What you eat can affect your blood pressure, so here’s the challenge. When you watch your diet it can be very beneficial to keeping your blood pressure normal. Even if you have never had a problem with high blood pressure or if you have a diagnosis of high blood pressure, making a decision to incorporate certain foods into your diet can be beneficial.
Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables is very important as well. Any diet that includes consuming fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy foods and is low in total fat, cholesterol and saturated fat has proven to be effective in lowering blood pressure. In this diet you will get many of the following:
- Vitamin A & C
- Complex Carbohydrates
- Polyunsaturated Fat
All of these vitamin and minerals can have a great influence on your blood pressure.
Sugar can increase your blood pressure, especially the common table sugar sucrose. Try to limit your intake of this. A diet high in fiber has been proven to lowering blood pressure. Along with lowering your blood pressure fiber will also help you reduce your cholesterol levels and even promote weight loss.
Salt affects blood pressure. Many people use more salt than they are aware of. A high intake of salt and sodium can greatly increase your risks. Try to limit yourself on salt and sodium intake. Using herbs and spices in place of salt is a great way to reduce your salt intake. When you go out to eat, suggest ‘no salt’ or ask if they add salt so you know if you should or not.
A diet high in potassium and low in sodium reduces your blood pressure rise by reducing the effect of adrenaline. If you reduce your sodium intake you must also increase your potassium intake.
There are many vegetables and spices that help control your blood pressure. Many of these are very common vegetables and spices so you may be helping your blood pressure and not even know it.
Onion essential oil is very beneficial. If you have two to three tablespoons of this essential onion oil a day, it could help reduce your systolic levels. Tomatoes are also a beneficiary to controlling blood pressure. They are high in GABA, a compound that helps lower your blood pressure.
Broccoli contains several blood pressure reducing ingredients. Carrots also have many compounds that do the same. Introducing these vegetables to your diet will do wonders for your blood pressure. Even if you don’t suffer from high blood pressure, it’s best to keep it at a safe level and take the extra precautions to get there.
Kiwifruit provides 2% of the calcium, 7% of the magnesium, and 9% of the potassium you need every day.
A cup of raw or cooked kale provides 9% of the calcium, 6% of the magnesium, and 9% of the potassium you need every day.
A medium sweet potato with the skin provides 4% of the calcium, 8% of the magnesium (7% without the skin), and 15% of the potassium (10% without the skin) you need every day.
Garlic and celery are also great to add to your diet. Garlic is good for the heart which you’ve probably been told before. Eating just one clove of garlic a day has been proven to be beneficial.
Cardamom is a seasoning that comes from India and is often used in the foods of South Asia. You can include cardamom seeds or powder in spice rubs, soups, stews, and even in baked goods for a positive health benefit.
Cinnamon not only prevents heart disease, it can help treat diabetes. Consuming ¼ tsp. to 1 tsp. of cinnamon every day has been shown to lower blood pressure in patients with diabetes.
Cayenne Pepper has capsaicin, which is the main active ingredient in a number of over-the-counter “hot creams” for joint and muscle pain. Capsaicin creates the sensation of heat through a thermogenic effect that raises body temperature and boosts circulation.
Whatever diet you choose or whatever foods you try to limit or incorporate, remember you are doing it for your health. Many people learn to enjoy healthier foods as they get older. Don’t procrastinate. Take control and take care of yourself.