Hypertension or high blood pressure is nowadays a very serious health condition. High blood pressure is identified when the blood pressure is more than 140/90 in people below 60 years of age or 150/90 in people above 60 years of age. High blood pressure for longer time in individual can lead to cardiovascular diseases by damaging blood vessels of heart. Other complications that arise due to high blood pressure include: myocardial infarction, kidney ailments, nose bleeding, dizziness and headaches, or brain hemorrhages. Therefore, in order to prevent high blood pressure it is advised for every people to get his or her blood pressure checked in a regular manner.
What is Good for High Blood Pressure?
Doctors often prescribe certain medications for people with hypertensive conditions. Alternative to these medicines, there are various things that are good for lowering high blood pressure, such as:
- More and more potassium intake is good for high blood pressure. Grown-up adults should consume more than 4,700mg everyday including baked potatoes along with skin, little fat or no fat yoghurt, bananas, oranges, etc.
- Manage to control your stress level which is one of the main causes of high blood pressure these days.
- Cut down caffeine intake from your diet. Also avoiding too much salty food is good for patients with high blood pressure or hypertension.
- Smoking and drinking alcohol can be too dangerous, avoiding it is good for high blood pressure. Although little drinking is good for men but people should try to avoid both of these habits to maintain their blood pressure at normal levels.
- Meditation or exercises like cycling, walking, swimming or jogging for half an hour a day is usually good for high blood pressure. If anyone has sedentary lifestyle, he can opt for aerobic exercises including breathing exercises – this is also another great option for controlling hypertension.
Foods That are Good for High Blood Pressure
It has been found in researches that natural foods that are rich in potassium with low sodium content are usually excellent for high blood pressure. These natural foods also contain high amount of two powerful minerals such as magnesium and calcium and are helpful to cure high blood pressure. Below are list of few natural food items that are essential in your balanced diet to manage your high blood pressure.
- Banana: Bananas helps to decrease the secretion of stress hormone from the body thereby helps to lower high blood pressure. Even a medium-sized banana contains around 15% potassium, 8-10% magnesium and 1-2% calcium.
- Fat-free or low-fat Yogurt: Mineral-rich low-fat or fat free yogurt along with salad toppings is usually ideal for daily breakfast. Yogurt also contains each and every minerals including potassium, magnesium or calcium and is a good food to include in your diet for high blood pressure.
- Broccoli: Broccoli is the cruciferous vegetable that is rich in glucosinolates which is one of the famous cancer-protecting phytonutrients and also rich in calcium, potassium or magnesium that helps to fight against high blood pressure. Therefore it is good to consume cooked broccoli as side dishes for high blood pressure.
- Avocado and Kiwi Fruit: Both these fruits are rich in potassium, calcium or magnesium and thus good for lowering high blood pressure if consumed daily. Moreover avocado contains MUFA and healthy carotenoids that are good for heart health. On the other hand, Kiwi fruit contains excess amount of Vitamin C good for controlling blood pressure.
- Potatoes or Sweet Potato: Both these vegetables are also rich in potassium, magnesium and calcium and good for regulating high blood pressure level if consumed everyday with or without skin.
- Quinoa: This is a high-protein nutty gluten-free grain containing potassium, calcium or magnesium along with disease-fighting phytonutrients that help to fight against hypertension and thus red or black variety of quinoa is needed to consume every day.
- Kale: This low-calorie, mineral-rich plant products is basically rich in antioxidants and essential fatty acids like α-linolenic acid that helps in reducing high blood pressure as well as inflammation.
- White Bean: This mineral-rich and high-protein food is perfect for vegetarians and thus can be good to consume everyday as raw or cooked food in salads or side dishes. Since it contains very less amount of sodium it is good for maintaining a normal blood pressure.
- Beet Juice: Researchers have found that drinking beet juice helps to reduce high blood pressure. Some studies also reveal that the presence of nitrates in beetroot juice lowers down high blood pressure in patients just in 24 hours.
- Tilapia Fish: This is one of the food which is mineral-rich and environmental toxin-free like PCBs or mercury and thus good for lowering high blood pressure.
- Tender Pork Meat: Thin fat-free slice of pork meat is usually rich in minerals including potassium, magnesium or calcium and thus helpful to reduce high blood pressure.
- Others: Hypertensive patient’s diet should also contain any green leafy vegetables, berries, peaches, red bell pepper and oatmeal. Both are rich in calcium, potassium or magnesium and therefore good to control high blood pressure.
Lifestyle Modifications that are Good for High Blood Pressure
Healthy lifestyle is the vital step towards treating or preventing high blood pressure. Lifestyle alteration not only helps to reduce high blood pressure but also help the medicine to work in a proper way to control hypertension. Few such healthy lifestyle changes are enlisted below that also keep you fit and free from any disease.
- Maintaining Proper Body Weight is Good For High Blood Pressure: Overweight or obesity can lead to the development of high blood pressure by 6%. So try to maintain adequate body weight with regular exercise or healthy diet in order to prevent or treat hypertension.
- Stop Smoking: Smoking or chewing of tobacco increase your blood pressure instantly by damaging the membranes of the artery and causing them to become narrow, wherein the passage of blood causes more pressure on them. Thus quitting smoking habits will only help to reduce the risk of heart problems together with lowering of high blood pressure.
- Healthy Diet: Maintaining a properly balanced and healthy home-cooked DASH diet will keep you fit and healthy and also reduces high blood pressure.
- Limiting the Amount of Sodium Intake is Good For High Blood Pressure: People having high blood pressure should strictly consume 1.5-2.0 mg of sodium through diet that is about half a teaspoon of salt.
- Regular Exercise is Important for High Blood Pressure: Physically active people have 20-50% of lower chance of developing high blood pressure. Any sorts of exercise including aerobics for 30 minutes a day helps to fight against high blood pressure.
- Cut down Alcohol Consumption: Alcohol should be limited to 2 drinks for men and one drink for women. Too much alcohol drinking can result in high blood pressure but keeping alcohol intake within limit can keep your blood pressure under control.
- Measure BMI Regularly: BMI is actually to measure height with proportion to weight. It is ideal to get your BMI checked regularly in order to determine risk of developing high blood pressure.
- Reduce Stress: Stress can lead to high blood pressure. Exercises like aerobics or meditation can help you to lower down the stress level and thus reduces high blood pressure.
Doing Yoga and Pranayama is Good for High Blood Pressure
Mindfully performed yoga helps to reduce stress-induced hypertension and also removes the underlying risk factors. Yoga also helps to relax mind as well as body muscles by slowing down the heart rate and calming down the sympathetic nervous system. Few yoga poses that help to reduce high blood pressure include: downward facing dog pose, standing forward bend pose, shoulder stretching pose, plow pose, posterior stretch pose, bridge pose, etc.
At the same time, Pranayama is also very much beneficial to reduce high blood pressure. Researches have proved that breathing exercises reduces high blood pressure very fast. Lying down and practicing pranayama helps to breathe smoothly in complete relaxed state without exerting force. Whereas in ‘jalandhara bandha’ pose, i.e., you have to sit straight with straight spine controls high blood pressure without straining your heart.
Tips for things to Avoid for High Blood Pressure
Few things that need to be avoided by people suffering from high blood pressure are:
- Adjust Workload: Try to avoid overload in workplace and also take rest in between work to avoid high blood pressure.
- Do not Overdo Exercises: People with high blood pressure must avoid overdoing of exercises as this might increase the blood pressure way beyond the normal limit. Also, these people must always consult a doctor before starting exercises for the first time and also before changing any exercise schedules or intensifying the exercises that are already being performed. They must always do it under expert supervision to avoid complications.
- Low Sodium and Fat Intake: People with high blood pressure must consume salt within the prescribed limits. High intake of either salt or sugar could lead to increase in blood pressure. Also, high intake of fat especially trans-fat can lead to cholesterol deposition in the arteries increasing the blood pressure and also the risk for cardio vascular diseases. Thus a low-fat intake and no trans-fat foods should be the ideal diet.
High Blood Pressure or Hypertension kills slowly as this medical condition has no particular symptoms. If not diagnosed early, it may result to arterial and cardiac problems, hazy vision, renal damage, ringing ears, stroke, paralysis, and kidney dysfunction. Even if you have any family history of high blood pressure or any type of cardiovascular diseases then you are in the risk zone of developing high blood pressure. So consult with your doctor and get your blood pressure checked on a regular basis and also maintain a healthy diet and proper lifestyle along with right medication to lower hypertension.