High blood pressure is one of the most common medical problems. Yet untreated high blood pressure can be risky and lead to issues like heart disease, heart attack, and stroke, so it is important to reduce blood pressure level. This article explains the best diet tips for lowering blood pressure including tips on certain foods to eat and avoid to help lower increased blood pressure (or hypertension):
1. Diet and blood pressure
Before discussing the diet tips for lowering blood pressure we need to understand the relation between diet and blood pressure. High blood pressure can be due to excess sodium in food, obesity, and lifestyle changes. Diet plays an important role in lowering blood pressure. A balanced diet that has all the nutrients required is good for health. Reducing salt consumption, losing weight through diets that are sustainable, exercising regularly are some of the ways to lower blood pressure.
2. Reduce sodium in food
Sodium in food increases blood pressure and it comes not just from salt, but also from other sources. The first thing to do is to reduce salt consumption. Cooking food with less salt is needed. Extra salt on food is a strict no. One can use herbs and spices as an alternative to salt while cooking.
Other foods high in sodium are cured meats, pickles, roasted sunflower seeds, canned beans, French toast, cheese, clams, and snacks like chips and French fries. It is important to read the labels on food to know sodium levels.
3. Potassium and magnesium in food
While sodium is bad for the blood pressure, potassium and magnesium are good. Foods that are rich in potassium and magnesium can help in controlling blood pressure. Potassium and magnesium are found in apples, bananas, broccoli, nuts, legumes, lean meat, carrots, kale, mangoes, melons, oranges, tomatoes, squash, and tuna.
All types of berries like blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and raspberries are rich in flavonoids that can help in reducing blood pressure. These can be eaten raw or with cereal and low-fat milk. Frozen berries are also good to eat.
One of the best foods for those having high blood pressure is oatmeal. The reason this is excellent food is that it is low in fat, low in sodium, and high in fiber. This is a great breakfast option.
6. Dark chocolate
Studies have shown that dark chocolate that has 70% cocoa is good for the heart and can reduce hypertension. It has less sugar and is good for health. Up to 100 grams of dark chocolate a day can be consumed. It can be eaten with fruit or low-fat yogurt as dessert. Adding berries to this can be a great option.
7. Olive oil
Healthy fats need to be consumed for good health. Polyphenols in healthy fats like olive oil can help in reducing inflammation. It is an excellent medium for cooking and will definitely be good to reduce blood pressure. Olive oil can be used wherever oil needs to be used and can replace other oils.