Contributed by Ms. Bharathi NR, HOD Dietetics, Columbia Asia Hospital Sarjapur Road
Hypertension or high blood pressure is a serious health condition that can result in irreparable complications and sometimes even death if left unchecked. In this condition the blood vessels persistently raise pressure. It can increase the risk of heart, brain, kidney and other diseases. It commonly occurs in smokers, elderly people, overweight or inactive people, alcoholics or people with fatty diets. Common factors that can lead to hypertension is poor lifestyle, family history and diet choices. It is possible to efficiently control blood pressure by eating mindfully, exercising regularly and leading a healthy lifestyle. A diet rich in potassium, magnesium, fiber and lower in sodium can help control blood pressure.
Ms. Bharathi NR, HOD Dietetics, Columbia Asia Hospital Sarjapur Road, shares the following list of superfoods that help keep blood pressure in check.
one of the most common causes of high blood pressure is sodium and the high potassium content found in bananas helps in countering the ill effects of sodium. Similarly, other foods rich in potassium contribute towards good heart health and reduce the risk developing heart disease. Consuming One to two bananas a day gives the body the potassium it requires.
These little gems are rich in antioxidants and contain flavonoids called anthocyanins that are extremely good in preventing high blood pressure. Blueberries can be added to the morning cereal or can be consumed as part of a smoothie or a milkshake, depending on one’s tastes.
3. Green Leafy vegetables
The green leafy superfoods like spinach, cabbage, lettuce, collard greens are rich in potassium, magnesium and is full of antioxidants. This contributes in maintaining blood pressure levels. Leafy greens can easily be enjoyed in salads or sandwiches or in the form of dish. They are easily available in the market.
A staple in the Indian kitchen, garlic is a natural antibiotic and antifungal food. 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.
Tomatoes contain an antioxidant called Lycopene which helps combat high blood pressure. It also has carotenoids that lower the risk of developing heart disease. Tomatoes can be enjoyed by consuming as part of a salad, as soup or as juice.
6. Dark chocolates
One needn’t give up chocolates to control their blood pressure and can instead opt for dark chocolates. The cacao in chocolate dilates blood vessels, thereby reducing blood pressure. One must ensure that they do not consume too much, in order to avoid weight gain.
7. Olive Oil
Olive oil contains polyphenols which have inflammation-fighting compounds that helps in controlling blood pressure. Olive oil can be drizzled over salads and pastas in order to reap its benefits. One must ensure they do not heat the oil as this causes it to lose its healing properties.
8. Fish with omega-3s
Fatty fish like mackerel and salmon are high in omega-3 fatty acids which can help in lowering blood pressure, reduces inflammation and lower triglycerides. It prevents the onset of hypertension.
They are high-protein, high-fiber snack that will keep you full and help in controlling blood pressure
Numerous studies have shown that flaxseeds are a powerful superfood in reducing hypertension. They contain an essential omega-3 fatty acid and α-linolenic acid which helps in reducing blood pressure.
High blood pressure does not present with obvious symptoms and can go undetected until it is too late. It is important to visit the doctor for regular health checkups, and even better to begin controlling one’s diet at a younger age so that such complications do not develop. A healthy diet is an effective defense for preventing high blood pressure. The foods mentioned above not only help control blood pressure but also help strengthen the immune system and clear the body of its toxins. With enough care and precaution, hypertension can easily be avoided.