When does your blood pressure rise? Do you feel any uneasiness or a sheer pain in your chest when you are anxious or stressed? It is because you go through a phase called hypertension when you are extremely worried and apprehensive about something.
Hypertension is basically a rise in your blood pressure level, during which blood exerts immense pressure on your artery walls. If this condition prolongs, hypertension can gradually damage the arterial walls leading to different heart and kidney disorders. The diseases that you are likely to come across are a stroke, coronary artery disease, cardiac arrest, peripheral artery disease, etc.
Hypertension is also identified as a silent killer since you can hardly make out the symptoms at early stages. As a result, the disease remains unnoticed and untreated for a long time often leading to fatal conditions. The factors that mainly contribute to hypertension are normally not in your hands, such as gender, age, race, and genetics. However, there are some factors that you can easily keep under checks like diet routine and exercise. If you’re suffering from high blood pressure, include foods in your diet that are rich in potassium, fiber, and magnesium. Try to stay away from foods that contain a high level of sodium.
Foods that keep your blood pressure level in check:
- Green leafy vegetables
You should always say yes to foods with high potassium content and low sodium content. This is because potassium works brilliantly on your kidneys to wash off excess sodium from your body. In this way, the sodium-potassium pump is kept under check to prevent any excess pressure of blood on artery walls. Therefore, eventually, this regulation reduces your blood pressure level. Vegetables rich in potassium include Swiss chard, kale, arugula, spinach, romaine lettuce, collard greens, beet greens, and turnip greens. Avoid eating canned vegetables as they contain higher sodium level. However, you can consider eating frozen veggies that offer you the same level of nutrients and are easy to store. You can easily blend these fresh vegetables with nutty milk and banana, to make a healthy juice.
- Red beet
Beets are good sources of iron and nitric oxide, which facilitates the opening of blood vessels and reduces hypertension. You may either consume red beet by blending it into a juice or cook it as a vegetable with spices. Beetroot tastes delicious when you roast or stir fry it, or even make hot stews out of it. You may also make baked beetroot chips, and enjoy it as a healthy snack.
Blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries are very rich in flavonoids. Flavonoids are phytoactive chemical compounds present in plants that contribute to a lot of health benefits. One of such benefits is lowering of blood pressure level, and ensuring a healthy heart functioning. You can easily add berries to your diet, as you can have them with granola or cereals at breakfast. If you feel like making a healthy dessert, you can also include frozen berries into it.
- Oatmeal and bananas
Oatmeal is very rich in fibers but has very low sodium and fat to offer. So in your case, this is a perfect choice for a healthy breakfast. To make your oatmeal more delicious, add sliced or blended bananas to it. Bananas are high in potassium and cellular fiber. Slice up a banana into half a cup each of roasted oats and nutty milk in a bowl. You may add cinnamon, granola, berries, and other dried fruits to make a potassium-rich breakfast and prevent hypertension effortlessly.
Other food items to prevent elevation in blood pressure:
- Yogurt and skimmed milk
Dairy products are excellent sources of nutrients, especially calcium. Skimmed milk contains many essential nutrients that can help you reduce the risk of hypertension. If you are not quite fond of milk, you can choose yogurt instead. According to a few studies, having around 5 servings of yogurt per day can control your blood pressure quite effectively. You may even add a few variations in your yogurt, by including fruits, granola or almonds in it. Remember to check for the sugar content when you purchase yogurt. The lesser the sugar, the greater the benefit.
- Dark chocolate
Are you fond of milk chocolates? If so, then it is a very interesting way of cheating on your diet without compromising with hypertension. However, before you get all excited, remember that it is not normal sugary milk chocolate but dark chocolates. According to some recent studies, dark chocolates can evidently lower your blood pressure level and risk of associated cardiovascular disorders. If you can consume 100 g of dark chocolate in a day, it actually prevents any deadly heart diseases. Dark chocolates have very less sugar content, with 60 percent of cocoa solids.
- Pistachios and seeds
Pistachios are extremely beneficial in lowering the risk of hypertension, by relaxing peripheral vascular resistance or tightening of blood vessels. In this way, your heart rate remains under control, along with exerted arterial pressure. A single serving of pistachios in your diet every day can lower the chances of high blood pressure. Unsalted seeds contain high levels of magnesium, potassium, and several other nutrients to keep hypertension under check. You can consider taking sunflower, squash, or pumpkin seeds as snacks in between your regular meals.
Is fish protein important?
Fishes are excellent sources of proteins. Salmon and mackerel are fatty fishes that contain very high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 has three major functions to conduct in your body:
- Reduce blood pressure level
- Lower inflammation
- Bring down the level of triglycerides
High triglyceride content is largely associated with elevated blood pressure. Therefore if you eat fatty fishes, omega-3 can facilitate in maintaining your blood pressure level by opting out triglycerides. Moreover, trout is very rich in vitamin D that contributes to the prevention of hypertension. You can easily cook fatty fished by making fillets and spicing them up with pepper, herbs, olive oil, and lemon. Bake in a preheated oven for 15 minutes at 450F.