Foods that help manage high blood pressure
When your heart beats, it sends blood pumping through the arteries. The highest reading caused by contraction is systolic blood pressure; then the heart relaxes and the pressure drops. This lower reading is diastolic pressure. The blood pressure is recorded in mmHg. Hypertension or high blood pressure exerts immense stress on your heart, and puts you at a huge risk for developing a heart attack or having a stroke.
Every time the doctor raises his eyebrows when scrutinizing your blood pressure, all of us definitely feel anxious. Having him tell you to lay off a host of foods because your blood pressure is too high is even worse! But it is important to understand that a few lifestyle modifications and giving your diet a overhaul is absolutely vital to manage hypertension.
So, what exactly can you eat? Here’s a list of foods that can help in managing blood pressure while tasting good too.
5 foods to help manage blood pressure
- Bananas: Potassium present in bananas is one of the most vital nutrients which helps regulate heart function as well as sustain normal fluid balance – a crucial aspect in managing blood pressure.
- Blueberries: The wonderful health benefits of the blueberries is chiefly due to the anthocyanidins. The anthocyanidins exert powerful anti-oxidant activity and prevent oxidative stress, thereby helping reduce plaque formation within the arteries.
- Garlic: Allicin in garlic may provide strong protection against hypertension and heart diseases.
- Oats: The dietary fibre present in oats – beta glucan - helps reduce serum cholesterol levels and this, consequently, helps keep blood pressure levels normal.
- Turmeric: Curcumin in turmeric has a robust anti-oxidant activity. It helps lower cholesterol, thus, preventing plaque build-up, which as a result helps thwart hypertension. It is important to use pure turmeric with its natural oils intact such as Tata Sampann to get health benefits from this spice.
Doctors advise that those having hypertension should cut back on the amount of sodium they consume. A good way to do this, while not missing out on the essential nutrients in salt, is to cut out processed foods and to opt for a low-sodium salt. Refined, iodised and potassium enriched, Tata Salt Lite is a low-sodium salt which provides 15% lower sodium than regular salt.
Furthermore, achieving the ideal body weight is an important recommendation for those diagnosed with hypertension. Incorporating certain specific dietary modifications as well as lifestyle changes will contribute towards keeping your heart healthy. As all of us have different lifestyle and dietary requirements, be sure to discuss your needs with your doctor before making any major changes.
- American Heart Institute
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