Five Foods that Help Lower Blood Pressure
Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a condition that can eventually lead to a number of serious conditions, including heart problems. In many cases, physicians will recommend a regimen of diet, exercise and prescription medication to lower blood pressure levels.
Your doctor will provide suggestions for foods to eliminate or at least consume less often. Here are examples of a few foods that will work in conjunction with medication and regular exercise to make managing your blood pressure a little easier.
Vitamin C, potassium, and several other nutrients found in fresh fruits are essential if you want to lower blood pressure levels. Make sure to enjoy several portions of apples, bananas, oranges, blueberries, and grapes daily. All these are normally available in supermarkets throughout most of the year.
If you must go with canned fruit, buy brands that do not add sugar; choose brands that pack the fruit in its own juice. Since sugar can elevate blood pressure, you don't need any fruits that are packed in heavy syrups.
Add some color as well as plenty of nutrition to your blood pressure diet by enjoying dark green vegetables whenever possible. Kale, collards, and other greens are great options. Yellows and reds don't hurt either, so add in some yellow and red bell peppers, summer squash or some dark red kidney beans.
Leave off seasoning your cooked vegetables with red meats or their juices. Try a little peanut oil and spices like garlic and cayenne pepper to add some zest. If you crave a salad, use less iceberg lettuce and toss in some raw spinach.
Walnuts are an excellent option if you need to lower blood pressure. Filberts, peanuts, and almonds are also great choices for quick snacks and adding texture to a salad. Make sure to buy the unsalted types. If you want some extra flavor, toss them in a little garlic or cayenne powder.
Whole and Multi-Grains
Whole grains such as wheat and oats are ideal ways to get the fiber you need and satisfy your hunger pangs. Brown rice can help soothe the nervous system even as it provides fiber and helps lower blood pressure levels. The thiamin in brown rice will also have a calming effect, which makes it that must easier to relax.
Poultry and Fish
Lean cuts of chicken and fish that are baked or broiled (not battered and fried) can help settle your cravings for red meat and work with your medication and other lifestyle changes to ease high blood pressure. Use different combinations of spices to jazz up the taste and keep the portions within reason.
Remember that while including these foods in your diet plan will help lower high blood pressure, they are no substitute for following your doctor's advice and taking your medication as prescribed. Once your blood pressure is under control, you and your physician can talk about lowering or eliminating the medication, depending on how well you are doing. Until then, get exercise each day, eat right, and take the medicine as directed.
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