High blood pressure is an issue you don’t want to deal with. It can cause anxiety, heart problems, nervousness and can even lead to serious heart disease or a chronic hypertension. Believe it or not, the foods you consume have the greatest impact on how healthy your blood pressure is – but the medications can affect this area too.
The health of the blood pressure is quite important. When it comes to preventing and treating it, improving the flow of blood should be priority for us. When the blood can flow through the arteries like it actually should, the pressure will not be able to build up and the inability for the blood to get to the heart and brain will not happen at all.
Lower Your Blood Pressure
Most people know that if you lower your sodium intake or completely eliminate it from your diet, the flow of blood will not be interrupted. The sodium tightens up the blood vessels in the body and leads to water retention.
The salt actually acts as a sponge once it enters the body. It soaks up all of the excess fluids, slowing down the flow of blood. It not only makes you bloated and puffy, it clogs your blood vessels and arteries too.
Over a period of time, the salt, which leads to high blood pressure, can lead to memory loss, kidney stones, coronary artery disease, heart attack, vision, loss, angina, stroke and a lot more.
But how can you know if you are affected or not? People who consume processed foods on an every day level, restaurant food or have a lot of processed food in their home are at the highest risk of getting a high blood pressure because the sodium and the added salt are a commonly added compound of all these foods together.
And as you start aging, this risk will only increase. All people who are beyond 65 years old, suffer from obesity, have heart issues or smoke have a greater risk of getting high blood pressure themselves.
So now, how can you know if your blood pressure is normal? When you go to your doctor to check your blood pressure, you will see a reading of two set of numbers, one on top of the other. The top one is your systolic blood pressure, and the bottom one is your diastolic blood pressure.
The top number should always be higher than the bottom number. The normal top number is anywhere below 120, for it reads the pressure in the arteries while your heart beats. The bottom, diastolic number is the pressure in the arteries between your heartbeats, and is normal when it is below 80.
You know that you are prehypertensed if your top and bottom numbers are above the normal rate for about 10, and you definitely suffer from hypertension if your bottom number reaches 99 or more than 100, and your top number is from 149-160 and higher. This is when you definitely need to be taken care of by professionals because the risk of a heart attack is extremely high.
Can you reduce the blood pressure levels through your diet? Well, in order to do that you need to dramatically reduce or cut off completely your sodium intake. You need to cut back on all the processed foods that contain a lot of added salt and sugar – and remember that the hidden sources of salt are all around us, cheese, yogurt, bread, milk, frozen foods, sandwiches, condiments, pickled foods and fermented foods.
Opt for natural foods, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes. These are foods filled with natural flavor and can significantly reduce your blood pressure.
Simply start replacing them, when you go to the store avoid the part with processed foods and focus on the healthier option for you. This is why in addition we give you the ten best food options with which you can start leading a healthier lifestyle.
- Celery – the celery is a natural source of sodium, and yet the best food to lower your blood pressure levels. All natural foods contain sodium, because it is a mineral which is found in the soil. But, these foods do not have an added amount of salt like the packaged foods. The celery has also a high amount of potassium, like all plant based whole foods do. The potassium improves the flow of blood and deals with the issue of water retention in the body. On top of everything, the celery is high in water, balancing the pH levels of the body, and improving the nervous system.
- Beets – they are high in potassium which improve the health of the arteries. They open an artery wall which allows more blood to flow through, and they are also rich in manganese. Take the beets, boil them, grate them, or if you like add them raw in a salad, or even in a soup, they have a wonderful flavor and you can easily add herbs and spices to them to.
- Leafy greens – make sure you incorporate them in your diet every day, make a green smoothie, soup or a salad, they are excellent for you! Spinach, kale, romaine, arugula, collards, and lettuce, are all packed with potassium, lowering your blood pressure in an instant. Some of these green are even filled with Vitamin C and magnesium, improving the nervous system and the blood pressure levels as well. No matter how you enjoy them, aim for eating three cups of leafy greens within a day, they will sure do you good.
- Bananas – you guessed good that this fruit would end up on the list. They are quite well known for their high amounts of potassium, magnesium, manganese and Vitamin B6, improving your heart health and overall health. They are able to reduce your anxiety thus reducing the high blood pressure. The bananas can improve the muscle contractions because of the way they enhance the flow of blood.
- Potatoes – the potatoes are a natural source of complex carbs, making them one of the best foods on the planet. They contain three times more potassium than the bananas! They also contain iron, Vitamin B6, magnesium, zinc and copper. They are a wonderful source of nutrients. The sweet potatoes have more fiber and less sugar per serving, so if your blood pressure is sensitive, aim for them. Otherwise, every kind of potato you consume will naturally lower your blood pressure levels. If you don’t fill them up with butter, sour cream or cheese, you should not worry about gaining weight. Use fresh herbs, spices and lemon juice to garnish them.
- Apples – as all the other mentioned foods, the apples are filled with potassium and Vitamin C, nutrients that improve the health of the heart. The apples are proven to be an excellent source of fiber and water, reducing the bad cholesterol and the blood pressure in the body. Choose organic apples, and make sure you eat at least one apple a day.
- Flax seeds – the ground flax seeds are a major source of essential fatty acids, and they are one of the best foods you can eat if you want to improve your blood flow and reduce your blood pressure. They can furthermore lower the levels of the bad cholesterol in the body.
- Berries – an excellent source of potassium, Vitamin C and plenty of trace minerals. Their high content in fiber makes them helpful in the process of reducing the high cholesterol, diabetes, and even a heart disease. They are also a great source of antioxidants, which can relax the entire body and improve the flow of blood. As a result from all of this, your overall health will improve. The berries are also great for managing your weight. You can enjoy the fresh or frozen version of the berries anytime you want.
- Broccoli – most of us grew up hating the broccoli, but it is actually very beneficial for your heart. The broccoli is filled with potassium, Vitamin C and B6, and fiber. To get the best out of the broccoli eat it raw or slightly steamed. If you boil them all the nutrients will be lost in the water. But if you cook them in a soup, where you consume the liquid afterwards, then you’re good. Enjoy the broccoli and the benefits it brings.
- Squash – all types of squash are an excellent food when it comes to improving the flow of the blood. They are filled with potassium, Vitamins C and B6, as well as plenty of trace minerals. You can choose any kind of squash, whichever is up to your liking, chop it up or slice it up and take the pieces and grill them or roast them without adding any salt or butter. Enjoy this food with lemon juice and black pepper, or Italian seasoning.
You should also incorporate some other foods in your diet, such as wild rice, oatmeal, all fruits and veggies, except for the dried versions, quinoa, lentils, beans, peas, oat bran, oatmeal and so on. Just make sure that when you go to the store and buy some of these products, that they are from brands that contain no added salt, especially if they come in a can.
You can also pack up with a lot of nuts and seeds, everything from almonds and walnuts, cashews, to pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds and pecans. Be careful about how you consume them, for not may people have the capacity to consume a lot of these foods, and this is why you should keep yourself to one serving per day.
The dieting is not the only thing that has been making your blood pressure levels elevate. Other contributing factors are the stress, lack of activity, smoking or second-hand smoking, or some health abnormalities, such as kidney issues. It is important to maintain the health of your body from all sides. Remember, practice good healthy lifestyle in order to promote it!