Worried About High Blood Pressure There’s Some Good News: Eating Smarter Lowers Your Risk
The research is in: One in every three adult Americans has high blood pressure, and only about 50 percent of those people have it under control. The good news is that high blood pressure, also called hypertension, can be lowered or prevented simply by eating smarter. All it takes is focusing on foods high in potassium , magnesium, calcium and fiber, plus foods high in vitamins C and D.
Easy, right? It can be. In fact, the DASH diet was created specifically for its benefits in reducing high blood pressure. The eating plan is endorsed by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and many health and medical agencies because it works. And it works in just two weeks. Keep at it and you might drop some pounds, too, which also helps lower blood pressure.
Heres what you need to eat to lower your blood pressure now.
What Is The Dash Diet
Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension is an eating plan rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, poultry, nuts, legumes, and low-fat dairy. These foods are high in key nutrients such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, fiber, and protein.
The DASH diet can lower blood pressure because it has less salt and sugar than the typical American diet. The DASH diet cuts out desserts, sweetened beverages, fats, red meat, and processed meats.
Women who followed the DASH diet for several years reduced their risks of coronary artery disease and stroke.
To start the DASH diet, follow these recommendations :
- Grains: 7-8 daily servings
- Vegetables: 4-5 daily servings
- Fruits: 4-5 daily servings
- Low-fat or fat-free dairy products: 2-3 daily servings
- Lean meat, poultry, and fish: 2 or fewer servings a day
- Nuts, seeds, and legumes: 4-5 servings per week
- Fats and oils: 2-3 daily servings
- Sweets: less than 5 servings per week.
Ask your doctor or a dietitian to help you start the DASH diet. They can tell you how many calories you need each day to maintain or get to a healthy weight. And then they can help you plan meals with foods you enjoy that meet the DASH guidelines.
Yogurt Provides The Calcium Necessary For Normal Blood Pressure
Yogurt is a good source of calcium an 8-ounce serving of plain, lowfat yogurt provides 415 milligrams, per the NIH, almost one-third of an adults recommended daily value. Calcium deficiency can be a contributor to high blood pressure, according to Harvard Health.
A lot of people associate calcium with something that children need, and stop focusing on calcium-containing foods as an adult, but the adult body still needs it, Dean says.
Yogurt is a low-sodium food thats great straight out of the container, but you can also use it as a creamy addition to a smoothie just mix a cup with diced portions of your favorite fruit in the blender. Choose plain, unsweetened yogurt whenever possible. Nonfat, plain Greek yogurt also makes a great substitute for sour cream!
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What Dash Can Do For You
The DASH Diet can help lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, which is good for your heart. In fact, DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, or high blood pressure. Even if you donât have high blood pressure, the DASH Diet is worth a look. It may help you lose weight because itâs a healthier way of eating. You wonât feel deprived. Youâll have lots of vegetables, fruits, and low-fat dairy products while cutting back on fats, cholesterol, and sweets.
What Are Some High Cholesterol Symptoms
Unfortunately, high cholesterol is a silent disease, which means it has no symptoms. The only way to know if you have high cholesterol is to get a blood test from a medical provider. The side effects of high cholesterol can be serious because it builds up in our arteries as plaque, which limits blood flow to vital organs. High cholesterol can lead to chest pain, stroke or heart attack if untreated.
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Lifestyle Changes Recommended For High Blood Pressure
The American Heart Association encourages people with high blood pressure to:
- Eat a diet rich in fruit, vegetables, and whole grain foods, as well as fish and skinless poultry
If youre worried about your blood pressure, the first step is to see your doctor, in order to have your blood pressure checked. Then, after a discussion with your healthcare provider, it can help to start incorporating some of these foods into your meals. Your taste buds and your heart will thank you.
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Children: A Special Case
The evidence is clear that U.S. adults need to reduce the amount of fat, particularly saturated fatty acids, that they eat. It appears that children eat too much fat as well. Because diet and exercise patterns are established in youth, it is particularly important for parents to move their children away from a high-fat diet and sedentary life and into a low-fat diet and an active life.
Infants and toddlers, that is, children who are less than two years old, are a special case, however. An infant’s diet is high in cholesterol and fatabout half the calories in mother’s milk come from fat, and saturated fatty acids make up almost half of those calories. Cow’s milk and infant formula are also high in fat, but they contain a different mix of fatty acids than mother’s milk. Cow’s milk, for example, has more saturated fatty acids, less monounsaturated fatty acids, and much less polyunsaturated fatty acids. In contrast, infant formulas are higher in polyunsaturated fatty acids, but contain virtually no cholesterol.
But that is not the case with children once they start eating the same foods as adults. Several studies of children’s eating habits show that U.S. school-age children’s diets contain an average of 38 percent fatmuch of it saturated fatty acidsand 300 mg of cholesterol. As a result, children in the United States have relatively high serum cholesterol levels.
Effectivity Of Flaxseeds To Lower Your Cholesterol & Blood Pressure Levels
Flaxseed, a rich source of healthy fat, fibre, and antioxidants, besides controlling weight helps in managing cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
Flaxseed is a rich source of healthy fat, fibre, and antioxidants. A nutritional food, commonly referred to as a functional food, helps to boost health and lose weight effectively. Besides other health benefits, flaxseed helps lower cholesterol levels. Several studies showed that daily intake of flaxseed can lower total cholesterol, especially bad cholesterol levels, and can also help in controlling blood pressure.
One such 2015 study by the American Society of Nutrition revealed, Dietary flaxseed independently lowers circulating cholesterol and lowers it beyond the effects of cholesterol-lowering medications alone in patients with peripheral artery disease .
The result of the study showed that dietary flaxseed in PAD patients resulted in a 15% reduction in circulating low-density lipoprotein cholesterol as early as one month into the trial.
The study concluded that milled flaxseed lowers total and bad cholesterol in patients with PAD. It has additional LDL-cholesterol-lowering capabilities when used in conjunction with cholesterol-lowering medications .
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Switch To Dark Chocolate
A 2010 analysis of 15 studies suggests that dark chocolate may slightly reduce blood pressure. Ried K, et al. Does chocolate reduce blood pressure? A meta-analysis. DOI: 10.1186/1741-7015-8-39 If youre eating chocolate, choose dark chocolate over other types, and make sure its at least 70 percent cocoa. 12 heart-healthy foods to work into your diet. .
Policosanol Benefits Against Cholesterol
For several decades, policosanol has been investigated for its potential to lower high cholesterol levels. In this regard, research results have been controversial. While some support its effects, others suggest that theres insufficient evidence. Lets take a closer look.
A study reported in Drugs in R& D found that policosanol taken long-term can lower high levels of total cholesterol and bad cholesterol, while increasing levels of goodcholesterol in patients with hypertension and type II hypercholesterolemia.
Similar results were reported in research shared in the International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology Research, in which doses of 20 mg/day and 40 mg/day were useful in lowering badcholesterol by 27.4% and total cholesterol by 28.1%.
A study in Molecular Nutrition and Food Research states that the combined results support the lipid-lowering effects of policosanol. Even so, more evidence is needed to confirm its efficacy.
And how does policosanol work? Well, according to the hypotheses, it decreases the production of cholesterol in the liver and increases the breakdown of badcholesterol to prevent its accumulation. Incidentally, it stimulates the functions of good cholesterol and decreases platelet aggregation.
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Exercise For 30 Minutes Nearly Every Day
A Journal of the American Medical Association study credited NFL players’ high level of physical activity with helping to mitigate the heart risks associated with being overweight. You don’t need to be a professional athlete to benefit from exercise. Moderate exercise will help to keep your heart healthy.
Eat Foods Rich In Soluble Fiber
Soluble fiber is found in large quantities in beans, legumes, whole grains, flax, apples and citrus .
Humans lack the proper enzymes to break down soluble fiber, so it moves through your digestive tract, absorbing water and forming a thick paste.
As it travels, soluble fiber absorbs bile, a substance produced by your liver to help digest fats. Eventually, both the fiber and attached bile are excreted in your stool.
Bile is made from cholesterol, so when your liver needs to make more bile it pulls cholesterol out of your bloodstream, which lowers cholesterol levels naturally.
Regular soluble fiber consumption is associated with a 510% reduction in both total cholesterol and bad LDL cholesterol in as little as four weeks .
Its recommended to eat at least 510 grams of soluble fiber each day for the maximum cholesterol-lowering effects, but benefits have been seen at even lower intakes of 3 grams per day .
Summary Soluble fiber lowers cholesterol by preventing reabsorption of bile in your gut, which leads to the excretion of bile in the feces. Your body pulls cholesterol from the bloodstream to make more bile, therefore reducing levels.
How Much Exercise Is Required To Reduce High Blood Pressure
According to a study in the American Journal of Hypertension, even moderate increases in physical activity can lower high blood pressure in sedentary people. To lower high blood pressure, you do not have to join a gym or decide to become a marathon runner. Start with a small, attainable goal to take 500 more steps, or to fit in 5 more minutes of physical activity today than yesterday. When you make small, attainable goals you can achieve and build confidence each step of your way towards a healthier you.
Eat Fibre To Lower Cholesterol
Eating high-fibre food can also help to lower your cholesterol. Fibre helps reduce the amount of cholesterol that is absorbed into the blood stream from your intestine.
- Make sure you get at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day as these contain fibre along with other nutrients
- Eat plenty of other high fibre foods like pulses oats and seeds.
- Choose more wholegrain foods when you can, such as brown or granary bread over white.
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Know Your Numbers And What To Do About Them
When it comes to cholesterol, itâs important to know your numbers. Hyperlipidemia means your blood has too many lipids , such as cholesterol and triglycerides. One type of hyperlipidemia, hypercholesterolemia, means you have too much non-HDL cholesterol and LDL cholesterol in your blood. This condition increases fatty deposits in arteries and the risk of blockages.
Another way your cholesterol numbers can be out of balance is when your HDL cholesterol level is too low. With less HDL to remove cholesterol from your arteries, your risk of atherosclerotic plaque and blockages increases.
If youre diagnosed with hyperlipidemia, your overall health and other risks such as smoking or high blood pressure will help guide treatment. These factors can combine with high LDL cholesterol or low HDL cholesterol levels to affect your cardiovascular health. Your doctor may use the ASCVD Risk Calculator to assess your risk of a coronary event in the next 10 years.
The good news is, high cholesterol can be lowered, reducing risk of heart disease and stroke. If youre 20 years or older, have your cholesterol tested and work with your doctor to adjust your cholesterol levels as needed.
Often, changing behaviors can help bring your numbers into line. If lifestyle changes alone dont improve your cholesterol levels, medication may be prescribed. Lifestyle changes include:
However, like anything in the body, too much cholesterol creates concerns.
How To Freeze Swiss Chard
Swiss chard should be blanched before freezing, which helps preserve its flavor, texture, and color.
To freeze Swiss chard, wash it, separate the leaves from the stalks, and cook the Swiss chard in boiling water for 12 minutes.
Then, plunge the Swiss chard into ice water to stop the cooking process and drain it thoroughly before placing it in a plastic bag, removing as much air as possible, and freezing it.
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Amaranth Is Highly Nutritious
In particular, amaranth is a good source of manganese, magnesium, phosphorus and iron.
One cup of cooked amaranth contains the following nutrients :
- Manganese: 105% of the RDI
- Magnesium: 40% of the RDI
- Phosphorus: 36% of the RDI
- Iron: 29% of the RDI
- Selenium: 19% of the RDI
- Copper: 18% of the RDI
Amaranth is packed with manganese, exceeding your daily nutrient needs in just one serving. Manganese is especially important for brain function and believed to protect against certain neurological conditions .
Its also rich in magnesium, an essential nutrient involved in nearly 300 reactions in the body, including DNA synthesis and muscle contraction .
Whats more, amaranth is high in phosphorus, a mineral that is important for bone health. Its also rich in iron, which helps your body produce blood .
Summary Amaranth is a good source of fiber, protein, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus and iron, along with several other important micronutrients.
Potential Risks Of Cranberry Juice
Make sure to read the labels of any cranberry juice brands you buy. Some brands add sugar. Drinking too much sugar can cause upset stomach, diarrhea, and blood sugar spikes.
Cranberry juice may also cause problems with certain blood thinning medications. If you take blood thinners, be sure to speak with your doctor about how much cranberry juice is safe to drink.
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Managing Blood Pressure And Cholesterol Levels
Certain lifestyle changes can have a big impact on lowering both blood pressure and cholesterol. In many cases, however, lifestyle changes are not enough to bring numbers down, and medications are needed.
Living an active lifestyle can help keep blood pressure and cholesterol numbers in control. The American Heart Association recommends getting at least 150 minutes of aerobic exercise, like walking, biking, or swimming, on a weekly basis.
Dietary Recommendations Include Prioritizing Unprocessed Foods
Dietary recommendations from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute called the Dietary Approaches To Stop Hypertension, or the DASH diet for short promote eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, lean such as fish and poultry, beans, nuts and vegetable oils, while also limiting saturated fats, refined grains, processed foods, and added sodium.
The advantage of getting these nutrients through whole foods, rather than through supplements, is that our body is able to use them better. A number of times when we have just separated out the one nutrient that we think is good, such as omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin C, or vitamin E, and given it as a concentrated pill, it has been shown to be either not as effective or completely ineffective when compared to the natural foods, Dr. Higgins says.
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How Diet Affects Blood Pressure
Your food choices can have a significant impact on your blood pressure in positive and negative ways.
Eating a healthy diet rich in vegetables, fruit, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, fish, lean meats, and low-fat dairy can help manage blood pressure.
On the other hand, eating a lot of red meat, fried foods, salt, and added sugars can contribute to high blood pressure.
Foods That Lower High Cholesterol Fast
High cholesterol in blood is a concerning condition. Cholesterol is a type of fat molecule present inside every cell and is essential for their structural and functional properties.
It’s an important component of cell membranes and also helps in the synthesis of several fat-soluble hormones . Cholesterol, in its natural form, is beneficial. High cholesterol levels in the form of LDL and VLDL are harmful to the liver and heart.
Chronic inflammation in the liver is often associated with high cholesterol. Inflammation of the liver is also related to high blood pressure, heart disease, and atherosclerosis.
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