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Foods that Lower Blood Pressure

Covering foods that lower blood pressure naturally, during pregnancy and the the role of celery

High blood pressure also known as hypertension falls into two classes namely essential hypertension and secondary hypertension. The causes of hypertension are not known in 90 to 95% of cases and hypertension symptoms are notorious for remaining hidden until disease advancement.

Over 70 million people in America or an number equivalent to 25% of the United States population has some type of hypertension. Hypertension can be one called malignant hypertension, pulmonary hypertension or isolated systolic hypertension amongst many specific others. All these are types of high blood pressure that up to a third of sufferers maybe unaware they have.

Medical professionals whose specialization is blood pressure have since proved that eating habits and patterns are essentially at the center of high blood pressure in the majority of the cases. Millions of people today are frantically attempting to adjust what they eat, when and how as a result of increasing awareness of the negative effects of bad food choices.

A hypertension diet such as DASH has since been recommended by hypertension institutions as it contains foods that lower blood pressure. Not only does DASH work to directly control hypertension, it also helps in weight loss. Obesity or over weight is a factor in hypertension causes. Even with DASH it is not always possible to follow it through or is it within the reach of everyone especially those in poorer societies. DASH requires a complete overhaul of what you eat and may imply increased food costs for some people in order to strictly follow its path.

Doctors agree that specific lifestyle modifications which includes what an individual eats will significantly reduce blood pressure even without having to strictly follow or live according to DASH. The stock instruction on this matter is eat lots of fruits and vegetables to lower blood pressure.

Foods that lower blood pressure must be low in sodium which is a key ingredient responsible for high blood pressure in millions of individuals. Sodium increases the volume of fluids in the bloodstream there by increasing blood pressure. In America an adult's daily sodium intake is as much as 5300mg mostly due to fast-foods against the daily recommended of 2300mg by the American Heart Association (AHA). Individuals committed to lowering their blood pressure via what they eat must consume foods lower in fat, saturated fat and cholesterol.

In essence the typical foods that lower blood pressure that one must eat contain three key minerals namely potassium, magnesium and calcium. There are however other minerals, compounds and components which are also important.

magnesium and hypertension

  • Potassium - potassium has the important effect of blunting the effect of sodium (salt). This is in addition to its role of effecting the balance of fluids in the body. The AHA recommends a daily potassium intake of 4700mg. Potassium should be supplied naturally through hat you eat instead of supplements. There is general stern warning against supplements. Too much potassium can be harmful especially in older people with kidney problems. Kidneys in older people find it difficult to remove potassium from the blood.

    Natural supplies are found in the following foods;

    • Sweet potatoes
    • Potatoes
    • Spinach
    • Mushrooms
    • Peas
    • Bananas
    • Tomatoes
    • Oranges/orange juice
    • Fat-free yogurt
    • Tuna
    • Molasses
    • Luna beans

  • magnesium and hypertension

  • Magnesium - Foods in magnesium are equally important in hypertension therapy especially those on hypertension medications such as diuretics. Diuretics by mechanism flash out water from the body and in the process also washing out the all important magnesium. Magnesium deficiency is very difficult to diagnose and a deficit can be considered a cardiovascular risk because of its role in ensuring a properly working heart and other systems surrounding the heart.

    The role of magnesium in preventing hypertension can not be underestimated. It plays a key role in relaxing blood vessels and lowering blood pressure. Caffeine can cause magnesium loss. This is amongst the reasons why there is a negative link between caffeine and high blood pressure. The following foods that lower blood pressure contain magnesium;

    • Beans
    • Nuts
    • Spinach
    • Broccoli
    • Okra
    • Oysters
    • Soy milk
    • Whole wheat bread

  • almonds and hypertension

  • Calcium - in as much as calcium is required in the fight against high blood pressure, it must be noted that it also a magnesium antagonist. Taking too much milk, for instance, or too many calcium foods and supplements may lower magnesium levels. Calcium supplements have been shown in research to reduce high blood pressure by as much as 1.9 points for systolic blood pressure and 1.0 for diastolic blood pressure. It is thought that some component in dairy products exerts a protective effect against high blood pressure.

    The following is a list of foods rich in calcium;

    • Plain yogurt
    • Eggnog
    • White beans
    • Almonds
    • Peas
    • Salmon
    • Fruit yogurt
    • Milk shakes
    • Cheese
    • Brussel sprouts

  • As illustrated in the different foods above, some foods have all three minerals in one. It is however important that some foods with potassium, magnesium or calcium maybe unsuitable for consumption due to the high level of sodium. Patients looking for foods that lower blood pressure especially in processed or canned form much be on the look-out for sodium levels at the back labels.

    Being on a special blood pressure diet does not eliminate the role of anti-hypertensive drugs. Doctors usually making reference to the well known and respected hypertension guidelines will determine what type of treatment is best suitable for each patient's situation and circumstances.

    At an individual level, constantly checking on your blood pressure levels in response to the different foods is also important. Investing in modern blood pressure equipment such as the Omron monitors or any other brand that can produce accurate and trustworthy home blood pressure readings is of paramount importance. In any case, when you see your doctor concerning hypertension they will almost certainly direct that you get regular home blood pressure monitoring kit.

    To the delight of chocolate lovers a research in the July 4th 2007 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that eating 30 calories a day of dark chocolate was associated with considerable lowering of blood pressure.

    Foods that lower blood pressure during pregnancy

    pregnancy and healthy eating

    As will be practically demonstrated when visiting a pregnancy specialist, hypertension foods during pregnancy will include most of the foodstuffs, fruits and vegetables listed above. Most pregnant women will be recommended to consume lots of fruits, fruit juices and vegetables. Celery and blood pressure presents a positive relations which also makes celery a very good vegetable to help lower blood pressure for pregnant women and others in general.

    Generally speaking foods that lower blood pressure must be consumed with consultation with your doctor for particular individuals who already have abnormally low blood pressure also known as hypotension.

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    Dark Choc