5 Foods For Solving High Blood Pressure

Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is sometimes called the “silent killer.” Left untreated, it can contribute to potentially fatal health problems like heart attack and stroke. There are blood pressure medications that are effective, but these often have undesirable side effects like erectile dysfunction. Is there an alternative solution to this all-too-common affliction?

There certainly is. All you need to do is know which foods to avoid, and which ones to add, and you can help lower your blood pressure significantly without resorting to medication.

Which foods should I avoid? High blood pressure is often linked to a poor diet. Cut back on processed foods full of sugar, salt, and unnatural fats (like polyunsaturated fats found in cooking oils).

Ok, so which foods will help me lower my blood pressure?

 

1. Blueberries

Blueberries are considered one the fruits that are truly worthy of the “superfood” title which has become so trendy in the last few years. Blueberries contain a class of antioxidants called flavonoids, which can play a major role in lowering blood pressure. All berries contain flavonoids to varying degrees, but blueberries are one of the richest sources found in nature. Blueberries contain several different subclasses of flavonoids such as anthocyanins, flava-3-ol, and flavone, which have been proven to help lower blood pressure in those who consume them regularly.

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Photo credit: bigstock.com

2. Cherry juice 

According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, consuming cherry juice can help lower your blood pressure. Participants in the study drank 60 milliliters of cherry concentrate mixed with water, and researchers monitored their blood pressure for changes. According to their findings, those who drank the cherry juice blend saw a seven percent reduction in their blood pressure. That may not sound like much, but some scientists believe this is sufficient to lower the risk of heart disease by 23 percent, and the risk of stroke in particular by 38 percent! Heart disease, and especially strokes, are very serious, so these numbers are nothing to sneeze at.

 

3. Garlic

Garlic is consumed in cultures all over the world and has long been considered a healthy food. But new research suggests that garlic may be healthier than anyone previously thought. Garlic contains a compound called allicin, which has been linked to lowering blood pressure. Garlic also helps lower the body’ levels of harmful LDL protein, reducing the risk of vein blockage.

Allicin is most available in raw garlic which has been crushed. Cooking garlic appears to damage it and make the allicin much less bioavailable. Another option is to take garlic extract supplements. Studies have shown that using garlic supplements can actually be just as effective as conventional blood pressure medications, without the unpleasant side effects.

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Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

4. Olive oil

There’s a reason people of the Mediterranean region have some of the lowest levels of cardiovascular disease in the world. Olive oil contains phenols and super-healthy monounsaturated fats that can significantly improve health. One study showed that consuming olive oil reduced all risks of cardiovascular disease by 30 percent. It also stands head and shoulders above most other oils used in cooking, like canola oil and sunflower oil. A study comparing the effectiveness of olive oil versus sunflower oil in treating hypertension found that the group consuming olive oil experienced a reduction in blood pressure of 48 percent against the other group! While this was a small study, the results are very promising.
When choosing an olive oil, be sure to opt for extra virgin olive oil if it is available. This oil comes from the first press of the olives, and offers higher quantities of the beneficial phenolic compounds which help lower blood pressure.

 

5. Leafy green vegetables

Leafy green vegetables (otherwise known as cruciferous) are highly beneficial to anyone currently living with high blood pressure or at risk of developing hypertension. All leafy greens are healthy, but one example that stands out is kale, which is rich in vitamins and minerals such as potassium. This has been shown to help lower blood pressure. Potassium helps your kidneys to flush sodium out of your body. This can be beneficial for people at risk of hypertension because high sodium intake has been linked to higher blood pressure levels. Potassium also enhances the effects of magnesium, another mineral which helps fight high blood pressure.

 

READ ALSO: Natural Treatment For High Blood Pressure Video

 

High blood pressure is nothing to fool around with. If you are at risk of developing hypertension, or already have it, incorporate these foods into your diet to improve your odds of enjoying a longer and healthier life.

References:

www.ajcn.nutrition.org

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov