Hypertension or high blood pressure is prevalent across the globe. It is a condition when the reading of blood pressure for a person reaches beyond 140/90 mm Hg. As per statistics stated by the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 1.13 billion people suffer from hypertension around the world.
It is a condition that can easily be prevented or treated by making dietary and lifestyle modifications. In some cases, where the level of blood pressure is very high then medication also becomes an essential part of the treatment. Elevated levels are associated with heart diseases, stroke and renal failure.
In this article, we will talk about certain foods, which may help reduce high blood pressure.
1. Beetroot - Beetroots are excellent for managing high blood pressure due to the presence of dietary nitrates. These nitrates converted to nitric oxide resulting in vasodilation, which improves blood flow and reduces the pressure of blood. Beetroot can be consumed raw in salads and beetroot juice is another excellent way to enjoy its health benefits.
2. Berries - Berries like strawberry and blueberry are rich in a powerful antioxidant called anthocyanin. Studies have shown that high intake of anthocyanin reduces the probability of hypertension. Berries are delicious and easy to include in the diet as a snack or in smoothies and shakes.
3. Banana - Bananas are rich in potassium, which is a critical mineral when it comes to managing hypertension. As per health authorities, potassium helps in reducing blood pressure by suppressing the effect of sodium and tension within blood vessels. Therefore, potassium-rich foods are good for people suffering from high blood pressure.
4. Watermelon - Watermelon is another wonder fruit good for heart health. It is rich in an amino acid called citrulline, which exerts a similar effect like nitrates in the body. Citrulline presents in watermelon results in vasodilation due to the production of nitric oxide. Studies have also indicated better heart health among people consuming watermelons on a regular basis, as compared to people who don’t.
5. Oatmeal - Oats are considered as a superfood due to their potential health benefits. Oats are rich in a prebiotic dietary fibre called beta-glucan. This soluble fibre is excellent for our gut health as it promotes the growth of good bacteria. In addition, oatmeal also keeps us healthy by preventing the blood pressure from rising along with keeping a check on our blood cholesterol levels. Therefore, consume this all-rounder food to lower blood pressure.
6. Tender Coconut Water - High potassium content of tender coconut water makes it good for people with hypertension. It relaxes our blood vessels and minimizes the effect of sodium thereby relieving the symptoms of high blood pressure. As per a study published in International Journal of Medical Research and Health Sciences, 300 ml of coconut water was given to hypertensive people for 6 weeks and at the end of the study, a significant reduction was noticed in their levels along with improved endothelial function.
7. Green Leafy Vegetables - Green leafy vegetables are also copious in dietary nitrates, which makes them beneficial for blood pressure. Therefore, the diet should be rich in foods like cabbage, mustard leaves, kale, collard greens, spinach, lettuce and fennel leaves.
8. Dark Chocolate - Dark chocolate contains a high amount of cocoa, which is rich in antioxidants and polyphenols. Researches have shown that consumption of 1-2 cubes of dark chocolate per day is good for our heart health. To reap its health benefits, opt for good quality chocolates having 70% or more cocoa percentage.
To sum up, hypertension is the root cause of many diseases but the good news is that it is manageable if acted wisely. Choose the above-listed foods and maintain an active lifestyle if you desire to keep your heart healthy.