It seems that doctors the world over are all too ready to prescribe medication rather than to suggest natural methods of lowering high blood pressure (hypertension). Most of these medicines can have undesirable side-effects, so it is wise to look for natural methods.
It has been shown that a healthy diet containing high levels of potassium, magnesium and calcium can lower and help control high blood pressure. Just as important, a healthy diet should include essential fatty acids, but as little as possible saturated fats, salt and sugar. Below is just a short list of foods good for high blood pressure.
SPINACH Spinach is rich in magnesium and helps prevent heart disease. It also contains folate which protects the body from homocysteine, an excessive amount of which can cause heart attacks and strokes. Cook for as little time as possible. Better still, eat raw in salads.
SUNFLOWER SEEDS Sunflower seeds are rich in potassium, magnesium and phytosterols which can aid in the reduction of your cholesterol level. (High levels of cholesterol can cause narrowing of the arteries and blood vessels which raises blood pressure).
BANANAS Bananas are rich in potassium and have a high fiber content. Try to eat at least two bananas per day.
SOME FATS ARE GOOD! Unsaturated fats can help reduce cholesterol and provide essential fatty acid that the body needs. Fish contain omega-3 which prevents heart disease. Try eating oily fish such as trout, salmon and mackerel. It will be a lot healthier for you if you grill, bake or steam the fish. Do not add salt when cooking. Sardines, too, are a good choice. Fresh fish are best, but if you must buy tinned fish check the label to make sure the salt content is low.
GARLIC Garlic helps thin the blood and stops blood vessels clogging, so reducing blood pressure. Try chewing a clove or two of garlic each day. If you don’t want to lose all your friends you may prefer to take it in the form of a supplement.
TOMATOES Tomatoes are rich in calcium and potassium, and contain vitamins A, C and E. Tomatoes also contain lycopene which is a powerful antioxidant that is reputed to lower the risk of heart disease. The antioxidants found in tomatoes can prevent LDL cholesterol from oxidizing and sticking to the blood vessel walls, which would raise blood pressure. Drinking tomato juice is a great way to enjoy tomatoes. If you own a juicer, make your own. If you have to buy tomato juice make sure it’s a pure juice with no added salt or sugar.
BROCCOLI Broccoli is full of nutrition. Not only is it high in potassium but it contains chromium that helps regulate blood sugar and insulin. Don’t over cook it. Place it in a pan with just enough water to cover it, that way it will retain more nutrients. Better still, steam it. When I’m preparing broccoli I always cut off a few florets and eat them raw. Try it, they’re delicious!
HAWTHORN Hawthorn dilates the arteries and improves the flow of blood, so lowering blood pressure. Use a mixture of leaves and flowers to make a tea. Place two teaspoonfuls in a cup and add boiling water. Leave to infuse for around twenty minutes before straining. Drink two or three cups of the elixir per day.
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