A recent Union Health Ministry preventive health program discovered that one out of every eight Indians is suffering from hypertension. Who scares you more? Experts say 50 percent of people with high blood pressure do not even know their condition. It increases significantly the risk of heart disease, it can cause a stroke and it can even cause death.
“Let food be thy medicine,” said Hippocrates, the father of medicine. And while our speedy lives expect us to find cures for most of the problems by simply running to the doctor and getting a prescription, the truth is that most problems come from self-improvement. And since food is our life-source, the right changes can work wonders with one’s daily diet, particularly against diseases like hypertension. Here’s a list of foods you need when trying to lower your blood pressure and avoid the hypertensive disorder:
- Olive oil – one of the most effective hypertension treatments, as it can be integrated into everyday cooking. While you can enjoy a salad with a raw olive dressing and cook your food in olive oil, this can bring significant benefits, Studies have found that eating two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil per day can lower blood pressure and reduce the need for hypertensive drugs. This is due to the antioxidants in extra virgin olive, or “polyphenols,” which are completely absent from sunflower oil. To this end, Olive oil also has a good amount of vitamins E & K while having high levels of monounsaturated fats that help to reduce bad cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of coronary heart disease.
- Bananas –Bananas are one of the simplest to consume and likable fruits, high in potassium, which helps to lower blood pressure. Since excess salt is one of the causes of blood pressure, potassium exists as a mineral that actually counteracts the negative effects of salt on the body, helping the kidneys function better.
- Spinach–like bananas, they are high in potassium but also high in magnesium, manganese, and folate, which are other minerals that combat high blood pressure effectively. Spinach increases blood flow, recovers strength and boosts resilience, being rich in iron that helps carry oxygen through the body, as well as supplying VItamin K, A, and C.
- Beans – all kinds of are known to help lower blood pressure as they are among those foods that have the highest polyphenol levels. Beans are rich in minerals and fibers that are essential for lowering cholesterol in the blood and maintaining a healthy heart. So beans are a good source of protein, away from the saturated fats that are bad for cholesterol that goes along with meat-acquired proteins. The most important aspect of life is its flexibility and the array of delicious recipes it comprises.
- Dark Chocolate – is indeed a good counteractant to blood pressure, if you felt that hypertension suffering meant missing dessert. Research has found that the cacao contained in dark chocolate contains compounds that dilate the blood vessels and limit blood pressure. A study found that eating 30 calories of dark chocolate for 18 weeks reduced hypertension by 20%. Another key takeaway from this can be that eating chocolate is a natural stress buster, and nothing like stress kicks one’s blood pressure up.
On that note, whether you are suffering from hypertension or are now concerned about whether you are suffering from high blood pressure, after all, it is important to note that being stress-free is one of the greatest preventive remedies for – as the name suggests – high blood pressure. Only prepare a nice meal with some olive oil, some mixed beans, a good portion of spinach, and don’t forget to eat a little dark chocolate. And while all of it is cooking, be sure to snack on a banana or two.