Islamabad: 30 percent of Pakistanis above the age of 45 have hypertension (aka high blood pressure), states the Journal of Pakistan Medical Association. Fortunately, this health problem can easily be combated by taking a few dietary measures.
Most people take medication to reduce hypertension but that comes with side effects so the best and easiest way to combat this silent killer is to alter your eating habits. Here are seven foods that can help people dealing with high blood pressure:
How Can I Lower My Blood Pressure
1. Whole grains
According to WebMD, one daily serving of whole grains may help prevent hypertension – and more servings could slash your risk even further. Including at least 50 grams of whole grains daily in your diet significantly decreases high blood pressure.
That’s because whole grains contain essential and healthy nutrients including fiber, potassium, magnesium, folate, iron, and selenium, all of which are known to lower blood pressure (especially potassium).
This green vegetable contains all the nutrients needed to help lower blood pressure like fiber, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and vitamin C.
Previous research in animals has found that a diet high in broccoli sprouts may help reduce blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and stroke. Broccoli sprouts are high in compounds that may help reduce damage to arteries, reports Reader’s Digest.
3. Baked Potato
Rich in magnesium and potassium, this tasty vegetable helps fight high blood pressure. The potassium content helps the body become more efficient at flushing out excess sodium, which can raise blood pressure; and magnesium helps promote healthy blood flow. But go easy on the butter and salt or it’ll be back to phase one.
4. Dark chocolate
A delicious way to stay healthy! Dark chocolate contains high amounts of antioxidant flavanols which help make the blood vessels more elastic,
According to Harvard researchers who analyzed 24 chocolate studies eating a one-ounce square of dark chocolate (70 percent cacao or more) daily can help lower blood pressure, especially in people who already have hypertension.
Loaded with potassium, studies have shown that bananas significantly reduce the effects of sodium in the bloodstream. According to Reader’s Digest, one banana contains about 420 milligrams or 11 percent of the 4,700 milligrams the American Heart Association recommends people to consume daily.
Known as a blood thinner, garlic not only helps lower blood pressure but also lowers cholesterol. When chopped, it produces allicin, a compound that has antibacterial and antifungal properties. This vegetable wards off evil and bad health!
While the most obvious prevention is through reduction of salt intake which has a robust effect on blood pressure. The human body requires about 50 mg of sodium daily. World Health Organization (WHO) recommended daily salt requirement to be 5 grams per day (one teaspoon).
Usually, younger people dismiss such health issues relating them to older people, but further analysis of data has revealed that the prevalence is 19 percent in people of age 15 or above and diseases like these are responsible for more than 60 percent of deaths (35 million) worldwide and 80 percent of these deaths occurred in developing countries including Pakistan.