More and more, new scientific findings are changing the way people judge their blood pressure, and a slew of new studies on foods and hypertension suggest it may be easier than you thought to reduce high blood pressure. Hypertension, more commonly known as high blood pressure, is a condition that causes blood to flow through your arteries at a higher than normal pressure rate, potentially damaging your arteries and leading to stroke and heart disease. One safe, effective way to decrease blood pressure for all age groups is to eat foods that work naturally to dilate blood vessels so that the heart doesn’t have to work quite so hard. Incorporate more of these fantastic foods for an easy, delicious way to help lower your blood pressure numbers.
A very merry berry!
We can’t tout the benefits of adding blueberries to your diet more! This tiny super food is high in antioxidants and vitamin C, boosts brainpower, and just one serving of blueberries a week can help cut your risk of high blood pressure. Blueberries, strawberries and raspberries all contain natural compounds called anthocyanins that protect against hypertension.
A solid breakfast
Eating a bowl of breakfast cereal, especially those that contain whole-grains, and are high in fiber, can reduce your chance of developing high blood pressure. Look for cereals like oatmeal, oat squares, bran flakes or shredded wheat. Whole grains are rich in fiber and magnesium, vital elements in keeping your blood pressure low. Add some blueberries to that equation and you could double your health rewards easily!
Garlic is a good food to help fight hypertension because it acts as a blood thinner. When chopped, it also produces allicin, a compound that has antibacterial and antifungal properties. This can help fight many diseases that may result from hypertension, such as stroke and heart disease. Garlic also helps to lower cholesterol.
Here’s looking at you, spud
Who doesn’t love a tasty baked potato? Delicious, yes, but did you know that a baked potato is high in potassium and magnesium; two important minerals that can help fight high blood pressure? Research has shown that if Americans boosted their potassium intake, cases of high blood pressure could fall by more than 10 percent! In addition to baked potatoes, try these foods that are also rich in potassium and magnesium: bananas, halibut, spinach, soybeans, kidney beans and plain non-fat yogurt.
Bite that beet!
Drinking a glass of beet juice can lower blood pressure within just a few hours; the nitrate in the juice has the same effect as taking a nitrate pill or supplement. Beet juice can be found at some health food stores and specialty grocery stores. Other nitrate-rich foods include iron rich spinach, cabbage, carrots and of course whole beets.
Ahh, chocolate lovers rejoice! Turns out this tasty treat can indeed help lower blood pressure. Eating a one-ounce square of dark chocolate daily can help lower blood pressure, especially in people who already have hypertension; dark chocolate is high in flavonoids, natural compounds that cause dilation of the blood vessels. For the best benefits look for chocolates that contain 50 to 70 percent cacao.
Always consult your chiropractor or primary care physician for all your health related advice.
Image credit: ‘blueberries‘ by Steve Hankins. Used under a creative commons license.
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