The problem of High Blood Pressure (BP) is becoming more and more common and one main reason for it is a sedentary lifestyle and improper diet. People suffering from ‘uncontrolled high blood pressure is a leading cause of death in most cities worldwide even though it is a preventable risk factor for heart disease. This sets a wake-up call for all people including the medical industry to intervene to diagnose high blood pressure at an early stage and initiate effective measures like best food, healthy lifestyle, and medical treatment to control it effectively and timely. Now let’s understand about the Best food to eat for high blood pressure.
What is high blood pressure(BP)?
Blood pressure is measured in mmHg (millimeters mercury). There are two readings to measure BP upper or systolic (when the heart contracts) and lower or diastolic (when the heart relaxes). Blood pressure lower than 120/80 mm Hg is considered normal. However, blood pressure is considered high if it is 130/80 mm Hg or more.
If your figures are above normal but under 130/80 mm Hg, you have elevated (not high) blood pressure and thereby, at risk of developing high blood pressure.
Here are some of the effects of high blood pressure(BP)
- Damage to blood vessels.
- Aneurysm formation.
- Damage to heart- leading to enlargement of the left side of the heart.
- Harm the brain- leading to TIA (transient ischaemic attack) or “ministroke”, cognitive impairment, and dementia (loss of memory).
- Damage to kidneys- leading to scarring (glomerulosclerosis) and even kidney failure.
- Sexual dysfunction- reduce sexual drive and erectile dysfunction.
- Reduced exercise tolerance.
- Damage to eyes- blurred vision, spots in vision, bleeding inside eyes, and vision loss.
Why should we be concerned about high BP?
Individuals with high blood pressure need to be aware of the serious complications it can lead to. It is essential to keep an eye on their blood pressure condition and accordingly adapt their lifestyles and take necessary guided steps like dietary and lifestyle changes to manage it.
Best food to eat for high blood pressure
First, figure out what kind of person are you. Work out a strategy to be aware of what kind of change will work best for you which you can sustain for a longer duration. For weight management, you might respond well to apps on your phones that count calories for you or brief you on the limits of your daily intake. If that doesn’t sustainably suit you, you can think of other approaches like intermittent fasting to limit calories on certain parts of the day.
For many people, the prospect of taking a simple medication is seen as an easier and appealing option than undergoing lifestyle changes. But there aren’t any shortcuts to health issues like blood pressure.
Here are some of the dietary modifications you can try
- Limit intake of sugar, salt, refined carbohydrates, sodium, caffeine.
- Increase intake of potassium (example fruits and vegetables like bananas, apricots, sweet potatoes, greens, tomatoes) and high protein foods (example, eggs, fish, poultry, beans, chickpeas, legumes)
- Restrict processed food (from cans and restaurants), red meats, chips, pizza.
- Focus on healthy foods like fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, fish, poultry, nuts, low-fat dairy foods (example yogurt)
- Moderate smoking and drinking alcohol for your holistic health.
- Take herbal supplements (example, garlic, black bean, ginger root, sesame oil, river lily, green tea, basil, thyme, cinnamon)
- Eat some dark chocolate (1-2 squares daily) to lower blood pressure.
- Add BP lowering supplements to your diet (for example, fish oil, whey protein milk).
Dietary and lifestyle modifications play a key role in treating your high blood pressure. For best results, management of blood pressure should be a balance and a combination of healthy lifestyle choices with dietary changes and medications, without any delay. So these are some recommendations and the best food to eat for high blood pressure.