations. The causes of Primary Hypertension are generally natural, like aging, genetics, etc. In contrast, the causes of Secondary Hypertension are primarily artificial, like excessive alcohol, obesity, unhealthy lifestyle, use of drugs, existing diseases related to kidneys, etc.
The symptoms of hypertension are dispersed vision, fatigue, headache, etc. If these symptoms arise in an individual, it is recommended to consult a doctor and take the necessary steps so that the problem of hypertension gets eliminated from the root.
There are several ways to cure hypertension, most of which are natural and don't require rocket science or special knowledge. Exercising and adding physical activities like running to your routine can benefit Hypertensive patients. Avoiding alcohol or limiting it can be helpful for patients as alcohol easily boosts blood pressure. The consumption of junk food must be controlled in the present generation as it is one of the primary causes of hypertension. Including foods that lower high blood pressure is crucial for managing the condition.
Diet plays an important role in one's daily life, and a healthy one can help to prevent evils like hypertension. DASH Diet is one of the well-known ways to help curb the Hypertension problem. DASH Diet comprises vegetables, fruits, lean meat, grains, and low-fat milk. The quantity of calcium, magnesium, and protein is up to the mark in DASH Diet. It neglects dessert items, carbonated and sweetened beverages, unhealthy fats, processed poultry, etc. Including foods for high blood pressure in the daily diet of patients suffering from hypertension is essential for managing the condition.
Here is the list of the best diet foods to manage high blood pressure or hypertension.
Bananas are one of the best food to eat in high bp. Bananas are known to be rich in potassium. This mineral can help reduce sodium's harmful effects and relax the walls of blood vessels. A medium-sized banana typically contains around 422mg of potassium. While this makes bananas one of the best foods for high blood pressure, individuals with kidney disease should be cautious when increasing their potassium intake. It's essential to consult a doctor first, as excessive potassium levels can be dangerous for those with kidney problems.
Beets are an excellent choice when considering foods for high blood pressure. Nitric oxide is a potent vasodilator. When digested, nitrates in beets are converted into nitric oxides in the body.
A study conducted in 2015 found that people with hypertension who drank about 1 cup of red beet juice daily had lower blood pressure at the end of 4 weeks. The researchers also recorded an average fall in blood pressure of 7.7/5.2 mm Hg over 24 hours.
Blueberries and strawberries have antioxidant compounds called anthocyanins, a flavonoid type. In one older study, the researchers examined data from 34,000 people with hypertension over 14 years. The study revealed that individuals who consumed the most anthocyanins, primarily from strawberries and blueberries, had a reduced risk of high blood pressure by approximately 8%. This makes berries a good option when considering foods for high blood pressure.
According to a 2020 review, cinnamon can help reduce blood pressure. In individuals with a BMI of 30 or more, the authors discovered that incorporating 2 g of cinnamon into their daily diet for eight weeks decreased blood pressure.
Citrus fruits are the best fruits for high blood pressure. Hesperidin present in citrus fruits can benefit heart health. A study conducted in 2021 found that when 159 people consumed 500 ml of hesperidin-enriched orange juice daily for 12 weeks, their systolic blood pressure reduced and that hesperidin contributed to this effect. This makes citrus fruits one of the essential foods for high blood pressure. Include citrus fruits in your diet as drinks or in fruit salads, squeezed on salads for flavor instead of salt. Examples of Citrus fruits include lemon, grapefruit, and sweet orange.
Dark chocolates contain flavonoids. Flavonoids are beneficial in lowering blood pressure. However, it notes that an individual may need more flavonoids in dark chocolate to have significant benefits.
The AHA states that a small portion of chocolate from time to time can be part of a healthy diet.
Kimchi, kombucha, and miso are some of the fermented foods that are rich in probiotics. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can help manage blood pressure. Data analyzed in 2020 suggest that women who had gone through menopause and ate fermented food products like soy foods had a lower risk of hypertension. However, this was different for men.
Sodium is a significant risk factor for high blood pressure; experts advise limiting salt intake. However, despite the high sodium content, a 2017 study did not find that consuming salt-fermented vegetables raised the risk of high blood pressure.
Probiotics' effects on blood pressure are more beneficial when the participants consume multiple species of probiotic bacteria, probiotics regularly for more than eight weeks, and at least 100 billion colony-forming units per day.
Flaxseeds are one of the best foods for high blood pressure. In a study, participants with high blood pressure and peripheral artery disease ate 30 grams of milled flaxseed daily. Six months later, a 15 mm Hg and 7 mm Hg decrease were seen in systolic and diastolic pressure, respectively.
Garlic has allicin, giving garlic its antibiotic and antifungal properties. A review conducted in 2020 concluded that garlic generally could reduce blood pressure, arterial stiffness, and cholesterol. These properties of garlic make it a good choice for high-blood pressure foods.
Kiwis are one of the best fruits for high blood pressure. A 2015 study suggests that kiwi can help manage mildly elevated blood pressure. Additionally, kiwis are rich in vitamin C. A previous study demonstrated that individuals who ingested 500 mg of vitamin C daily for roughly eight weeks experienced a notable enhancement in their blood pressure readings. Add kiwis to your diet as one of the good foods for high blood pressure.
Leafy green vegetables are high in nitrates, which can help manage blood pressure. Leafy greens include cabbage, collard, kale, mustard, and spinach. If you are looking for foods for high blood pressure, include leafy green vegetables in your diet.
Lentils provide fiber and protein, and experts state they can benefit the health of the blood vessels of people with hypertension. An older study studied the effects of a pulse-rich diet on rats. The rats ate a diet that was 30% pulses, including lentils, peas, beans, and chickpeas. Consuming pulses decreased levels of blood pressure and cholesterol. A review of human trials in 2014 found that consuming pulses can lower blood pressure in people with and without hypertension. One can include lentils in salads, stews, and soups.
Yogurt is fermented dairy food. A 2021 study examined data for people with and without high blood pressure to check for a connection between hypertension and fermented dairy products. The participants with hypertension who consumed more yogurt had lower systolic and lower arterial pressure than those who did not. So add yogurt to your diet list of foods for high blood pressure. One can enjoy yogurt by adding them to stew or salads.
Several studies suggest that eating nuts of various types can help manage hypertension. A 2016 review notes that nuts can improve endothelial function, benefiting blood pressure and heart health. It is best to use unsalted nuts, and they can be enjoyed by adding them to salads, blending them into pestos, or as a nut roast. Though nuts are one of the good choices among foods for high blood pressure, people with nut allergies should not consume them.
Oily fish is an excellent food to eat in high bp. The AHA recommends consuming two servings of sardines, mackerel, and tuna per week, as it can lower the risk of heart disease. Research suggests that consuming oily fish may help lower blood pressure. In 2016, individuals with high systolic blood pressure significantly improved their readings after eating 0.7 g per day of EPA and DHA fish oil supplements for eight weeks.
Olive oil is a key ingredient of the DASH and Mediterranean diets. The polyphenols present in olives are known to reduce inflammation and blood pressure. Participants took an olive leaf extract or a placebo daily in the study. After six weeks, the olive-leaf group had lower blood pressure than the placebo group.
An older study proves that drinking 1 cup of pomegranate juice daily for 28 days can lower high blood pressure in the short term.
Another review conducted in 2017 found evidence that consuming pomegranate juice lowered blood pressure. So remember to add pomegranates to your list of foods for high blood pressure.
People can consume whole pomegranates or juice. When purchasing prepackaged pomegranate juice, check to ensure no added sugar.
A blend of rice bran and sesame oils helped lower blood pressure in patients with mild to moderate hypertension. Experts believe the effect is due to the fatty acids and antioxidants in oils such as sesamol, sesamin, sesamolin, and oryzanol.
Lycopene is an antioxidant present in tomatoes that may benefit heart health.
A review in 2021 found that adding tomato extract to the diet can significantly reduce systolic blood pressure in individuals with or without hypertension. However, adding tomatoes to the diet produced different results.
High doses of lycopene were effective in reducing systolic blood pressure. In contrast, lower doses did not yield the same outcome, as per other researchers.
White beans are rich in minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium. A study found that dietary pulses lowered blood pressure in people with and without hypertension. This makes white beans a good choice when considering foods for high blood pressure.
Citrulline is an amino acid present in watermelon. The body converts citrulline to arginine, which can help the body produce nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is a gas that allows the blood vessels to relax and encourage flexibility in arteries. These effects support the flow of blood, which can lower high blood pressure.
In one study, adults with obesity and mild or prehypertension took watermelon extract having 6 grams (g) of L-citrulline/L-arginine. After six weeks, the participants saw reduced blood pressure in the ankles and brachial arteries. In another study, 27 people consumed watermelon juice or another beverage before exercise. The females who consumed watermelon juice did not experience any increase in blood pressure after exercise, although the males did.
Whole grains can help lower blood pressure due to their high fiber content, which reduces cholesterol absorption and promotes waste excretion. Their abundant minerals like magnesium, potassium, and calcium relax blood vessels and improve blood flow. Their low glycemic index stabilizes blood sugar levels, reducing insulin resistance and hypertension risk. Lastly, antioxidants and phytochemicals found in whole grains help reduce inflammation, contributing to high blood pressure.
Certain foods can either help reduce or increase the risk of hypertension.
Reducing salt intake moderately can result in a significant reduction in blood pressure. The USDA advises limiting daily sodium intake to 2.3 grams or one teaspoon of salt.
Consuming 200-300 mg of caffeine may raise blood pressure for up to 3 hours. Limit your caffeine intake.
Even with moderate consumption, regular alcohol intake can substantially increase the risk of high blood pressure. To maintain good health, the AHA advises females to limit their alcohol intake to 1 drink per day and males to 2 drinks per day.
Processed foods often contain added salt and unhealthy fats that increase the risk of hypertension.
To help lower blood pressure, several natural ways can be adopted. Among these ways:
Regular exercise is effective since it strengthens the heart and improves blood flow.
A healthy diet low in salt, saturated fats, and processed foods and rich in whole foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats is the best natural remedy for high blood pressure.
Maintaining a healthy weight is essential, as obesity is a risk factor for hypertension.
Managing stress through exercise, meditation, or deep breathing is another important step to consider.
Limiting alcohol intake and quitting smoking are also recommended since drinking too much alcohol and smoking can raise blood pressure.
Getting enough sleep each night is essential, as lack of sleep can contribute to high blood pressure.
A human being is said to have hypertension when their blood pressure is relatively high. Diet plays a vital role in one's daily life, and a healthy one can help to prevent evils like hypertension.
Foods that help lower blood pressure naturally include fermented foods, oily fishes, whole grains, lentils, pulses, nuts, cinnamons, etc.
Citrus fruits, pomegranates, bananas, and berries can help lower blood pressure.
Incorporating foods that lower blood pressure into one's diet can significantly enhance health and reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Foods to avoid with high blood pressure include highly processed food that contains high salt content and unhealthy fats. It is also recommended to limit alcohol and caffeine consumption.
Bananas are known to be rich in potassium. This mineral can help reduce sodium's harmful effects and relax the walls of blood vessels. A medium-sized banana contains around 422mg of potassium. While this makes bananas one of the best foods for high blood pressure, individuals with kidney disease should be cautious when increasing their potassium intake.
Dehydration can cause a decrease in blood volume, which can, in turn, cause blood pressure to increase. So drinking water and staying hydrated are necessary to lower blood pressure.
Additionally, substituting sugary or high-calorie drinks with water can be a part of a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Water, low-fat milk, pomegranate juice, beet juice, and citrus fruit juices can be consumed as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle to lower blood pressure.
Several vegetables are known to help lower blood pressure, such as beets, leafy greens, garlic, tomato extract, carrots, broccoli, etc. These vegetables contain beneficial nutrients and minerals that can help reduce blood pressure.
Apples contain dietary fiber, antioxidants, and other nutrients. This can support overall health and help prevent cardiovascular disease, often associated with high blood pressure.
Routine exercise can help to lower blood pressure and improve overall cardiovascular health. Yoga, stretching, resistance training, and aerobic exercises are beneficial for reducing high blood pressure.
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