Foods That Lower Blood Pressure
Foods that lower blood pressure can be a natural and safe way to lower elevated blood pressure levels. High blood pressure can lead to coronary diseases and strokes. The normal blood pressure level is 120/80 mmHg.
Anything above or below this level is not healthy for the human body. High blood pressure that lasts for short periods of time is not much of a problem in itself. Rather, it's the sustained elevated blood pressure over a prolonged period of time that is of concern and causes severe problems.
There are different methods which can help a person lower blood pressure. To achieve this, a combination of medications and lifestyle changes can be implented to tackle high blood pressure problems.
Lifestyle changes include having a well-balanced proper diet and some form or regular exercise. Before considering medications it's worthwhile to try incorporating foods that lower blood pressure into the daily diet as they are a safe and side-efect free alternative.
Research results have demonstrated that high blood pressure can be reduced by implementing an eating plan which emphasizes fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy foods with low amounts of saturated fat, total fat and cholesterol and reduced amounts of red meat, sodium, sweets and sugared beverages.
There is a variety of foods that lower blood pressure. Take a look at the list below to see which foods are most effective in lowering blood pressure.
Foods That Lower Blood Pressure - Foods to Avoid
Reduce Sodium Intake - While foods that are rich in calcium, potassium and magnesium have been shown to lower blood pressure, foods that are high in sodium or salt contribute to elevated blood pressure levels. Thus, indulging in sodium-rich foods should be avoided if you have high blood pressure and wish to lower it.
If you don't know how much sodium certain foods contain read the nutrition label on the packaging. Click here to learn more about how to read nutrition label.
Reduce Sugar Intake - Sugar contributes to sodium retention which in turn raises blood pressure. Therefore, staying away sweet treats is a must if trying to lower blood pressure. Your cravings for sugar can best be curbed by eating fresh fruits.
Reduced Alcohol Intake - The more you drink the higher your blood pressure will be. The old belief that there are some health benefits for those who drink small amounts of alcohol was based on old research. New studies have indicated that even very low alcohol consumption can be a health risk for many and increase the probability of hypertension.
Foods That Lower Blood Pressure - Fruits
Bananas - are loaded with potassium and they are very low in sodium. Both of these characteristics play a pivotal role in controlling blood pressure. Bananas are one of the most potent blood pressure lowering fruits. For full nutritional details about bananas visit our banana nutrition facts page.
Citrus Fruits - contain a lot of vitamin C, phytonutrients and bioflavonoids. Phytonutrients and bioflavonoids have anti-inflammatory properties and prevent blood clotting inside blood vessels. The bioflavonoids within the pitts of citrus fruits help in lowering high blood pressure and help control cholesterol. Best examples of citrus fruits are lemons, oranges, lime, tangerines and grapefruit.
Melons - are an abundant source of potassium and magnesium, both of which help with lowering blood pressure. The carotenoids present in melons prevent hardening and narrowing of arterie walls and veins. This helps reduce the possibilities of constricted blood flow. Good examples of blood pressure lowering melons are watermelon and muskmelon.
Prunes - are rich in potassium which is essential to maintain blood pressure and cardiac function. Potassium also helps prevent atherosclerosis (clotting of blood inside blood vessels). Furthermore, prunes are also low in sodium which helps lower high blood pressure.
Foods That Lower Blood Pressure - Vegetables
Eating vegetables helps to both regulate blood pressure and lower pressure. Eating 3 to 5 servings of vegetables per day can help maintain normal blood pressure. For best effects, the vegetables should be consumed raw in the form of salads. Alternatively, they can also be steamed or boiled.
Take a look a the list of vegetables that can help lower blood pressure.
Bitter Melon - (also known as bitter gourd) is a great source of the amino acid called citrulline. Citrulline plays a key role in increasing nitric monoxide and vitamin C which helps to eliminate active oxygen to maintain nitric monoxide longer in the blood vessels. When nitric monoxide stays inside blood vessels longer it helps lower high blood pressure.
Broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage - are all high in glutamic acid which is the most common amino acid found in vegetable protein. Glutamic acid helps reduce blood pressure and therefore decreases the chance of stroke.
Carrots - are high in beta-carotene and potassium. Much like bananas, the potassuim content in carots helps to maintain and regulate normal blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart diseases. As with most vegetables, carrots are best eaten raw. They can also be juiced to make for a more creative meal.
Leafy Green Vegetables - spinach, lettuce, kale and Chinese cabbage are all high in minerals, vitamins and fiber while having low calories. They also contain a variety of phytochemicals, beta-carotene and lutein which help prevent plaque build-up in blood vessels and help lower blood pressure.
Tomatoes - are a good source of calcium and potassium. They also contain many important vitamins such as vitamin A, C and E. They contain lycopene - an antioxidant, which is known to help lower high blood pressure.
Lycopene prevents LDL (low density lipoprotein) cholesterol from sticking to blood vessel walls. This in turn lowers blood pressure.
It's important to note that fresh fruits and vegetables will not only help lower blood pressure but will also help with your metabolism and weight control efforts. Some of them will even have fat-burning properties such as lemons which are high in vitamin C which dilutes fat cells and prevents them from sticking to our body.
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