The most effective lifestyle changes for anyone suffering from hypertension or high blood pressure is weight loss. Even if you lose a small amount of weight, it can have dramatic effects on lowering your blood pressure. Eating your way out of high blood pressure should be your number one choice of managing high blood pressure. To avoid suffering from a heart attack or stroke, your blood pressure should be maintained at 120/80 and not be in excess of 140/90. In this article, we tell you how to lower high blood pressure.
Foods that help to lower high blood pressure
Changing your diet can reduce high blood pressure. Regular consumption of the following foods can help you better manage your blood pressure.
Garlic is known to lower blood pressure by allowing the muscles of the blood vessels to dilate. The compound found in garlic which helps in vasodilation is adenosine – a muscle relaxant. Both raw and cooked garlic can benefit people with high blood pressure. But raw garlic is more potent and benefits you faster.
It has other healing properties to its credit as well. For example:
- It interferes with the formation of blood clots and helps in reducing cholesterol.
- It helps lower the risk of cancers of the colon, GI tract and stomach.
- Eating garlic regularly can improve immunity and prevent gas formation.
To get all these benefits, just finely chop 3-4 cloves of raw garlic. Gulp it down like tiny pellets with warm water. You can also crush the garlic, extract its juice and drink it. And don’t worry about the strong smell. Your sweat will not smell of garlic, as you will see it for yourself.
Read more: What causes high blood pressure
Eat more fruits and vegetables
What is so magical about fruits and vegetables that have such a striking effect on blood pressure? Several studies have shown that switching to a vegetarian diet lowers blood pressure. There is obviously something in plant food that helps depress blood pressure.
Fruits are concentrated with potassium, Vitamin C and loads of soluble fibre, all of which contribute to lowering blood pressure. Fruits, as we all know, favour lowering blood pressure. People who eat the least amount of vitamin C found in fruits & vegetables are more prone to high blood pressure. So, make sure that you eat super amounts of vitamin C found in fruits (not as the synthetic tablets although that may also help to a certain extent) because in fruit there are other factors too which contribute in unison to help lower blood pressure.
Lower high blood pressure with potassium
It is now widely known that adding potassium to your diet decreases blood pressure and taking it away, raises it. If you deliberately eat a diet low in potassium, your pressure can possibly sore by 4-5 points. In addition, if you are habituated to eating more salt you could develop hypertension over a period. In order to increase your potassium intake so that you benefit its pressure lowering effects, you can increase your intake of foods like banana, watermelon, potatoes, tomatoes, oranges, spinach, skimmed milk, soya beans and almonds.
Eating three to six servings of these foods will ensure adequate potassium intake to keep blood pressure at bay.
Lower high blood pressure with calcium
Some experts feel that hypertension is more likely due to a deficiency of calcium rather than due to excess sodium. They feel that consuming adequate calcium-rich foods such as milk, curd, spinach, other leafy vegetables, whole Kabuli channa, rajma, matki, jowar, bajri and nachini can neutralise the hypertensive effect of eating more sodium.
Fish oils are known to keep a lid on blood pressure. If you are taking blood pressure medication, then consuming fish like mackerel, tuna or surmai at least thrice a week will help you to reduce your daily dosage of medication.
But remember that health benefits, which can be derived from minor changes in eating pattern, will only be effective if you follow them as a part of your daily routine. In other words, it requires a change in lifestyle and eating habits, if you want to improve your health with dietary changes. Weight loss is of prime importance to anyone suffering from high blood pressure. That coupled with increasing intake of fruit, vegetables and fish, and ensuring sufficient calcium intake; avoiding excessive salt and alcohol will help you tremendously in achieving your result.