Since diet is one of the most important factors in reducing high blood pressure, lets review that in more detail.
Moreover in India, we are surrounded by foods that are high in carbohydrates. Here is a list of foods that are both tasty and easy to make to include in your diet to reduce high blood pressure.
Green Leafy Vegetables
Leafy greens are a good source of potassium. Potassium helps the kidneys excrete more sodium through the urine. Vegetables high in potassium include: kale, turnip, spinach, and lettuce.
Berries contain a group of compounds called flavonoids. Blueberries are especially high in them. Several studies have shown that flavonoids reduce blood pressure. Other types of berries like strawberries and raspberries are also good for high blood pressure. They can be easily added to the diet or eaten raw.
Beets contain nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is a compound that is known to dilate blood vessels and reduce blood pressure. Studies have shown that the blood pressure in research participants became lower within 24 hours after being given beet. Beet is very easily cooked and delicious. It can be roasted or even made into chips.
Skim milk and Yoghurt.
Skim milk has low fat and high calcium. Both of these are very important in a diet for individuals with hypertension. However, if you don’t like skim milk you can have yoghurt instead.
Studies have shown that women who eat five or more cups of yoghurt per week showed a 20% reduction in the risk of hypertension. For added benefits and taste yoghurt can be taken along with almonds or granola.
Oatmeal is a high-fibre, low-fat, low-sodium food that is perfect for people with hypertension. Oatmeal is a popular choice of breakfast. It can be soaked overnight in nut milk and had for breakfast the next day with berries, granola, and cinnamon.
Bananas are rich in potassium. Eating one banana everyday can help you avoid potassium supplements. It can be taken along with oatmeal for breakfast.
Salmon, mackerel, cod, and other types of fatty fish that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids are great for hypertension. It contains a lot of lean meat. Fatty fish also helps reduce inflammation and lower levels of triglycerides.
Pumpkin, sunflower, or squash seeds are rich in potassium, magnesium, and calcium. Unsalted seeds can be eaten as snacks from time to time.
Garlic, Ginger, and Herbs
Garlic is another food (spice) that increases the amount of nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide dilates the blood vessels and reduces blood pressure. Ginger taken with black tea or if used in dishes, has been shown to keep blood pressure under control. Using herbs like basil, rosemary, cinnamon, and thyme can help in cutting salt intake.
Studies have shown that 100 grams of dark chocolate per day can reduce the risk for hypertension and cardiovascular conditions. Dark chocolate contains less sugar than regular chocolate, and more than 60% cocoa.