Hypertension or consistent high blood pressure can be very damaging to the blood vessels and create long term effects on your overall health. The good news is that there are several precautionary measures you can take to lower your blood pressure in combination with your medications.
Some of the best remedies include reducing your salt intake, managing your weight, and develop more positive fitness habits.
One of the best ways of lowering blood pressure fast is through the foods you eat. Stay away from cholesterol, saturated fat, and caffeine. Opt for healthier food options such as fruits, vegetables, low fat dairy, and whole grains as one of the effective ways of managing hypertension.
Hypertension is the high pressure in the arteries that are in charge of carrying and distributing the blood that comes from the heart to other parts of the body. This condition is a common health concern that can result to higher risks of visual issues, memory problems, sexual health concerns, kidney damage, stroke, and heart attack.
A balanced and healthy diet is one of the best ways to manage and prevent hypertension, particularly during its early stages. When it comes to chronic hypertension, diet has been shown to very effective if used together with your doctor-prescribed medications. To measure your blood pressure at home, you can use either an Medigo online aneroid (manual) monitor or digital monitor.
The following are some of the best foods to add to your regular diet to lower high blood pressure.
It has been revealed in studies that the omega 3 fats have significant effect on heart health through lowering blood pressure and reducing inflammation. Fatty fish have high amounts of omega 3 fats that make them some of the essential foods to help manage blood pressure.
Legumes, Nuts, and Seeds
There are certain seeds like pumpkin seeds that may offer benefits for hypertension management. Pumpkin seeds have high amounts of magnesium, potassium, and amino acids that all help lower blood pressure.
Studies reveal that nutritious and healthy nuts like pistachios can help support heart health and manage blood pressure. Nuts that are rich in potassium can also be especially effective when it comes to lowering blood pressure.
Aside from the nutrient-rich legumes and beans, nuts and seeds are also great foods you can add to your diet that can either be used as snacks or any other way.
Vegetables and Fruits
You can switch salty and sugary snacks for fruits and vegetables if you want to manage your blood pressure better. In fact, even choosing to eat a piece of fruit instead of drinking fruit juice offers lasting benefits.
Studies reveal that nutrients present in citrus fruits like grapefruit, oranges, and lemons can have substantial effect on reducing blood pressure.
But, since grapefruit may interfere with some heart medications, it is important that you consult your doctor first before you decide to add this citrus to your daily diet. Berries rich in antioxidants are also shown to help lower high blood pressure.
If you are looking for more savory additions to your diet, leafy greens, carrots, and celery are shown to have positive effects on lowering blood pressure.
The use of healthy unsaturated fats like safflower oil, soybean oil, or olive oil is one of the most important aspects of a diet for curbing hypertension.
Whole Grain Carbohydrates
Studies reveal that when trying to manage hypertension, it is recommended that you eat foods rich in carbohydrates made from whole grains instead of refined white flour. If you want to add carbohydrates like pastas and breads, go for multigrain or whole grain options to reduce your blood pressure.
Foods to Avoid for Preventing Hypertension
Now that you know the best foods to add to your diet to lower blood pressure, it is time to learn about those that you should avoid at all cost. The following are the foods to prevent hypertension:
Excessive alcohol can increase your blood pressure. For men, it is recommended to only have three drinks daily, while women must only have two standard drinks a day. Standard drinks refer to 2/3 of a small regular beer can or 220ml, 30ml or a single nip of spirit, and 100ml or one small glass of wine.
Hypertension will most likely occur in people who are overweight. One of the recommended ways for losing weight is to lower your intake of fats. A single gram of fat has 9 calories. Protein and carbohydrates have less than half of this amount. This means that you can lower your intake of calories through cutting down on pastries, cream, and deep fried foods.
It is also especially crucial to lower saturated fats that can make you more prone to clogged arteries. These saturated fats are present in full fat dairy products, red meat, as well as oils with saturated fat content such as coconut oil. Opt for low fat milk, skinless poultry, lean meat cuts, and fish instead.
Salt or Sodium
Every time you eat out, ask for less or no gravy together with your rice. You should also minimize your dipping sauces, creamy salad dressings, and soups. Stay away from canned soups and foods because these usually contain high amounts of sodium.
For instance, every serving of canned beans already contain up to 500mg of sodium. But, there are certain canned foods that also have lower amounts of sodium. Be sure to look for foods that feature the healthier choice logo.
It is fine to have pasteurized milk and frozen peas but frozen dinners, potato chips, and processed meats such as luncheon meat, ham, and bacon all have high sodium content.
Outlook and Risks
When it comes to lowering blood pressure, always choose fresh foods instead of processed foods and minimize salt or sodium intake. If you happen to be overweight, reduce your intake of calories to trim off that excess weight and reduce risks of hypertension. You can also keep a food journal or use an app to track your goods.
But, remember that while some foods help lower high blood pressure, these will never replace your prescription medications. Always talk to a dietitian or doctor to know the correct diet for you.