Trying to learn how to lower your blood pressure naturally with better food and nutrition? Good idea!
High blood pressure is a common problem — so common, in fact, that one in three Americans suffer from it. People may have a genetic predisposition for high blood pressure, and stress and an unhealthy lifestyle often contribute to it. The main reason for high blood pressure, though, according to Dr. Joseph Mercola, author of Take Control of Your Health, is too much sugar.
Controlling high blood pressure (hypertension) is important, because left unchecked, it can cause heart disease or stroke. Hypertension often lacks noticeable symptoms, so it is important to have regular physicals. Hypertension is generally diagnosed as a blood pressure reading above 140/80.
Medications designed to treat hypertension do not relieve the underlying causes, and are not always effective at lowering blood pressure. Over 50 percent of patients find that medication alone does not control their hypertension.
The good news is that lifestyle changes can help over 85 percent of those suffering from hypertension. Develop an exercise plan with the help of your doctor that incorporates aerobic exercise and strength training. Start slowly and aim to exercise consistently at least five days per week. Reduce stress through yoga, meditation or prayer.
Dr. Mercola advises cutting out foods that are rapidly converted to sugar, such as pasta, bread, potatoes, rice and cereal. In addition, he recommends cutting out foods that are high in fructose, including fruit like mangoes, raisins and grapes.
Physician and author Matilda Parente, MD, recommends the following foods as part of an overall healthy lifestyle to reduce hypertension or prevent it.
Kale, collards and other leafy greens: These plants are easy to grow in your own yard and are high in fiber and vitamin A, and low in sugars. Recent research suggests that inorganic nitrates, found in these plants, may relax the blood vessels, allowing blood to flow more freely. Plant leafy greens in early spring, as soon as the soil is soft.
Green peas: Green peas also contain plenty of fiber and vitamins. Plant them early in the spring since peas tend to wither and dwindle when temperatures rise.
Tomatoes: The chemical lycopene, responsible for tomato’s bright color, is also a powerful antioxidant. Buy disease-free tomato plants and wait until after the last frost to plant them.
Sweet potatoes: Sweet potatoes contain fiber, vitamin A and antioxidants, as well. Sweet potatoes need warm temperatures and a long growing season to mature.
Winter squash: Also high in fiber, beta carotene and vitamin A, winter squash need plenty of room, fertile soil and a long growing season.
Berries: Dr. Parente says a recent study found that eating a cup of blueberries or strawberries weekly may prevent high blood pressure. Strawberries grow well in full sun and moist, rich soil. Blueberries, on the other hand, have very specific growing needs. Unless your soil is very acidic (4.5 to 5.5) you’re probably better off buying fresh or frozen berries.
Apricots: Apricots are a good source of fiber and potassium, which has been shown to reduce or prevent high blood pressure. Apricots thrive in climates with warm summers and mild winters. Avoid dried apricots, since they contain more sugar.
Bananas: Also high in potassium, bananas help remove excess sodium from the body, says Dr. Parente.
Cantaloupe: High in potassium and beta carotene, cantaloupe is refreshing alone, in fruit salads or blended in smoothies. Grow it in full sun in moist, rich soil.
Incorporating fruits and vegetables into your diet may do more than just reduce your blood pressure. Fruits and vegetables are low in calories, aiding in weight loss, and you’ll probably have more energy, as well.
Creative Commons Flickr photo of berries courtesy of cookbookman.
Dipak Tuladhar says
I heard that drinking plenty of water also will help control high blood presure. Is this true ?
Yes, its true!
Water therapy is very good, it help for health situation, clean your sytems, make u slim too, thanks.
Thank you for your useful information…
Cutting down your salt intake is also very healthy for you, just maintain a mild balance of salt in your system for a very healthy life. You should be fairly clear when you go to the bathroom, if it is too dark then you have way too much salt (sulfer) in your system, your kidneys work overtime to rid your body of excess salt and the saltwater fluid backs up in your tissues. So you will lose some weight, balance out your salt intake to where you feel great, and maintain that and you should be good to go…. works well for me! Give it a try 🙂
Thnks 4 this useful health information
ma lourdes a says
its true that sweet potato leaf is make your high blood pressure?
kul Bhushan says
Can high BP can b controlled by acupressure..?
Is it advisable to maintain eating nuts when you suspect having river problem?
Wow great article recently diagnosed w high blood pressure trying to incorporate these . Not in need meds yet just diet for 30 days Dr checking my numbers been a week n it’s just fluctuated but giving it 100 percent to be lower than 140 /80 . Thanks for the tip on more water