When it comes to the diet, there are various kind of foods that lower blood pressure and are recommended for high blood pressure. Usually, a vegetarian diet is considered to be better than non-veg. Similarly, the Mediterranean diet is also an option, which is a kind of diet with stress on seafood, olive oil, and lots of fresh green vegetables.
One of the most important dietary recommendations created by leading US cardiac associations is DASH diet. Which is an acronym for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH). As per the DASH diet, one should limit the daily salt intake (salt retains water and raises blood pressure). Take dairy products with low-fat content. Consume only healthy fats like olive oil, coconut oil. Include lots of vegetables, fresh fruits, nuts, seeds, pulses, and legumes in the diet. With all that said, specific food products are known to have more blood pressure lowering effect than others:
Foods that lower blood pressure – Green Vegetables
Green leafy vegetables are rich in potassium which helps kidneys to get rid of the excess of sodium through urine, they also have a calming effect on the heart, thus decreasing the blood pressure. Although Indian diet is rich in vegetables, it is not necessarily rich in green leafy vegetables. Therefore play particular attention of spinach. There are lots of food items that can be prepared in Indian cuisine with it. Similarly, do not throw away turnip leaves, you can consume them either in a salad or preparation. So remember that being vegan is fine, but for low blood pressure pay particular attention to the consumption of leafy vegetables. If you love experimenting, search the internet for recipes of green juices.
Again it is something that is commonly available in India and yet not consuming much. However, beets are rich in particular blood pressure lowering chemicals; they increase the production of vascular endothelial nitric oxide. Beet has nitrates in them. In a research, consumption of red beetroot juice has been demonstrated to lower the blood pressure. Another way of consuming the beet is in a salad. Red beet is also rich in iron.
Drink skimmed milk
Indians love to drink milk and milk products. However, they often drink whole milk which is high in bad fats. On the other hand, skimmed milk is not only better for high blood pressure, but it is also usually cheaper. Skimmed milk has most of the nutritious benefits of milk, except that it is low in fat.
They are now widely available, and having them in breakfast is a good thing. In India stir fry breakfast is very common (Beef fry in Kerala, to Puri-Kachori in Uttar Pradesh, to Paratha in Punjab), which is high in fats and salt. On the other hand, oats are low in sodium, fat, and they are high in dietary fiber. So if you have a fried breakfast, it is time to change your habit.
Bananas are one among the foods that lower blood pressure. They are genuinely the national fruit of India (though officially it is Mango). They are available everywhere in India and all the year round. Bananas are rich in potassium; perhaps no other fruit has so much of potassium as bananas. Potassium has direct blood pressure lowering effect, so have bananas more often.
In certain parts of India fish is loved. However, Indians often like to fry it. Thus to get the full benefit from fish, it is better to change the cooking style. Better eat curries or food items in which fish is not deep fried or fried only lightly. Eating fatty fish is a good idea as it is a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids, which are useful for brain and heart health. For strict vegetarians, fish oil capsules may be an option to consider.
Everyone will not love garlic, those with hypertension should try to consume a clove or two of garlic a day. It increases the amount of nitric oxide and thus reduce the blood pressure and cardiac risk.
Though there is not much olive oil produced in India, its consumption has been shown to be beneficial for heart health. It is rich in healthy fats.
Most of the Indians love this fruit and it is one of the foods that lower blood pressure. For lowering blood pressure, eat it raw or drink pomegranate juice. But remember that packed juice sold in shops would not have that benefit as those juices are processed and have added sugars.
Heart problems kill, they are the number one reason for deaths globally, and blood pressure is the primary underlying cause of various cardiovascular complications. Cardiovascular issues are not just about heart attack; stroke is also one of the cardiovascular problems causing due to uncontrolled high blood pressure. Stroke is often fatal or leads to disability.
There is nothing like the safe limit of high blood pressure. Thus control of any kind of high blood pressure is a must. High blood pressure, we call it as a “silent killer” for a reason, as it does not kill a person immediately, but rather slowly and silently. Most people once diagnosed with high blood pressure would remain hypertensive for lifelong. Medications are excellent for controlling blood pressure, however, without dietary control & monitoring the blood pressure, they would not help as intended.
Bearing in mind, the chronic nature of the high blood pressure, it is immensely important to know about the lifestyle changes that can help to keep blood pressure in check. The keys to healthy blood pressure are exercise, right kind of food, regular monitoring, and medications. All these things are equally important.
So to control blood pressure, consume foods that lower blood pressure (healthier food items), exercise regularly, manage your stress level, and regularly monitor your blood pressure to see it going down if you would consume the food products mentioned above regularly.