High blood pressure is a “silent killer” as you can get a heart attack or stroke without feeling any symptoms at all. If you are diagnosed with high blood pressure (above 140/90 mg Hg), you may need to be on medication to control it.
However, the best way is to change your lifestyle to control blood pressure and reduce the reliance on drugs. Converting to a healthy diet is one of the most fundamental lifestyle changes to lower blood pressure.
Here are 5 key types of food that lower blood pressure you should consider:
Antioxidants are groups of nutrients that counter the damaging effect of free radicals. Here are of the many types of antioxidants:
Phytochemicals – groups of chemicals from plant such as phthalides, anthocyanines, lipoic acid, quercetin, genistein. They prevent free radical attack on blood vessel wall.
Colorful fruits and vegetables are full of antioxidants and people on a plant-based diet are found to have lower risk of developing high blood pressure. For example, celery helps to relax blood vessel muscle tissue and berries are rich in antioxidants.
2) Minerals – Potassium
Research has shown that mineral imbalance is one of the causes for high blood pressure. It is mainly about mineral balance. Too much sodium affect calcium, magnesium and potassium ion balance. Food rich in potassium are papaya, guava, kiwi, orange, yam, avocado, spinach, tomato, broccoli, carrots and beans.
A diet high in fiber is associated with significant decrease in blood pressure. 25-30 g of fiber a day is recommended. Fiber is obtained from fruits and vegetables, whole grains and legumes.
Seamus Whelton, medical student at Tulane University School of Medicine performed a comprehensive data analysis of 25 clinical trials and all point to the conclusion that adding fiber in the diet has a healthy effect on blood pressure.
Whole grains such oats are excellent source of fiber as well as magnesium which prevent plaque build up and helps lower blood pressure.
Legumes as such black beans are excellent source of fiber and protein. It also contains vitamin B complex , magnesium and folic acid which help reduce blood pressure
4) Co-enzyme Q10 (CoQ 10)
Co-enzyme Q10 is a powerful antioxidant that deactivates free radical and prevents damage to heart cells and blood vessel wall. It is found to lower the viscosity of the blood, so it has a blood thinning effect.
Naturally occurring food does not have limited level of CoQ 10. So, supplementation is necessary, to get sufficient amount. CoQ 10 can interact with Warfarin drug and reduce the effectiveness of the drug. So, be careful when choosing CoQ 10 as a nutritional supplement.
Omega-3 fatty acid is a powerful antioxidant, reduce inflammation and help to maintain healthy blood vessel. It is a natural blood thinner.
You can get natural omega-3 fatty acid from cold-water fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines.
Don’t just rely on medication to control your blood pressure. Take action now to change your lifestyle and eating habit to lower your blood pressure naturally and for long-term.
What are you doing to your blood pressure? Share with me in the comment box below.
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