We often talk about lowering the pressure, but what exactly are we talking about? Blood pressure is the force exerted by the circulating blood on the walls of the arteries following heart contractions. We speak of high blood pressure or arterial hypertension when it exceeds specific values. The latter is not a disease but a condition that increases the chances and favors the risk of cardiovascular complications such as strokes and heart attacks. It is a prevalent condition and can manifest with morning headaches, dizziness, nosebleeds, ringing in the ears, or vision changes.
In the remaining 95% of the population suffering from hypertension, the cause is not clear, identifiable, or treatable. It is one of the most common pathologies in industrialized countries, where access to food is easy and immediate. In light of this data and thanks to the many studies available, it is clear to understand that there is a close connection between food and blood pressure. We all know that a varied and healthy diet contributes to psycho-physical well-being. But there are foods that can also control this type of pathology. So let’s find out together what foods to introduce into the diet to lower blood pressure:
Lower The Pressure With Garlic
Even if not everyone likes it, garlic is a plant rich in beneficial properties for our bodies. Since ancient times, garlic can lower blood pressure because it increases the amount of nitric oxide in the body. This substance has vasodilator properties, i.e., it can make the walls of the arteries more elastic, reducing hypertension. We also know that garlic can keep harmful cholesterol levels under control and that it also has diuretic and anti-inflammatory properties. Finally, an element not to be underestimated is a delicious ingredient that, if used as a condiment, will help limit the use of salt.
Green Leafy Vegetables
High blood pressure is also called “the silent killer” precisely because it is not a disease for its own sake and is often ignored. However, hypertension increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes and causes various ailments that affect our daily lives. The table is the battlefield where we have the best chance of keeping it under control. According to recent studies, green leafy vegetables such as chard, cabbage, lettuce, and spinach can lower it already in 24 hours. Following a healthy diet can make a difference.
Red Berries: Allies Of Well-Being
Blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, and currants are red berries with exceptional nutritional properties. In particular, they contain bioactive compounds called flavonoids, which are responsible for their slightly sour taste and red/purple color. Flavonoids are natural antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. They contribute to maintaining young skin but can also act in depth. They can help us keep the arteries young and elastic. Those suffering from swollen legs are a real panacea, but even those with high blood pressure can benefit from them.
Chilli And Cinnamon
Chili pepper and cinnamon are not only excellent ingredients in the kitchen. Both of these spices can contribute to our well-being. They contain substances that promote the relaxation of blood vessels, helping to lower high blood pressure. The use of spices in the kitchen, in addition to the proven benefits of each herb or plant, also allows us to reduce the salt, which, when used in excess, we know is responsible for high pressure.
Fight Hypertension With Whole Grains
The benefits of cereals are known. We know that they can lower the levels of bad cholesterol in the blood and that their fibers help keep the digestive system healthy and functional. The problem is that most of us either need to get more of it or stick to refined and processed grains. Breakfast preparations such as the famous flakes are nothing more than puffed cereal batters with added fat, sugar, salt, vitamins, and minerals of industrial origin.
Lower Blood Pressure With Omega-3 Fish
Those suffering from high blood pressure should reduce the quantities of red meat while, as far as fish is concerned, there are no limitations. The most recommended is oily fish such as anchovies and sardines, but swordfish and tuna are also allowed. The important thing is to choose excellent quality fresh products and prefer recipes that manage to keep the nutritional properties of the raw material unaltered as much as possible. So no anchovies in salt or canned tuna. Better quick cooking in the steam, oven, or pan, limiting the use of salt and fat as much as possible.
We have included fish in the list of foods to introduce into the diet to lower blood pressure because it is rich in omega 3. This substance can reduce blood cholesterol levels. Cholesterol, if high, leads to the formation of plaques inside the arteries, which modify the normal flow of blood. Fish is not the only available source of omega-3.
Olive oil is an excellent ingredient that fully enters the list of foods that help us fight high blood pressure. The oleic acid and the minor compounds in the oil help maintain good vascular contractility, protecting the heart and kidneys from premature stiffening of the tissues. Even in this case, however, it is necessary to make some clarifications, first of all on the quality of the same. The best is the extra virgin one, used in the right quantities, preferably raw. Cooking affects the nutritional rates of the oil, and the longer it is, the greater the “damage.” For those suffering from high blood pressure, the ideal would be to cook dishes such as steamed fish and vegetables and season them with raw oil and spices.
Also Read: What Are Foods Rich In Plant Proteins?