Which Foods Can Improve Hypertension?
Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, can be caused in part by factors including obesity, smoking, and a sedentary lifestyle. Certain foods can also contribute to hypertension. Diets high in salt and sodium have been linked to hypertension and an increased risk for heart disease, but there are many foods that can actually improve your condition and reduce your risk for serious heart problems.
Here are foods you can eat to reduce your high blood pressure.
Fish With Omega-3s
Tuna, mackerel, salmon, and sardines are just some types of fish that contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s are healthy fats shown to reduce inflammation, lower triglycerides, and improve hypertension. Other types of fatty fish include swordfish, herring, anchovies, trout, and pollock. If you’re unable to find these types of fish in grocery stores near your home, ask your doctor about quality omega-3 fish oil supplements you can take instead.
Blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries all contain bioactive compounds called flavonoids that are proven effective at improving hypertension. Flavonoids give berries their rich colors and contain antioxidative properties that can also reduce inflammation. Cranberries, cherries, and strawberries are other berries you can eat to achieve better heart health.
Nearly all leafy greens are high in potassium — a mineral that helps your kidneys expel sodium from your body in the form of waste. Since sodium contributes to hypertension, eating lots of leafy greens on a regular basis can do wonders for your high blood pressure. Leafy greens include kale, spinach, bok choy, collard greens, Swiss chard, and beet greens. All these greens taste great when added to soups, stews, and smoothies.
Most nuts contain healthy fats, potassium, and magnesium — the latter prevents blood vessels from narrowing to improve blood flow and circulation. Nuts that are good for improving hypertension include almonds, walnuts, cashews, pistachios, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, and pecans. Make sure the nuts you buy are unsalted or contain less sodium than other brands, and snack on them between meals to reduce your high blood pressure.
Seeds contain many of the same nutrients found in nuts that are effective at fighting hypertension. Chia seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, and squash seeds can be added to homemade trail mix along with nuts to make a filling heart-healthy snack.
Tips for Reducing Sodium in Your Diet
Even if you’re not seasoning your meals with extra salt, it’s possible you may still be consuming high amounts of sodium from certain foods you eat. For instance, most canned vegetables contain high amounts of sodium.
Here are tips that can help you reduce salt intake:
* Flavor your foods with ingredients other than salt, such as spices, herbs, vinegar, and juice from citrus fruits.
* Stop eating frozen meals, boxed meals, and canned meals, since all these meals are usually high in sodium.
* Read all nutrition labels and only choose foods that contain less than 5 percent of the daily value of sodium.
* Remove the salt-shaker from your dining room table.
* Reduce your intake of all processed foods, and cook your own meals using fresh ingredients.
CareCube offers blood pressure management services that can help you improve and manage hypertension while also warding off heart disease. Contact us today to request an appointment and begin the treatment process.
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