High blood pressure is one of the most widespread health problems across the globe. What makes it especially dangerous is that it has no exclusive symptoms, and can only be conclusively discovered only by regular check-ups. High blood pressure can lead to complications of the heart and kidney and can cause diabetes or even death.
According to National Family Health Survey – a report conducted by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, nearly 23% Indians suffer from hypertension.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle which is replete with good exercise and a healthy diet is the most effective way to keep your blood pressure under control.
Eat healthily, live better
Eating good food is important if you suffer from high blood pressure and want to keep it from shooting up. Following is a list of foods which can help control blood pressure and should be a part of your High Blood Pressure Diet:
- Eat green, leafy vegetables: Leafy green vegetables are high in potassium, a nutrient that helps the kidney get rid of sodium from the body. Consuming spinach, lettuce, turnip greens and other leaves can help increase potassium in the body. Avoid canned vegetables as they might contain sodium.
- Berries and beets: Berries contain flavonoids, a compound which is known to lower blood pressure. Beetroot is rich nitric oxide content which helps open blood vessels and regulates blood pressure.
- Follow the DASH diet: The DASH diet was developed by the US National Institute of Health with the idea of controlling hypertension. The diet comprises of a healthy mix of fruits, low-fat dairy foods and vegetables. The diet focuses on restricting consumption of fats and cholesterol. Avoiding sodium, red meat, and drinks with high sugar content is key to lowering blood pressure as per the DASH diet.
- Consuming Omega-3s and lean protein: Lean protein and Omega-3 fatty acids help lower and regulate blood pressure. Salmon and Mackerel fish are high in these nutrients.
- Pistachios: Adding a few pistachios to your salad can work towards lowering your blood pressure. Pistachios reduce peripheral vascular resistance and keep blood pressure in check.
- Olive oil: Rich in inflammation-fighting compounds called polyphenols, olive oil is a good replacement for your regular cooking oil.
- Bananas and pomegranates: Adding these two fruits to your daily diet will increase the potassium, calcium and vitamins in your body. Each one of which is important to fight hypertension.
In addition to these foods, you can also include seeds, herbs, garlic oatmeal, skim milk and yoghurt in your diet to fight high blood pressure.
In the absence of a healthy lifestyle and proper eating habits, the chances of high blood pressure increase multi-fold. A well-balanced diet, coupled with daily exercise can go a long way in keeping hypertension at bay.