4 Foods That Help You Lower Your Blood Pressure
Hypertension (High Blood pressure) is rather boring in itself and it's easy to just continue on with life without worry too much about the effects it might have on your body. High blood pressure is rather sneaky if you ask me and it has a tendency of sneaking up on you giving no clue of the potential devastating consequences. Severe scenarios include heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure, yikes, I know.
As many as 1 in 3 of us in the UK suffer from hypertension but this is partially caused by the natural ageing & stiffening of our arteries which increases the pressure within them. However a less than healthy lifestyle can have a big impact on your blood pressure which shouldn’t be ignored. If you're overweight then losing a few pounds will help significantly, avoid smoking, manage stress & exercise regularly.
One of the best decisions you can make is improving the quality of food you eat. Diet plays a big role in blood pressure & eating the right foods can quite literally adds years to your life. Small changes to what you consume go a long way & as a general rule you should fill up on vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, lean protein, whole-grains & low fat dairy products.
1. FRUIT & VEG WITH EVERY MEAL
Consuming at least 5 portions of fruit & vegetables each day & cutting your salt intake can noticeably reduce your systolic pressure. Just sneak some at every meal, fresh fruit with yoghurt at breakfast, a side salad & apple with lunch & fill half your dinner plate with your favourite frozen vegetables, steamed, grilled or sauteed.
2. DITCH THE SALT
Cutting back on sodium will improve the health of your heart but it’s not so much the table salt we’re talking here. The majority of the salt we consume each day comes from packaged foods, jars, frozen meals, sauces, breads, snack bars & condiments which can be jam packed. The recommended sodium intake is around 6 grams per day & sticking to it could bring big benefits.
3. ALL ABOUT THE NUTS
A handful of nuts each day each day can help save your heart & lower your blood pressure. A long term study was able to link, consuming a Mediterranean diet rich in nuts with a 50% lower stoke rate. Nuts are not only packed full of antioxidants & amino acids but are a great source of potassium, calcium & magnesium. To hit your nut intake add a portion to a salad at lunch or eat a handful as a mid-morning snack.
4. WHAT ABOUT COFFEE
You’ve probably been thinking that coffee is a bad idea when it comes to blood pressure, well let me tell you something. Tea & coffee are both amazing sources of antioxidants, potassium & polyphenolic compounds which have all been linked to reducing blood pressure. In the past, studies had encouraged against caffeinated drinks but the most up-to-date research has shown caffeine in moderation can help cut the risk of chronic disease. We recommend sipping away at a skinny latte, the extra milk brings added magnesium, potassium & calcium which all help lower that blood pressure.