High blood pressure or hypertension
Hypertension is a very common problem today and unless it is caused by some health problem, it will surely increase the chances of a person to develop a more serious condition like stroke and heart attack. Even though it can be easily detected, it does not always show early symptoms. There are cases in which they begin to appear many years later and until then, the person is totally unaware of the problem. However, a good thing about hypertension is that it can easily be kept under control, which means that it can be lowered with the help of some medications and with certain changes in the diet and lifestyle. Sometimes, the changes in the lifestyle include quitting smoking, regular exercising and losing unnecessary weight if the person is obese.
Foods that lower blood pressure
Since changes in the diet play a very important part in keeping the blood pressure under control, it is usually recommended to consult a nutritionist who will suggest the best possible diet. Besides the nutritionist, the doctor can inform the patient about the foods that should be avoided and those that should be consumed in higher quantities. Sometimes, these changes are all that is needed to lower the blood pressure and no medications needs to be taken, which is why it is important to consider this option before going on medications. For example, fruits and vegetables, as well as dairy products that are low in fat are highly recommended to everyone, including the people who take medications. As for the fruits that lower blood pressure, the most popular are prunes, avocado, melons, bananas, and citrus fruits (lemon, lime, oranges), and they can be consumed in various forms (raw, in form of salad, juice, etc.). The reason why prunes and avocado are helpful is related to the levels of potassium and sodium that they contain, while melons are effective because of potassium, magnesium and carotenoids. Bananas are rich in potassium and low in sodium, while citrus fruits help in controlling the blood pressure due to vitamin C, phytonutrients, and bioflavonoids.
As for the vegetables, they can be consumed raw, in salads, cooked, steamed, boiled, or grilled, and the most helpful are carrots, tomatoes, leafy green vegetables (such as spinach, lettuce, kale and similar), broccoli and potatoes. Carrots contain potassium and beta-carotene, while tomatoes contain calcium, and vitamins A, C and E besides potassium. Leafy green vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals and fibers, but also in lutein, beta-carotene and many other nutrients that help in lowering the blood pressure. Broccoli is rich in calcium and magnesium, whereas potatoes besides potassium also contain the substance called kukoamines, which has also proven helpful in lowering the blood pressure.