One of the biggest health afflictions of our day, high blood pressure is a blight on over a billion people around the globe. Luckily, there are a few simple changes we can make to our plates to reduce our risk for developing the condition. Let's start with 4 nourishing foods known to lower high blood pressure.
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is one of the most widespread blights on our health, affecting an estimated third of Aussie adults. It occurs when the pressure of our blood against our artery walls is excessively high. It’s generally defined as a systolic blood pressure over or equal to 140mmHg or a diastolic blood pressure over or equal to 90mmHg, with the former describing the arterial pressure when your heart beats and the latter when your heart rests between beats.
High blood pressure is aptly referred to as a “silent killer” as it often comes on without noticeable symptoms, and left untreated it can lead to heart disease and stroke. This sounds scary, but it's not completely out of our control. For starters, regular health checks with your doctor are an important way to keep an eye on your blood pressure. There are also a number of lifestyle changes that can significantly lower your risk; making changes to your diet can also play a crucial role in managing your blood pressure. In this blog, we will discuss four foods that can help reduce high blood pressure.
Leafy greens, like spinach, kale, and mustard greens, are all rich in potassium, a mineral that can help reduce the effects of excess sodium on the body. A diet overloaded with sodium is a common contributor to high blood pressure, and consuming more potassium can help to counteract these effects. How? Well, it promotes the excretion of this excess salt, helping to flush it out of the body. Potassium also helps relax the blood vessels, thereby decreasing blood pressure. You can also find high potassium levels in the following foods:
- Dairy foods
- Starchy vegetables
We also know that leafy greens are loaded with nitrates, which can help to dilate blood vessels, further reducing blood pressure.
Berries are rich in flavonoids, a type of antioxidant that can help to reduce inflammation and improve blood vessel function. Eating a diet rich in flavonoids has been shown to help reduce blood pressure and lower the risk of heart disease. So, add some blueberries or strawberries to your morning oatmeal for a health boost.
Yoghurt is an excellent source of calcium, a mineral that plays a crucial role in regulating blood pressure. Studies have shown that increasing calcium intake can help to lower blood pressure in individuals with hypertension. But that’s not the major reason yoghurt is on this list – this tasty food is also a good source of probiotics, which can help to improve gut health and reduce inflammation, further reducing blood pressure. After all, our gut health has a major effect on our whole body – from our brain to our skin to our blood, it’s all connected.
Fish, such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines, are high in omega-3 fatty acids, a type of healthy fat that can help to reduce inflammation and improve blood vessel function. Eating a diet rich in omega-3s has been shown to help reduce blood pressure and lower the risk of heart disease. You can also get omega-3s from other sources such as nuts, seeds and algae oil.
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