High blood pressure, otherwise referred to as hypertension, is a condition when there is excessive pressure against your artery walls. When this pressure exceeds 130mmHg, you are at risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney disease among other problems that result from damaged blood vessels which in turn results from hypertension. According to the CDC, over 75 million Americans live with high blood pressure, which only confirms the seriousness of the situation and the need for control. Risk factors include as age, family history, and gender. While some of these are out of your control, factors such as diet and exercise are under your control. Switching to diets rich in fiber, magnesium and potassium and lower sodium will help you regulate your blood pressure.
It is not always easy to go green, but eating green vegetables is sure worth it. Leafy greens such as kale, Swiss chard, cabbages, collard greens, spinach among others are rich in potassium which helps your kidneys dispose more sodium through urine. They are also high in nitrates which keep your blood vessels healthy, thus reducing blood pressure.
Berries, especially strawberries and blueberries contain the natural compounds, flavonoids. Studies have shown that consuming flavonoids lower blood pressure and reduce hypertension. Berries are easy to include in a diet. You can include them in your cereal in the morning, enjoy them as a snack after meals or make them an ingredient of your smoothies.
Dark chocolate is not just a sweet treat but also a tool that may lower blood pressure. A study by BMC Medicine suggests that cocoa-rich chocolate helps a great deal in reducing blood pressure.
Drinking beet juice can also help reduce hypertension in both long and short terms. Beets contain high level of inorganic nitrates that open and strengthen you blood vessels, causing a reduction of high blood pressure. It is helpful to drink a glass of beet juice or you can simply cook and eat the root itself!
Skim milk is an outstanding source of calcium that is low in fat, a combination that increases your vascular resistance and keeps your fat levels considerable. In case you do not like skim milk, you can opt for natural yogurt for the same results.
While some diets may help you deal with hypertension, others will only accelerate it and for that reason, you need to avoid the latter. Salt, caffeine and alcohol will reverse your efforts to curb high blood pressure and are best kept at bay or at least regulated.