One of the many risk factors associated with heart disease is hypertension or high blood pressure. Statistics show that high blood pressure is a very common health condition and over 1 billion people in the world suffer from it. Hypertension is usually treated with angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, which could lower the blood pressure.
Most often dietary changes and regular exercise can help in controlling the blood pressure and reducing the risk of heart disease. Studies have shown that the risk of developing hypertension and other heart diseases in meat-eaters is very high when compared to those who follow a plant-based diet.
Many dieticians and health experts suggest adding several plant foods in your diet to lower high blood pressure. Following a healthy plant-based diet is very helpful in preventing several health problems.
Here is the list of some of the plant-based foods that can help lower your high blood pressure.
This leafy green vegetable is packed with nutrients like potassium and magnesium that help in reducing the high blood pressure. You will get 17% and 30% of your daily potassium and magnesium needs from just one cup of cooked chard leaves.
Magnesium is very beneficial for regulating your blood pressure. This useful mineral will act as the natural calcium channel blocker that blocks the calcium’s movement into the heart and arterial cells. This will help in relaxing the blood vessels and reduce blood pressure.
Swiss chard is often recommended for people having hypertension because of the rich potassium content. There will be a reduction of 1.0 mm Hg in systolic blood pressure and 0.52 mm Hg in diastolic blood pressure with every 0.6 increase in daily dietary potassium intake.
Several studies have shown that citrus fruits such as lemons, grapes, oranges, etc. possess powerful blood pressure-lowering properties. These fruits are loaded with powerful vitamins, minerals, and several other plant nutrients that reduce several risk factors of heart diseases like high blood pressure and to your heart healthy.
A recent study that involves 101 women has shown that a daily intake of lemon juice along with regular exercise like walking significantly helped in reducing systolic blood pressure. The researchers believed that this effect of lemon is due to the citric acid and flavonoid content of the fruit.
There are several other studies that also show the effect of grapes and oranges in lowering high blood pressure in both men and women. However, some doctors may not suggest grape juice for heart patients because they can interact with the medications used to lower high blood pressure.
Pumpkin seeds are rich in numerous heart-healthy nutrients that help in controlling the blood pressure. Nutrients like potassium, magnesium, and arginine present in pumpkin seeds help in the production of amino acids, which is essential for relaxing the blood vessels and lowering the blood pressure.
The oil made from pumpkin seeds is widely used as a natural remedy for lowering high blood pressure. A recent study involving 23 women showed that taking 3 grams of pumpkin seed oil daily for about 6 weeks helped in significantly reducing the systolic blood pressure in all the women who participated in the study.
Several studies have shown that berries have a lot of potential health benefits, including lowering the risk factors associated with heart disease, like blood pressure. The antioxidants like anthocyanins present in berries offer a lot of other potential health benefits.
Studies have found that anthocyanins in berries help in increasing the levels of nitric oxide in the blood. This will help in lowering the production of certain blood-vessel-restricting molecules and lower the high blood pressure associated with it.
Some of the most common berries that you can inlude in your diet are raspberries, cloudberries, blueberries, strawberries, and chokeberries.
Carrots are one of the most common vegetables present in most of the plant-based diet. Carrots are highly nutritious and tasty. They contain high amounts of phenolic compounds, like caffeic acids, chlorogenic, and p-coumaric that help in reducing the inflammation, which may help in lowering the blood pressure levels. These compounds also help to relax the blood vessels and lower high blood pressure.
People prefer to eat carrots both raw and cooked. However, some studies showed that eating carrots raw is more beneficial in lowering blood pressure. A recent study looked at 2,195 people who ate carrot raw and found that there was a significant reduction in high blood pressure in people who ate raw carrot than people who ate cooked carrots.
Broccoli is very beneficial for your circulatory system and adding this cruciferous vegetable to your daily meal plan will help in lowering the blood pressure. The high amounts of antioxidants in broccoli helps to enhance the blood vessel function and also helps to increase the levels of nitric acid in your body.
Tomatoes, celery, pistachios, amaranth, beans, etc. are some other plant-based foods that are beneficial in managing hypertension.