High blood pressure invites various life-threatening diseases like strokes, heart failures, cardiovascular problems, aneurysm or kidney failure. Living with it could be a hassle as it disturbs the entire lifestyle. One of the reasons behind hypertension is diet. It is hard to change your dietary habits if once you get accustomed to it. If you also have hypertension, you need to swap your diet with healthy food items that are enriched with high nutrients.
The role of blood pressure is to maintain the flow of blood across every tissue and organ of the body. A healthy blood pressure maintains the equilibrium in the body and regulates the flow of blood. Often the phenomenon that manages the flow of blood may weaken and lead to the spike in the blood pressure and create havoc in your vascular system. High blood pressure is one of the main reasons which is causing casualties in the United States of America. According to a study, about 70-75 million Americans suffer from high blood pressure, one in every three men has a complaint. More than 1000 deaths occur every day due to high blood pressure.
While there are many food items that can prove to be a blessing for your blood pressure but there are also some that can make the condition go gory. Here we shall discuss the food that you should definitely embrace to keep your abnormal blood pressure in check, but before that, let’s check out what food items can hype the condition:
- Processed Foods: These food items generally have a high percentage of salt in it as compared to the normal ones. Prepackaged meats are usually loaded with sodium. They include hot dogs, chips, pickled foods, pretzels, popcorns, peanuts, etc. They can deplete the body of essential nutrients over time.
- Fatty Foods: According to the studies conducted, fatty foods have played an important role in increasing the level of your blood pressure. Food items which are rich in fat eventually increase the cholesterol level in the body and make you gain weight. Cholesterol-rich diet when taken makes your arteries narrow and increase the risk of stroke. Butter, Almonds, Salmon, etc are some food items that are rich in fat and must be avoided.
- Frozen Food: Pizzas, Chicken strips, etc are some frozen food that may be convenient and inexpensive and may have a longer shelf-life but they contain about 1,000 mg of Sodium. Since sodium is considered as extremely harmful to patients with hypertension, it must be prevented to have on a regular basis.
- Alcohol: If taken in moderation, alcohol could not harm you but if an excessive amount of alcohol is taken, it could affect you on dangerous levels. More than 3 drinks could eventually raise your blood pressure level and binge drinking regularly could influence the circulation system in your body and effectively increase the level of your blood pressure.
- Sugar: It is found naturally or artificially in all the food items that you eat. It is vital to reduce the intake of sugar as it only makes you gain weight and nothing more that. Obese people may increase the chances of the rise in their blood pressure. Some of the products that have a large amount of sugar include:
- Soft Drinks
- Chocolates etc.
On the one hand, where candies have nothing more than sugar and coloring agent, pastries are also loaded with sugar and fat. The amount of fat is highest in soft drinks and chocolates equally are dangerous for the blood pressure as it creates a sudden rise.
- Canned Tomato Products: Products like ketchup, pastes, sauces are often loaded with salt and sugar which together is hazardous to the health. The canned tomato products contain about 1300 mg of sodium and give rise to the blood pressure.
- Red Meat: It is seasoned with salt to improve the rich flavor of the meat. It sounds delicious but has a high amount of fat in it that could sharply increase your blood pressure.
Now that you know what one shall avoid for the healthy blood job by heart, let's see what you should be eating instead:
High yogurt intake supports blood pressure control and prevents the development of hypertension. Yogurt contains many bioactive substances or components that enhance positive health outcomes.
Among the many bioactive components of yogurt, inhibitors of angiotensin I-converting enzyme, which plays a central role in the regulation of blood pressure. Multiple studies have been conducted to investigate the role of yogurt in regulating blood pressure and in one of the studies, it was observed that people who regularly consume yogurt are less likely to develop high blood pressure as compared to those who consume yogurt infrequently. Along with blood pressure, yogurt helps to maintain overall well being.
Hypertension or high blood pressure is one of the problems that can be prevented or treated by beetroot. Beetroot is a rich source of phytochemical compounds that includes ascorbic acid, carotenoids, phenolic acids, and flavonoids. Multiple studies have suggested that beetroot supplements cause a decrease in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. The most important constituent of beetroot that is proposed to have a beneficial effect on health and diseases is nitrate. Nitrate acts as a potent vasodilator which helps in dilating the constricted blood vessels and releases the excess pressure on the walls of arteries.
One of the mechanisms that explain how banana helps in reducing blood pressure is that bananas are an excellent source of potassium and recent studies have shown that potassium helps to decrease blood pressure in individuals. Potassium is an essential mineral required to regulate blood pressure and normal heart function. Also, several studies have reported that the components that are found in a banana act in a manner that is similar to antihypertensive drugs. Banana contains many other minerals and vitamins as well that work positively towards the health and helps in treating and preventing various health problems.
Avocado is extremely rich in minerals. The high content of potassium and lutein in the avocado is known to regulate blood pressure and it does this by controlling the oxidative stress and inflammation.
Also, studies have suggested that diets or products that are rich in MUFA can cause an improvement in diastolic and systolic blood pressure as compared to the diets that have low MUFA content. Avocado has a substantial amount of MUFA content and hence, it helps in reducing and regulating blood pressure levels.
Many studies have explored the benefits of garlic on blood pressure. Garlic works in reducing blood pressure by dilating or expanding the blood vessels. The ability of the garlic to reduce blood pressure is associated with the production of hydrogen sulfide and allicin as they are known to have angiotensin II inhibiting and vasodilating effects. Garlic also helps to modulate various activities of many mechanisms such as prostaglandin system, renin-angiotensin system, and renal tubular transport mechanisms. There are many mechanisms through which garlic helps in lowering blood pressure and another mechanism is through the direct or indirect vasodilatory actions of nitric oxide. Garlic enhances the synthesis of nitric oxide in the body which helps in maintaining normal blood pressure.