Superfoods to reduce high blood pressure

Superfoods to reduce high blood pressure

apples - superfoods to reduce high blood pressure

Apple photo by Illusive Photography on flickr.com

Superfoods get a lot of press these days. But you might have a few questions. What is a so-called “superfood”? Are there superfoods to reduce high blood pressure? And if so, what are they?

You might also have noticed that superfoods which get a lot of media attention tend to be quite exotic. Or certainly not foods you grew up with. So further questions might be: Where on earth can I get that superfood? And how can I afford it?!

 

What are superfoods?

Basically, “superfoods” are foods which are particularly high in certain nutrients. As a result, they have certain properties which are highly beneficial for your health.

Regarding blood pressure, superfoods to reduce high blood pressure are often foods which are high in the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants which are known to have blood pressure-lowering qualities.

Some of these are fairly exotic foods which you probably don’t grow in your garden and won’t find in your local grocers. For example, acai berries, which are harvested in the Amazon, have had plenty of media attention over the years. And they are indeed an excellent superfood to reduce high blood pressure (more on acai berries below). However, thankfully there are plenty of very ordinary foods which are similarly beneficial. Phew!

 

Ordinary superfoods to reduce high blood pressure

You might even have some superfoods in your kitchen cupboards already. Here are a few everyday foods which you’ll either have or already or which are easy to get which can help you lower your blood pressure.

Blueberries and other berries

Blueberries are blue because of pigments called anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are now known to confer various health benefits including lower blood pressure, more flexible arteries and lower risk of heart attack.

It’s not just blueberries either. Other deep-coloured berries are equally anthocyanin-rich: bilberries, blackberries (brambles), blackcurrants, cherries, cranberries, raspberries, strawberries. Researchers suggest that even one or two servings of berries a day can be enough to improve your cardiovascular health and blood pressure! Super.

Tomatoes

red food good for blood pressureRed foods such as tomatoes also contain a helpful pigment: lycopene. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants are good for your arteries and cholesterol levels, hence good for reducing blood pressure.

It’s also now thought that tomato products may help reduce inflammation, which is now thought be a significant factor in high blood pressure.

And tomatoes are also high in potassium which is important for blood pressure through counteracting the effects of salt.

Indeed, several studies now show that eating tomato products or taking tomato extracts can result in lower blood pressure.

More about tomatoes and other red foods here: How is red food good for blood pressure?

Apples

An apple a day keeps heart disease away and maybe high blood pressure too. As well as being high in antioxidants, apples are also one of the fruits highest in soluble fibre – good for keeping healthy cholesterol and blood sugar levels. More info: Apples for high blood pressure

Bananas

Bananas are high in potassium and very low in sodium so are extremely helpful in balancing the effects of sodium on blood pressure. They also have good amounts of other important vitamins and minerals and soluble fibre.

In the US, bananas are officially considered to “reduce the risk of high blood pressure and stroke”. However, keep in mind that they are very high in sugar. The amount of fibre they contain partly offsets the effect of their high sugar content on blood sugar levels but it’s best to eat them in moderation. Go bananas: Bananas and high blood pressure

Avocados

Avocados have loads of potassium, a lot of magnesium, and are full of monounsaturated fats which are good for the heart.

Nuts and seeds

In the past, nuts had an unhealthy reputation because of their high fat content. It’s true that nuts and seeds contain a lot of oils. However, they contain mostly unsaturated fats, the kind which are healthiest for the body.

Indeed, many nuts and seeds, especially almonds, walnuts and flax seeds, are rich in omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3s can lower blood pressure and improve the health of the heart and blood vessels. As plant foods, nuts and seeds contain no cholesterol and can actually help lower cholesterol levels in your body. This is because they contain ‘phytosterols’ – plant compounds which have a similar structure to cholesterol and which inhibit the unhealthy forms of cholesterol from being absorbed in your body.

A review of 25 studies found that eating the equivalent of a couple of handfuls of nuts a day could lower cholesterol levels by over 7%. Good news for your arteries!

Nuts are also very rich in antioxidants, B vitamins and vitamin E as well as potassium, magnesium and various other minerals, which we are often not getting enough of. They are an excellent source of protein and many nuts contain a protein component – L-Arginine – which helps lower blood pressure.

Note: Nut and seed allergies are quite common and can be severe so keep this in mind if you’re preparing food for others, even if you’re not allergic yourself.

Garlic

As well as warding off vampires, garlic can also protect you from high blood pressure. A substance called ‘allicin’ has taken much of the credit for this, but the sulphuric compounds which give garlic its distinctive smell, are now thought to contribute to its beneficial effects.

These benefits include protecting the lining of the arteries, relaxing blood vessels, and thinning the blood (so it can flow more easily, with less risk of clotting). Garlic may also help lower ‘bad’ cholesterol levels. Studies show eating garlic or garlic supplements can lower blood pressure by 7-8%!

Oats

delicious ways to eat oatsAnd last but not least, the humble oat.

Who knew that eating porridge could lower your blood pressure? And reduce your risk of heart disease? And lower your cholesterol levels (levels of ‘bad’ HDL cholesterol)?

Not a very glamorous superfood but a superfood nonetheless.

More on oats and blood pressure here: Can oatmeal help lower blood pressure?

Let’s not forget the (not so) humble acai berry

Now, acai berries may not be the cheapest or most locally available berries. However, they are still effective as a superfood to reduce high blood pressure. So let’s not ignore them completely.

Acai berries are extremely high in antioxidants (especially anthocyanins) and have anti-inflammatory properties. They’re also rich in monounsaturated fats, calcium, fiber, and vitamin A. All of these are known to be good for your health and blood pressure. However, there’s little research yet on the direct effects of acai berry on blood pressure.

Personally, I would spend my money on the cheaper superfoods!

 

Superdrinks to reduce high blood pressure?

With all these superfoods to reduce high blood pressure, you might be wondering if there are any superdrinks to reduce high blood pressure? The answer is, yes there are! And I’m working on a post about them right now… Watch this space.

To your good health,

Alison

Lower your blood pressure naturally (for less cost)

It’s not just berries, tomatoes, nuts, seeds, avocados, and oats which can lower your blood pressure. There are actually a huge range of affordable superfoods to reduce high blood pressure. Many of these spices, herbs, berries, fruits, grains, vegetables, meats and drinks are available in local stores.

Of course there are other factors beyond diet (like fitness and stress) that affect your blood pressure. So the best way to lower your blood pressure without drugs is to apply a broader approach – covering all causes and cures with natural home-based remedies.

lower your blood pressure naturallyThe guide contains simple and proven strategies for lowering your blood pressure and keeping it low through easy, effective and enjoyable changes in lifestyle.

These progressive steps are based on the principle that positive incremental change is always best in health matters.

Each chapter will take you further along the road of greater vigour and peace of mind (and a healthy blood pressure).

Click on the link below for more information:

Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally Guide

P.S. This guide shows you how to lower your blood pressure permanently and naturally without side-effects or complications.

Follow each step to get your blood pressure back in balance.

Choose between a wide range of delicious foods that reduce your blood pressure. Include a number of mental and physical exercises in your schedule for both relaxation and invigoration.

Following this guide will reduce, and in time, eliminate your need for blood pressure lowering medications.

This is a guide for good healthy living and will be beneficial for all – even if you don’t currently suffer from high blood pressure.

To download a sample of the guide to your computer right now click here and scroll to the bottom of the page for the download link.



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