Which Foods Reduce High Blood Pressure?
High blood pressure is considered a “chronic” disease that is characterized by an increase in the blood pressure in the arteries.
Blood pressure is expressed in two measurements: systolic and diastolic. These numbers are taken from the blood pressure when the heart is pumping and while at rest.
In this article, we’ll show you which foods to eat to reduce high blood pressure naturally.
What causes high blood pressure?
Certain dietary habits, genetic conditions and diseases increase your risk for hypertension. These are the most common factors:
When we eat too much salty food, our blood pressure increases. One third of patients suffering from hypertension are sensitive to sodium, as it increases fluid retention in the body.
Decreased renin production
People of African American descent tend to secrete less renin (a substance produced by the kidneys) and this makes them more susceptible to suffering from hypertension. It also means that renin related medications will be less effective.
Many people with diabetes also have hypertension. Insulin has the ability to stimulate activity in the sympathetic nervous system, but without raising blood pressure.
For this reason, insulin related problems further contribute to high blood pressure.
See also: 5 Little Known Symptoms of Diabetes
Being overweight and obesity
There is a close relationship between body mass index and high blood pressure.
The heart has to work harder to pump blood through arteries that are clogged with fat. This puts extra stress on arterial walls.
- There are some genes which can lead to an increased risk of high blood pressure. There is also a link between hypertension and coronary and renal disease.
- So if you have a family history of high blood pressure, you have a higher chance of developing it yourself.
As you get older, your risk for developing high blood pressure increases as arterial walls thin and deteriorate and blood vessels harden.
As the arterial walls lose their elasticity, blood starts having a more difficult time flowing.
What should I eat to reduce high blood pressure?
Once you know the reason behind your high blood pressure, the next step is to reduce its occurrence.
A low-sodium, balanced diet accompanied by physical exercise and a more relaxed lifestyle can help you overcome this disease.
Here are some of the best foods to eat if you want to reduce your blood pressure naturally:
It’s perfect for anyone and is considered a super powerful antibiotic. Eating one or two cloves of garlic each day (better if it’s raw) reduces blood pressure and cholesterol.
How about eating a clove of garlic on an empty stomach? It contains allicin, a compound with properties that reduce high blood pressure.
Tomatoes contain amino acids that help reduce high blood pressure. Lycopene and glutathione, compounds also found in tomatoes, are two potent antioxidants that improve circulation.
Get your servings of tomatoes raw in salads, juices or gazpacho.
This rich fruit contains bromelain: an enzyme that dissolves blood clots and thins blood.
Drink pineapple juice or eat a few slices of the fruit for a light dessert at least once a week to take advantage of all the beneficial properties this tropical fruit has to offer for your circulatory system.
Bananas are loaded with magnesium and potassium and are recommended for those taking diuretics or blood pressure medications (both deplete these essential nutrients).
They’re also good for preventing muscle cramps and are a good source of vitamins. Eat bananas as a snack or in smoothies.
Carrots are rich in vitamin C and beta-carotene and are perfect for preventing problems in the circulatory system.
Eat carrots raw (grated, for example) in salads or smoothies to reduce cholesterol, protect the blood vessels and prevent arteriosclerosis.
Lentils, chickpeas, beans, peas… Eat them at least three times a week to provide your body with potassium, magnesium, B vitamins, iron and fiber.
They’re also rich in essential fatty acids and vegetable proteins.
The entire cruciferous family of vegetables, which includes broccoli, kale and Brussels sprouts, contains antioxidants that prevent arterial degeneration and maintain vascular health.
- There are thousands of recipes that include these vegetables, which are full of glucosinolates, to manage blood pressure.
This citrus fruit is rich in vitamin C and flavonoids.
Both nutrients help keep the arteries in good shape and improve their elasticity. This keeps the blood from placing too much pressure on the heart.
- Use lemons in salad dressing or to add flavor to dishes.
This rich tropical fruit has the ability to reduce bad cholesterol and raise levels of good cholesterol. Guava can also help reduce high blood pressure.
- This fruit is good as a dessert, an afternoon snack or to make a natural and refreshing smoothie.
We recommend: 8 Beneficial Fruits For Your Body
Chia seeds are an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids, fiber and magnesium (among other minerals).
- Add a teaspoon of chia seeds to a glass of milk, yogurt or juice and drink with breakfast. Also try sprinkling over desserts, salads or soups.
- Don’t forget to hydrate the seeds with water to activate them.
This spice has a characteristic flavor. It contains several compounds that reduce triglycerides and bad cholesterol or LDL.
Turmeric is perfect for preventing cardiovascular disease.
Add it to rice, pasta or fried foods… It’s really rich and healthy.