What is hypertension?
High blood pressure or hypertension is the pressure of blood against the walls of your artery. Over time, hypertension can damage blood vessels, leading to kidney disease, heart disease, stroke, and other serious problems. High blood pressure is also called the silent killer as it shows no symptoms and can go unnoticed and untreated for several years.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 75 million people in America have high blood pressure. It is not surprising that many risk factors for hypertension are out of your control, such as gender, race, age, and family history. Several factors can help you control it, such as diet and exercise. A plant-based diet can help control blood pressure because it is rich in potassium, fiber, magnesium, and low in sodium.
Here is a list of nine healthy plant-based superfoods that can help you lower your blood pressure:
1. Green leafy vegetables:
Leafy greens are very rich in potassium. Potassium helps your kidneys to get rid of excess sodium through urine. This, in turn, enables you to lower your blood pressure. Romaine lettuce, arugula, turnip greens, spinach, kale, collard greens, Swiss chard, and beet greens are high in potassium. You need to be tabled as they often have added sodium. Whereas frozen vegetables contain as many nutrients as the fresh vegetables do and they are also easier to store. For healthy sweet green juice, you can blend these vegetables with bananas and nut milk as well.
These are rich in natural compounds called flavonoids, especially blueberries. A study found that consuming these compounds might help lower blood pressure and prevent hypertension. Strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries are very easy to add to your diet. You can add them to your cereals or granola for the morning breakfast. You can also keep frozen berries handy for a healthy and quick dessert. According to a study eating 200 grams of blueberries for a month, every day can improve blood vessel function. Berries top the list of foods that help to lower blood pressure.
3. Red beets:
Nitric oxide, which can help open your blood vessels and lower blood pressure, is in high quantities present in beetroot. The juice in beetroot lowered research participants’ blood pressure in just 24 hours in research. You can juice cook or eat the whole root of the beetroot; however, raw beet juice has a more significant impact. It tastes delicious when added to stuff, risen and stools or when roasted. It doesn’t really matter if you drink this tonic early in the morning or late at night, its many benefits can fit your glass of smoothies, cocktails, and even lattes. Not only beetroots are full of vitamins, but they are also so rich in minerals and medicinal plant compounds. They are low in calories but high in manganese, folate, fiber, and dietary nitrates.
Eating fruits and vegetables that are rich in potassium is far better than taking supplements. For a potassium-rich bowl of cereal or oatmeal, add a slice of Banana into it. Bananas are extremely rich in potassium and low in sodium. A medium-sized banana contains around 422 milligrams of potassium. It helps in elevating tension on the walls of the blood vessels. Bananas are the best source of vitamin B6 and vitamin C. They are beneficial for your skin, heart health, and blood pressure.
Unsalted seeds are high in magnesium, potassium, and other minerals as well. They are known to reduce blood pressure. You can enjoy a one-fourth cup of pumpkin, squash, or sunflower seeds as a snack. Flax seeds are rich in nutrients and the healthiest option to consume. They are rich in protein fiber carbs magnesium and Omega 3 fatty acids. According to research, people who consume flax seeds for more than 12 weeks have reported a reduction in high blood pressure.
6. Garlic and herbs:
Garlic helps reduce hypertension by increasing the amount of nitric oxide in your body. To lower blood pressure, nitric oxide helps promote vasodilation (the widening of arteries.) You can add fresh garlic to several favorite recipes of yours. If you can’t eat the garlic directly, you can get it in supplement form. Adding flavorful herbs and spices into your daily diet can help cut on your salt intake. Rosemary, basil, thyme, cinnamon, etc. are some of the herbs and spices that you can include in your diet. Basil is delicious that goes with a variety of foods. You can also keep a small pot in your kitchen garden. Add freshly pluck leaves to your pasta, salad, casseroles, and soup.
Pistachios help in reducing heart rate and peripheral vascular resistance or blood vessel tightening. According to a study, a diet with one serving of pistachios a day is a healthy way to decrease blood pressure. You can add pistachios to your diet by incorporating them into pesto sauce cross and salads or eating them as a snack. Pistachio is very nutritious, containing fiber, protein, fat, potassium, vitamin B6, thiamine, copper, manganese, calories, carb, phosphorus, etc. Other than this, pistachios protect eyes from blue light damage, and it may also protect against cancer and heart disease.
8. Olive oil:
This oil is an example of healthy fat that contains polyphenols. Polyphenols are inflammation-fighting compounds that help in reducing blood pressure. Olive oil is an excellent alternative to butter, canola oil, or other salad dressings. It can help you meet your daily servings of fat as a part of your dash diet. Regular consumption of at least two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil can lower your blood pressure. An olive oil diet can reduce the daily dosage of blood pressure medication by 48%, which in the case of sunflower oil diet is only 4%.
This is a very healthy fruit that you can enjoy as a juice or raw. Researchers confirmed that drinking 1 cup of pomegranate juice per day for four weeks can lower blood pressure over a short period. Pomegranate juice tastes better with a healthy breakfast. If you are thinking about store-bought juice, you need to take care of their sugar content as added sugars can harm your health. Pomegranates can help reduce preventable causes of premature, ill-health, and death.
Eating a plant-based diet can have several health benefits, including a lower risk of diabetes or heart disease and weight loss or maintenance. If people want to switch to a plant-based diet, they can gradually start by reducing their dairy and meat intake.
Eating an entirely plant-based meal once or twice a week and swapping out one animal product for a plant-based one can be a fantastic start.
It is also advisable for some people to speak to a dietician or doctor before making any significant changes in their diet.
Choosing a plant-based diet will help your body system to work at its best!