Common Foods that can Lower Blood Pressure​

Diet plays a very vital role in controlling your blood pressure.
DASH ( Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet is one such that helps.
DASH is not a diet, but it’s a way of eating. 
You cut back on salt, load up on fruits and veggies, and round out your meals with whole grains, fish, poultry, nuts, legumes, and low-fat dairy.

This fiber rich whole grain is filling and low in sodium. 
It also helps keep your weight and blood pressure under control. 
Cook your oats as a porridge with fruits or make yourself an oats upma, there are many ways to enjoy this grain. 

A study shows that drinking 2 cups of a mix of three parts beetroot and one part apple juice can make your systolic blood pressure (the top number) go down in just a few hours. 
High systolic pressure can raise your chances of strokes. 
Cooked beets and beet greens, which pack lots of potassium, are a good alternative. 

Beans & Legumes
Including beans and legumes like chickpeas, rajma etc. in your daily diet can keep your blood pressure in check and even lower it.
Legumes and beans are big on fiber and can help lower risk of heart diseases.

Green leafy vegetables
Salt in your diet makes you retain more fluids in your body that bumps up your blood volume and the pressure on your arteries, which make your blood pressure climb. 
Green leafy vegetables are rich in potassium and its potassium that helps to flush the sodium from your body and manage your blood pressure. 

Yogurt is rich in calcium and this mineral is good for blood pressure as it helps your blood vessels tighten and relax when they should.  
Choose plain low-fat yogurt to avoid the added sugar and fat. 
If it’s too plain for you, add some fruits to pack a flavor punch. 

Seeds like pumpkin, flax, melon seeds, sunflower etc.  are rich in the mineral magnesium.
Magnesium helps control your blood pressure and relax your blood vessels. 
Munch on some unsalted seeds or add them to your bowl of cereal or your salad and enjoy. 

Garlic  increases the body’s production of nitric oxide, which helps the smooth muscles to relax and the blood vessels to dilate. 
These changes can reduce hypertension. 
A study reported that garlic extract reduced both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in hypertensive people. 

Berries like strawberries, blueberries, etc. contain the natural compound anthocyanin. 
It’s the anthocyanin that helps your artery walls become wider and more flexible to lower your blood pressure and improve your heart health.

Extra virgin olive oil
Extra virgin olive oil contains the antioxidant “polyphenols,” that help to improve the health of the blood vessels and help them stay elastic. 
According to recent research, consuming  olive oil can lower your systolic blood pressure—or the “top” number of a blood pressure reading that is important in determining your risk of heart disease. 

Pomegranates are believed to reduce blood pressure through reducing levels of Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE). 
ACE is a protein that plays an important role in controlling blood pressure through controlling the size of blood vessels in the body.

Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate with at least 60%-70% cocoa can give you a boost of a plant compound called flavanol. 
As with garlic, this antioxidant can raise your nitric oxide levels and widen blood vessels. 
That can make your blood pressure drop a notch. 
It goes without saying that a little bit of chocolate is all you need. 

It’s not just food- get up get active
Diet does play a very vital role in blood pressure management however your lifestyle habits also make a difference. 
Take medicines prescribed by your doctor, stop smoking, lose the extra weight, get active, go for a walk, do some yoga, meditate. 
All this will also help you keep those blood pressure numbers in check along with your diet. 

Disclaimer: The advice provided is intended for informational purpose only and does not substitute for professional medical advice.  Consult with your doctor if you’re seeking medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment.​

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Rithika Rajgopal

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