Blood pressure foods are those foods that are thought to essentially help lower elevated blood pressure in chronically ill hypertension patients. These are also foods that individuals with otherwise healthy blood pressure can eat in order to remain healthy and prevent their blood pressure health from becoming hypertensive. Hypertension can not be cured. What patients with high blood pressure must do is to control high blood pressure and effectively manage it in order to prevent it from causing organ damage to kidneys and the heart for example.
Individual dietary choices are at the center of a growing number of people suffering from chronic high blood pressure medically known as hypertension. According to credible hypertension statistics 80 to 90 percent of individuals in the United States will suffer from hypertension at one point or another in their life. These dreadful statistics are driven by the sheer number of people who eat unhealthy. The majority of adults eat up to 130 percent more salt that they need to on a daily basis. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that adults both male and female should not exceed 2300mg of sodium per day. It is in fact recommended that under normal circumstances only 1500mg of sodium per day will be necessary. Most people consume 5400mg of sodium per day.
Blood Pressure Foods To Avoid
Apparently salt is part of blood pressure foods to avoid. The association between salt and high blood pressure is well documented. Sodium found in many salts including table salt and processed foods has the effect of retaining water or fluids in the body. This increases blood volume and elevates blood pressure. According to blood pressure definition the amount of blood flowing in blood vessels plays a role in raising blood pressure. Other blood pressure foods to avoid will include high cholesterol foods such as fast foods. These also contain trans-fats and saturated fats. Cholesterol particularly LDL which is also known as 'bad' cholesterol creates fatty substances along artery walls constricting blood flow and raising blood pressure. Cholesterol is known to ultimately lead to heart disease which is America's greatest health challenge. The association between cholesterol and high blood pressure is well documented.
Beverages high in caffeine may also have a negative impact on your blood pressure. Doctors agree to an extent that caffeine or coffee causes temporary blood pressure spikes. This may be harmful for individuals who already have elevated blood pressure. These are individuals perhaps with
stage 2 hypertension which has severely elevated
blood pressure numbers. In fact nearly 60 million people in America are thought to be in the prehypertension stage. This means they have blood pressure readings between 120/80mmHg to 140/90mmHg. Eating the wrong foods and beverages as mentioned here will quickly tip that condition to fully fledged chronic high blood pressure which is incurable. What doctors are not sure of and lack total disagreement on are the long term effects of caffeine consumption. Some doctors reckon that in the medium to long term habitual caffeine or coffee consumers will develop a resistance to the effects of caffeine on their blood pressure rendering it of non-effect. Other beverages such as beer and alcoholic drinks are clearly known to elevate blood pressure.
The following is a summary of blood pressure foods to avoid;
Excessive Sodium - tinned foods, processed foods
High LDL cholesterol foods - most fast foods, deep fat fried chicken, doughnuts etc.
High caffeine beverages - coffee, some sodas
Excessive sugar (weight gain) - sodas, cakes etc
Best Blood Pressure Foods (lowering)
The best way to maintain a good blood pressure health is to ensure that we eat healthy. In particular following a heart healthy way of eating is extremely beneficial to your health. Go for foods that are loaded with nutrients that are associated with blood pressure lowering. These nutrients include potassium, magnesium, calcium and healthy proteins and fiber. Sodium and potassium are linked in as far as blood pressure is concerned. Doctors have since established that when potassium is low your body will retain sodium which raises blood pressure as explained earlier. When potassium is raised to adequate levels the body gets rid of sodium lowering blood pressure in the process. It can be noted here that some high blood pressure meds such as diuretics as a side effect waste potassium in the process of excreting water. this leads to muscle cramps.
The following is a list of best blood pressure foods to consider for lowering your readings;
Legumes - great sources of potassium.
Pumpkin seeds- a good source of magnesium especially when roasted. A study in 2000 suggested that pumpkin seed oil could possibly enhance the blood pressure lowering effect of ACE-inhibitors a group of hypertension medications.
Sweet and white potatoes - potatoes contain the mineral potassium. they have a extra benefit that they can be boiled and not absorb salt helping to add to a salt free diet.
Rice - rice particularly brown rice has calcium which works by relaxing the nervous system and relieves elevated blood pressure. Rice is also low in fat, low in cholesterol and low salt content.
Beet Greens - one-half cup of cooked beet greens has potassium and has only 19 calories per serving
Skim Milk and Yogurt - these are dairy products providing calcium and vitamin D. These two nutrients work together in lowering blood pressure by about 3 to 10 percent.
Lemon and grapefruit - Lemon is rich in vitamin P which is in juice and peel of the fruit. The vitamin P in lemon prevents capillary fragility. Grapefruit also also helps in toning up the arteries.
For some individuals following the different and much information about blood pressure foods might be too much. It is therefore much easier for some to follow a prepared hypertension diet particularly the DASH diet. This has been put together by professional and registered dietitians. It comes with a seven day menu to follow and some recipes which are rich in fruits and vegetables and foods low in cholesterol and saturated fats.