Hypertension, known as a silent killer, is simply the elevation of your blood pressure levels. It is majorly developed due to factors like a sedentary lifestyle, high salt intake due to processed and packaged food. But, the good news is that you can control it. You can manage to lower blood pressure naturally by making dietary and other lifestyle changes after consulting with your doctor.
Foods That Help Lower Blood Pressure Naturally
Let’s take a look at foods which are healthy and can help with the condition!
- Green Tea: is associated with numerous health benefits. It is rich in polyphenols and catechins, which act as antioxidants to prevent cell damage, reduce inflammation, and protect heart health. Intake of green tea is associated with significantly lower levels of LDL, triglycerides, total cholesterol, and blood pressure. You can have 1-2 cups of green tea daily one hour after a meal to maintain your blood pressure and to improve insulin sensitivity.
- Olive Oil: is packed with antioxidants like tocopherols, β-carotene, lutein which helps in relieving inflammation and decreases the risk of cardiovascular diseases. It is rich in MUFA which promotes heart health and is linked with lowering blood pressure. In Indian cooking, you can safely use 1-2 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil daily to sauté veggies, make salad dressings, etc.
- Fatty Fish: like salmon and tuna are rich with omega-3 fatty acids which aid in improving heart health. These fatty fishes and fish oil supplements are beneficial for lowering blood pressure, sugar levels and triglycerides. Consumption of fatty fish 2-3 times a week is good for heart health.
- Nuts: like walnuts, almonds are a rich source of monounsaturated fatty acids which lower total cholesterol, LDL (bad)cholesterol and blood pressure. It has minerals like magnesium and copper, Vitamin E, MUFA which protects against various heart diseases by reducing plaque formation and keeps your arteries clear. You can include 5-6 soaked almonds and 2-3 walnuts in your diet.
- Seeds: are the powerhouse of various nutrients, rich in omega-3 and omega -6 fatty acids which improve many heart disease risk factors including blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglycerides. Include flax seeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds and hemp seeds in your diet. Just make a mixture of these seeds and have 1-2 tsp daily by mixing them with nuts or adding them to your smoothies or salads.
- Berries: are packed with antioxidants like anthocyanins which protect the heart from oxidative stress and help in maintaining normal blood pressure. It also has polyphenols which improve blood pressure, insulin resistance and systemic inflammation. You can add a handful of strawberries, blackberries and raspberries in your diet.
- Banana: The American Heart Association encourages people to increase the consumption of foods that contain potassium. Eating foods that are rich in potassium helps in lowering blood pressure levels better than taking supplements. You can slice a banana in your favourite cereal or oatmeal, make a smoothie or a shake for a potassium-rich addition.
- Pomegranate: is rich in fibre, vitamins and minerals. Drinking a cup of pomegranate juice daily for four weeks can help lower blood pressure naturally. Early research suggests that drinking pomegranate juice helps to keep the arteries in the neck clear of the build-up of fatty deposits and improve blood flow to the heart.
- Tomato: is one of the important ingredients in our Indian cuisine which enhances the flavour and colour of dishes. Tomatoes are loaded with lycopene which reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke. New research claims that drinking a glass of unsalted tomato juice daily is a simple way to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease. It also removes excess cholesterol, plaque from arteries and increases the level of HDL Cholesterol.
- Garlic: is a pearl for Hypertension patients. Daily consumption of garlic for an extended period can reduce LDL Cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure significantly. It has allicin, allyl mercaptan, and diallyl disulphide which are very effective in controlling cholesterol and blood pressure. Eating 1-2 fresh, raw garlic is one among the herbal remedies for controlling high blood pressure.
- Oats: are a rich source of soluble and insoluble fiber. They are low in fat, low in sodium and contain beta-glucan, a type of fiber which lowers blood pressure. A review of 28 trials concluded that higher consumption of beta-glucan fiber may lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Eating oats for breakfast/snacks in the form of oats porridge, oats upma, oats chila, is a great way to fuel up for the day.
- Beetroot: Drinking one glass of beetroot juice daily can significantly reduce blood pressure in people with hypertension. Due to the high concentration of nitrates, it relaxes blood vessels and dilates them, which helps the blood flow more easily and lowers blood pressure. Both raw beet juice and cooked beets are effective to lower blood pressure and decrease inflammation.
Apart from the above food options, you need to control what you eat. Avoid sauces, pickles, coffee, packaged food, etc. and cut your salt intake to half a teaspoon daily. Avoid smoking and consuming alcohol in excess as well. Before making any massive dietary changes, consult your doctor first!
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We hope this article helps you! For more on hypertension and tips to lower blood pressure, tune in to live sessions by experts on GOQii Play.