When it comes to managing high blood pressure, healthy food is almost as effective as medication. It’s also more easily accessible and a lot more affordable without the risk of side effects. All you need to do is the research and make the right choices – as easy as that.
It’s essential to remember that although there are foods that can lower your blood pressure, there are also foods that can increase it. This has even led to a phenomenon called DASH – Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.
Whether you’re following a diet or plotting your way forward, the most important thing to remember is that it’s easier to focus on what you can eat than what you can’t. Foods to add to your blood pressure friendly diet will be things like whole grains, fruits and vegetables, while things to avoid would be salty, fatty and fried foods.
Healthy food choices will assist you in controlling your blood pressure while helping you lead a healthier lifestyle.
Four food groups to lower your blood pressure
Fruits that are high in potassium, fibre and magnesium are ideal for lowering blood pressure as it can relax blood vessel walls and flush out sodium. Sweet fruits can also replace unhealthy desserts.
Blood pressure friendly fruits include raspberries, apples, pears, cantaloupe, apricots, oranges and prunes. Fresh fruits are always first prize, but you can buy canned versions that are low in sugar and salt.
In a similar fashion to fruit, vegetables high in fibre, potassium and magnesium are good for lowering your blood pressure. You may need to increase the serving size of the vegetables for them to be able to make a significant difference. There are extremely simple ways that you can achieve this, for example, adding vegetables to your smoothies or snacking on raw veggies throughout the day.
Blood pressure friendly vegetables include avocado, butternut, pumpkin, artichokes, beets, green peas, cauliflower, broccoli, okra, leafy greens, brussels sprouts, mushrooms and tomatoes.
Whole grains are rich in dietary fibre which is why they are healthier than the refined versions. Any easy switch to make would be to buy whole-grain versions of your pantry staples. For example, whole grain pasta or whole grains bread. A straightforward rule of thumb is to opt for brown instead of white.
Enjoy the benefits of protein, calcium and vitamin. Still, without the extra fat. calcium is responsible for telling blood vessels to expand and contract, which is beneficial to managing blood pressure. Combining low-fat dairy with grains and fruits can take your blood pressure management to a tastier, more appetising level.
Legumes, seeds and nuts
For a boost of magnesium, try incorporating legumes, nuts and seeds into your diet. They’re also packed with fibre to protect your heart. They’re also convenient on the go snacks, although you need to look for packs that contain little to no salt.
Managing high blood pressure may seem daunting, but with a few simple adjustments to your diet, you will have the ability to take it on like a pro. Every bit helps and as soon as you start incorporating healthier versions of your favourite foods into your diet, you will begin to feel a major difference.
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