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.
Every Bread Bin Needs:
Low-salt or no-salt bread. Bread is an important part of our diet because its high in carbohydrates and fibre and a good source of energy, but low in fat. Unfortunately, most manufactured bread you buy in bakers or supermarkets contains salt. Salt acts to raise your blood pressure.
Bread available in bakers or supermarkets can contain large amounts of salt which will raise your blood pressure. The amounts vary, so check the labels and compare options, and choose brown or wholemeal breads instead of white.
You can also without any salt.
Effect Of Drinking Excess Water On Blood Pressure
Drinking water is great for lowering blood pressure however, can you drink too much water? It is possible that drinking excessive amounts can also increase blood pressure.
Drinking adequate amounts of water helps regulate body temperature, prevent constipation, flush waste products, and lower blood pressure. That being said, drinking too much can also be a problem.
Drinking more water may even cause the body to hold on to more water. This makes it difficult for the body to flush out sodium, which worsens high blood pressure, especially in those already with hypertension. If you are sensitive to sodium, you are also more likely to develop high blood pressure.
Water intoxication can result from overhydration when the sodium and other electrolytes in the body become too diluted. Hyponatremia is a condition that can form when sodium levels become very low.
It can lead to confusion, dizziness, and put you at risk of a falling into a coma or resulting in death if not treated quickly.
Increased water intake can occur when you consume more water than your kidneys are able to remove from urination. This can lead to too much water being collected in the blood.Overhydration also occurs when the body cannot properly eliminate water due to conditions such as kidney problems, liver disease, congestive heart failure, uncontrolled diabetes, and schizophrenia.
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Drink The Right Amount Of Water
When it comes to drinking water, the most common suggestion is eight 8-oz. glasses per day. However, as a more personal approach, divide your body weight by two, and aim to drink that amount in ounces daily.
For instance, a 200-pound person should consume about 100 ounces of water daily. Drinking a glass of water before taking a bath can also help flush toxins from the body and reduce blood pressure.
Foods To Eat To Lower Blood Pressure
Its estimated that 2 of 3 people with diabetes have high blood pressure. When blood pressure is elevated, your heart works harder to pump blood throughout your body. High blood pressure increases your risk of a heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, and eye problems.
You have already heard about how added salt can increase blood pressure, but did you know that certain foods can help to lower blood pressure? Foods that are high in potassium, magnesium, and calcium can help to regulate blood pressure. Taking these minerals as supplements doesnt have the same effect as eating foods that contain these. Try eating some of the following foods to boost your intake of nutrients that can lower blood pressure naturally.
Nuts are a good source of plant protein and contain the amino acid L-arginine which makes nitric oxide and helps blood vessels relax. While all nuts are a healthy choice, both almonds and pistachios contain the trifecta of potassium, magnesium, and calcium. Nuts are low in carbohydrates and eating nuts has been linked to improved glucose levels.
Beets contain nitrates, which are converted to nitric oxide which helps to control blood pressure. Beetroot juice contains higher amounts of nitrates than cooked beetroot. Beetroots contain potassium. For added calcium and magnesium, eat the beet greens as well.
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Eating The Right Foods And Avoiding Unhealthy Ones Can Help Keep Your Blood Pressure In Check
If youve been diagnosed with hypertension, or high blood pressure, your doctor has probably advised you to make a number of lifestyle modifications, such as exercise and dietary changes. According to the National Institutes of Health , eating a diet of nutrient-rich, low-sodium foods can lower blood pressure naturally.
Natural nutrients are generally more packed with good antioxidants, which may get damaged when prepared for storage, says John Higgins, MD, a professor of cardiovascular medicine at the UTHealth McGovern Medical School in Houston.
Limit Your Alcohol Intake
Regularly drinking too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure over time.
Staying within the recommended levels is the best way to reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure:
- men and women are advised not to regularly drink more than 14 units a week
- spread your drinking over 3 days or more if you drink as much as 14 units a week
Alcohol is also high in calories, which will make you gain weight and can further increase your blood pressure.
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Does Fiber Lower Blood Pressure
There appears to be a strong inverse relationship between hypertension and fiber intake, and the higher the blood pressure, the more adding fiber to the diet can help.
Were not sure of the exact mechanism, but we do know that fiber can help protect against metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, and high cholesterol, all of which are related to high blood pressure. Lower total and LDL cholesterol is associated with better dilation of the endothelium , which lowers blood pressure by improving blood flow. Fiber also reduces oxidative stress, a process that can lead to cell and tissue damage and can thereby increase cardiovascular risk.
If youre looking for dietary fiber, heres a shortcut plants are naturally rich in fiber, while animal products have none. Unprocessed or lightly processed plant foods typically have much more fiber than highly processed foods like baked goods and those full of white flour and white sugar.
What Is The Dash Diet
The DASH diet, which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, is one of the most effective dietary ways to lower your blood pressure. The DASH diet is low in sodium , high in fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and low in foods that are high in saturated fats. has been ranked the healthiest overall diet by a panel of experts from U.S. News and World Reports, says Jeff Landsman, MD, primary care provider at Mercy Personal Physicians in Lutherville, Maryland.
Fish, chicken, and vegetable protein are highlighted as great choices, with an emphasis on the whole grains that provide so many of the unique dietary fibers that we need, says , Ph.D., emeritus professor of nutrition at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota.
This diet for high blood pressure, which has been studied for almost 30 years, is proven to both lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of nearly all chronic diseases. In fact, in a recent meta-analysis that involved over 900,000 subjects, The DASH dietary pattern was associated with a nearly 20% decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, says Jones.
Whats more, many people have success following the DASH eating plan because it contains the foods theyre used to, and it follows familiar eating patterns, which greatly improves their chance of long-term success.
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Beets & Other Nitrate Rich Foods
Beets contain high levels of a chemical compound called nitrates that clinical trials suggest might be responsible for a beneficial effect on blood pressure. After you eat nitrates they are converted into nitric oxide by the body. Nitric oxide opens up your blood vessels – and thus relieves some of the pressure they’re experiencing.
Not to mention vegetables like beets are also packed with micronutrients, phytochemicals, and other antioxidant goodness that have benefits beyond blood pressure support.
How many beets should you be consuming? Theres really not enough evidence to know. However, studies that looked at their effect on blood pressure used anywhere between about 1/3rd to 2 cups each day of beetroot juice .
How To Lower Blood Pressure Naturally With Foods
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Food And Blood Pressure
Fortunately, theres another way to treat hypertension aside from the drugs that come with unpleasant side effects: food.
Probably the most popular diet prescribed for cardiac health is the DASH diet . It features vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, and whole grains, and limits foods that are high in saturated fat, such as fatty meats, full-fat dairy products, and tropical oils as well as sugar-sweetened beverages, sweets, and high sodium foods.
Several studies have shown that the DASH diet can lower triglycerides, blood glucose levels, LDL cholesterol, and insulin resistance. And although the DASH diet is popular for hypertension control, its not necessarily the best.
According to US News & World Report, in 2022 the DASH diet came in third for heart-healthy diets trailing a tie between the Mediterranean Diet and the Ornish Diet . Interestingly enough, all three of these approaches feature a plant-forward approach. And of all the benefits of a plant-rich diet, its ability to lower blood pressure is one of the most studied. So lets look at why a plant-based diet is one of the best diets for controlling blood pressure. And identify some of the best plant-based foods that have been found to naturally help lower blood pressure.
Wine And Blood Pressure
While red wine has been touted to have many heart health benefits, lowering blood pressure is not one of them. Treat red and white wine equaling when it comes to blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, consume wine in moderation.
If your blood pressure is not in control, I recommend you eliminate alcohol completely until your blood pressure is well-managed.
Researchers in Spain did find high blood pressure benefits were connected to drinking non-alcoholic red wine. Extra emphasis on the NON-ALCOHOLIC part.
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Is Fasting Good For Hypertension
Fasting can be beneficial to lower high blood pressure, because it may decrease your total sodium or calorie intake. Recently, researchers from the Baylor College of Medicine showed that fasting also changes the gut microbiome in a way that promotes lower blood pressure, says William Li, MD, President and Founder of The Angiogenesis Foundation and author of Eat to Beat Disease. The mechanism is through higher levels of bile acids in the blood caused by fasting. Bile acids can help lower blood pressure.
Intermittent fasting is a very popular trend. Many people try limiting their intake of food to about an 8 hour window while fasting for 16 hours, Dr. Landsman says. This strategy may help with weight loss which could then help with lowering blood pressure.
Although fasting may reduce blood pressure, the magnitude of reduction is less than it is with weight loss. Your blood pressure may increase dramatically if you eat poorly after breaking your fast. Repetitions of fasting and feeding have been shown to increase blood pressure dramatically, even if only transiently, says Glenn Gaesser, Ph.D., a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine and professor at The College of Health Solutions at Arizona State University. transient elevations in blood pressure may do harm to blood vessels.
Stress Relief To Lower Blood Pressure
Chronic stress can also lead to high blood pressure. It could be argued that a glass of wine may be used to help you relax and relieve stress. However, if you dont currently drink wine, this is not a reason to start.
If you have a question for our HealthCentral experts, please submit here.
You should know: The answer above provides general health information that is not intended to replace medical advice or treatment recommendations from a qualified healthcare professional.
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Eat Healthy Foods To Lower Blood Pressure
A healthy diet is one of the most important lifestyle changes to make to lower your blood pressure. A healthy diet includes mostly:
- lean meats , and
Avoid foods high in saturated fats and cholesterol, such as red meat. These foods can cause a sticky substance called plaque to build up on the walls of your arteries, and harder the walls of your blood vessels and arteries. Both of these things force your heart to work harder to pump blood. Swap out processed foods like chips, crackers, and candy for the foods listed above whenever possible.
Other important dietary changes to discuss with your doctor include:
- eating less sodium and
- increasing potassium in your food or taking a potassium supplement.
Salt causes your body to retain water, which puts a strain on your kidneys and your blood vessels and raising blood pressure. Potassium relaxes the walls of your blood vessels to make it easier for blood to flow through, lowering blood pressure.
Health & Wellnesswhat’s The Best Diet Of 2021 Mediterranean Flexitarian And Dash Top List
Consider a blood pressure-lowering diet. While that phrase may conjure images of unseasoned egg whites and limp steamed veggies, getting your blood pressure into a healthy range is more than just doable it can be a downright delight. Start by adding the Eat This, Not That! approved list of blood pressure-lowering foods into your regular routine.
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Foods That Lower Blood Pressure
1. Pomegranate Juice
While most traditional fruit juices are laden with processed sugar and practically devoid of useful nutrients, 100 percent pomegranate juice is actually one of the healthiest juices on the planet.
One of the most desirable benefits of pomegranate juice includes the ability it has to lower blood pressure naturally. The science is in: Pomegranate juice has major blood pressure-lowering ability, both in short- and long-term studies.
It has also been tested for its ability to reduce blood pressure in patients with diabetes, patients undergoing kidney dialysis and those with carotid artery disease, all with the same successful results.
Weve all known for a long time that spinach is a crazy healthy food and helps seriously reduce disease-causing inflammation. The awesome antioxidants it contains land it on this list of foods that lower blood pressure.
A subject of relatively new research, coriander has been used traditionally for years to treat a number of conditions.
In 2009, a revolutionary study began attempting to define what exactly coriander can do. Researchers found that it exhibited several positive benefits, including a hypotensive effect.
Theyre not just a snack anymore pistachio nutrition is no small thing when it comes to heart health.
5. Beetroot Juice
In overweight and obese subjects past middle age, the effects are not as noticeable, at least in the short term.
6. Olive Oil
7. Dark Chocolate
8. Flax Seed
Fresh Fish Are Part Of A Heart
Many fish are a great source of lean protein while other varieties offer omega-3 fats, which some research has linked heart-health benefits, according to Harvard Health. Certain fish, such as trout, are rich in vitamin D. People usually dont get enough vitamin D from food, so this is one way to boost your intake, Dean says.
A fresh fish fillet needs only minimal preparation. Keep it low-sodium by brushing on a little olive oil, sprinkling it with cracked black pepper, and baking or grilling it for a few minutes its easy and flavorful.
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