Top 10 Food Items to Control High Blood Pressure
A number of factors contribute to the condition of high blood pressure, including the lifestyle you follow. Moreover, patients suffering from hypertension or high blood pressure have an increased risk of heart diseases.
Therefore, doctors prescribe a cautious diet chart for people suffering from hypertension. In this article, you will find all such details regarding food for high blood pressure patients.
Stick around to know more!
Best Food for High Blood Pressure Patients
If your systolic blood pressure is above 130 mm Hg and your diastolic blood pressure is above 80 mm Hg, healthcare professionals conclude that you have hypertension.
In this condition, they recommend that you switch to a DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet as it contains lower amounts of salt and sugar.
Additionally, they encourage including potassium and magnesium-rich foods in your diet, as these nutrients can reduce blood pressure.
Further, you should follow a ‘heart-healthy’ diet rich in potassium to lower your BP. For your convenience, we have enlisted some foods good for high blood pressure, sorted from most effective to least with respect to potassium’s Daily Value or DV:
1. Sundried Tomatoes
This food item delivers the highest content of potassium. A 100g serving of sundried tomatoes provides a 73% Daily Value of potassium.
In addition to this, sundried tomatoes contain a carotenoid pigment named lycopene that has a positive impact on heart health. As a result, it reduces the risk of heart diseases.
An adult requires about 4700mg of potassium every day. Therefore, individuals with high blood pressure must eat bananas daily as the fruit contains potassium, which plays a significant role in managing hypertension. Additionally, potassium in bananas eliminates the effects of sodium and relaxes the walls of blood vessels.
A medium-sized banana contains 422mg of potassium, accounting for 32% of its Daily Value. Therefore, this is an ideal food for high blood pressure individuals.
3. Pumpkin Seeds
Experts recommend including pumpkin seeds in a high blood pressure patient’s diet due to their nutritional value. These seeds have potassium that helps in maintaining the blood pressure level. Moreover, pumpkin seeds deliver 20% of potassium’s DV.
Further, these come with arginine, an amino acid that helps in producing nitric oxide. It helps in relaxing the blood vessels, which in turn reduces blood pressure.
Regular consumption of beetroot juice has a positive impact on your BP as it contains inorganic nitrates. Inorganic nitrate is another component that helps in reducing blood pressure.
In fact, studies indicate that an intake of a cup of beetroot juice every day results in a blood pressure drop of 8/4 mm Hg.
Additionally, cooked beet greens cover 19% of the Daily Value of potassium. On the other hand, the same accounts for 16% in the case of raw beet greens. Thus, individuals planning to switch to a healthy diet regime to reduce hypertension must include beetroot in their meals.
5. Fatty Fish
A heart-healthy diet is incomplete without the inclusion of fatty fish, such as salmon. It contains essential nutrients such as proteins and omega 3-fatty acids. These acids can reduce high BP by decreasing inflammation and oxylipins concentration in blood that constricts blood vessels.
Worth noting that a 100g serving of salmon delivers almost 20g of protein. Also, 100g serving of wild Atlantic salmon covers 13% of potassium’s DV.
This green leafy vegetable is loaded with minerals like potassium, magnesium and calcium. As a result, it is an excellent food for high blood pressure patients. Moreover, it covers 12% DV of potassium.
As per research, an individual consuming 500ml spinach soup can experience a reduction in both systolic and diastolic blood pressures. Additionally, spinach is rich in nitrates and helps reduce the stiffness of blood vessels, which lowers BP.
7. Swiss Chard
This leafy vegetable contains a high amount of nutrients that control your blood pressure. It is packed with potassium and magnesium. Magnesium acts as a natural calcium channel blocker that restricts the movement of calcium into heart and arterial cells. As a result, it alleviates tension in the blood vessels.
Hence, one must consume a cup of cooked chard as it provides 17% and 30% of your daily potassium and magnesium needs. It also delivers 12% of potassium’s DV.
Garlic enhances the production of nitric oxide in your body that helps in relaxing the muscles and dilating the blood vessels. Therefore, researchers claim that garlic reduces both systolic and diastolic pressures.
Furthermore, it is advisable to include garlic in your diet by adding it to your cooked meals as it is antibiotic as well as antifungal. Besides, it accounts for 9% of potassium’s Daily Value.
9. Chia and Flax Seeds
Chia and flax seeds are rich in potassium, magnesium, and fibre. These nutrients play a key role in blood pressure regulation. In addition, research reveals that 35g of chia seed flour can lower blood pressure in medicated as well as unmedicated persons.
Chia seeds also contain potassium which accounts for 9% of its DV. Therefore, adding chia seeds to your breakfast bowl will reduce your blood pressure and prevent heart diseases.
10. Berries and Strawberries
Packed with antioxidants like anthocyanins, berries and strawberries reduce hypertension, thereby keeping one’s heart health in check. According to research, there was an 8% reduction in blood pressure among patients consuming berries on a daily basis.
Furthermore, this food item is ideal for vegans and vegetarians who do not consume fatty fish. The potassium content in this food item accounts for its 6% DV.
Foods to Avoid for People With High Blood Pressure
Generally, elevated blood pressure results from overconsumption of salty food and items containing trans fats. So, here is a list of food one must avoid in case of high blood pressure conditions:
Considered a major contributor to hypertension, salt-containing foods affect the fluid balance in your body. Table salt contains 40% sodium that is regarded as the most harmful for high BP patients. Therefore, they should cut back on their salt consumption and opt for a low-sodium diet.
2. Cured Meat
As a manufacturer cures and preserves it with salt, processed meat is rich in sodium. Therefore, consumption of processed meat and cold cuts can be harmful to a patient battling high blood pressure.
Any kind of preservation requires salt as it keeps the food item fresh and edible for a long time. However, over a prolonged period, the salt accumulates in these food items, making it harmful for people suffering from hypertension. For instance, pickled cucumber contains 447mg of sodium.
4. Canned Soup
Canned and packaged soups are loaded with sodium that can elevate your blood pressure. Therefore, one should look for low-sodium alternatives that are ready to eat and keep your blood pressure in check.
5. Sugary Beverages
Drinks rich in sugar are harmful because of their calorie content. Therefore, a person resorting to sugar-rich drinks can become obese, which is often linked to high pressure. Thus, it is vital to avoid such drinks.
How Does Diet Impact High BP?
Hypertension results from long-term consumption of food items with high salt content. Excessive sodium holds extra water and washes away the salt from your body, resulting in a rise in blood pressure. Further, the added water puts stress on your heart and blood vessels.
Additionally, foods with a higher concentration of sugar and saturated or trans fats can increase blood pressure.
That said, potassium can cancel out the effect of sodium if taken in the right proportion. Therefore, it is imperative to include potassium-rich meals as food for high blood pressure individuals.
At the same time, there are a number of food items that are harmful to a hypertension patient. Let’s now delve into the food that you must avoid as a patient with high BP.
To conclude, there are several food items that have a positive or negative impact on the health of a hypertension patient. Therefore, choosing a diet containing food for high blood pressure patients is imperative to keep your health in check.