High blood pressure has become a very common problem but can definitely become a serious health issue. Hypertension means that your blood vessel walls have lost their elasticity and ability to easily expand.
The narrow opening in your blood vessels means that you run a higher risk for heart disease, heart attacks, strokes and aneurysms. An aneurysm is a bulging spot in the blood vessel. An aneurysm can be extremely dangerous because it can rupture, causing a hemorrhagic stroke internal bleeding. This is most often deadly.
As is the case with most chronic diseases, diet plays a huge role in determining whether or not you get high blood pressure. In fact, what you eat and drink—or don’t eat and drink—plays a far bigger role than even genetics. Diets high in sugar, vegetable seed oils, processed foods and alcohol can contribute to high blood pressure. However, certain foods high in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals can help to lower blood pressure.
Foods containing Magnesium and Potassium
Colorful fruits, veggies, seeds and nuts contain a generous supply of magnesium and potassium. Magnesium is vital to over 300 bodily functions, including helping to relax blood vessel walls. Numerous studies have shown a direct physiological link between magnesium levels and high blood pressure.
Both potassium and magnesium are essential blood electrolytes, helping to maintain the appropriate levels of fluid in the body and the cells. Both magnesium and potassium should always be considered as a supplement for anyone with elevated blood pressure.
Potassium is readily available in most all fruits and vegetables, so eating an assortment of colorful fruits and vegetables should supply most all your potassium needs. Eating a diet high in potassium and magnesium has been shown to lower blood pressure significantly.
Adding greens to your morning smoothie or consuming a colorful salad of a variety of vegetables every day will go a long ways towards helping lower blood pressure and contributing to your overall health.
Antioxidant and Anti-inflammatory Foods
Curcumin–is the active ingredient in turmeric and is considered one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory natural supplements. Many studies have shown that curcumin is highly protective for the heart and blood vessels, helping to reduce the incidence of heart attacks and reducing blood pressure.
In fact, turmeric in some ways is as effective as a prescription blood pressure medication. Turmeric also acts as an anti-inflammatory in the blood vessels, which also helps to lower blood pressure.
Research published in Nitric Oxide, and another study published in Hypertension, showed that diets that include regular consumption of beets or beet juice can significantly lower blood pressure, while increasing oxygen delivery to the whole body and enhancing the health of the blood vessels.
You may have heard of people taking a drug called “nitroglycerin” for chest pain and heart attacks. This medication contains the same compound found in beets, which helps to relax the blood vessels to promote better circulation.
A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition also shows kohlrabi, celery and celery root, watercress, leeks, parsley, arugula, spinach, and turnips contain large amounts of nitric oxide as well.
Tomatoes—Tomatoes can be a lifesaving blood pressure reducer. Tomatoes contain lycopene, which is a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, known for protecting the cardiovascular system, bone health, and preventing cancer.
Several studies have been done showing a strong link between levels of lycopene and heart disease. This analysis from the Physicians Health Study showed an almost 40% decrease in stroke risk in men with higher blood levels of lycopene. Lycopene is also responsible decreasing cholesterol, so eating foods with more lycopene also helps to reduce LDL cholesterol.
Ginger—Fresh ginger is considered a superfood for heart health, better circulation, cholesterol levels and blood pressure. Eating ginger reduces blood pressure in several different ways. For one, it acts as a natural calcium channel blocker, just like some blood pressure medications, and it also acts as an ACE inhibitor, similar to other types of blood pressure medication.
A study of more than 4,000 people found that the people who consumed 2-4 grams of ginger per day had the lowest risk for high blood pressure. And the thing that’s great about ginger is that it’s delicious, zingy and adds tons of flavor to dishes, smoothies and drinks.
Avocado–Avocados may also do wonders for your soaring blood pressure levels. Avocados are packed with oleic acid, also in olive oil. Oleic acid is known to reduce high blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Avocados are also rich in potassium, magnesium and folate, all of which are good the blood vessels and cardiovascular system. Avocados are also chock full of antioxidants and lower inflammation in the body, including the blood vessels. Avocados are also loaded in vitamin A, K, B & E and fiber as well. Add avocados to your smoothies, salads and dressings.
Pomegranate—Pomegranate has some amazing antioxidant power with proven antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer abilities. Pomegranate is another natural food that possesses medicinal qualities without any negative side effects that some medications have.
Pomegranates are great for helping any health issue related to inflammation. Pomegranates contains very powerful substances called polyphenols that exert strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory capabilities. The antioxidant level of pomegranate juice is higher than red wine and green tea.
One of the biggest benefits of pomegranate is its ability to lower blood pressure naturally. Scientific studies actually show pomegranate to have significant blood pressure-lowering ability. The effect of pomegranate is to relax blood vessels and allow better blood flow.
While pomegranates are delicious, they can be slightly challenging to eat. Pomegranate juice works well, but be sure to only use 100% pure pomegranate juice with no added sugar.
Green tea contains powerful polyphenol antioxidants known for their health benefits. One of green tea’s active ingredients, EGCG, helps fight a variety of diseases and health conditions. Study results also show EGCG can be helpful for the prevention of arterio¬sclerosis, blood clots, heart attack, and strokes—partly due to its ability to relax blood vessels and improve blood flow.
While organic green tea is beneficial for health, matcha green tea can contain up to 100 times the EGCG that regular green tea contains.
Green tea also fights cancer, lowers inflammation, promotes healthy digestion, and aid in concentration. Besides being an excellent source of antioxidants, green tea is also packed with vitamins A, D, E, C, B, B5, H, and K, manganese, and other beneficial minerals such as zinc, chromium, and selenium.
Important Note About High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure can be very sneaky, with no obvious symptoms. Many people have high blood pressure and don’t know it. When blood pressure gets dangerously high, it becomes a medical emergency.
Signs and symptoms of severe hypertension may include:
- Severe chest pain
- Severe headache, accompanied by confusion and blurred vision
- Nausea and vomiting
- Severe anxiety
- Shortness of breath
This is a medical emergency and you should contact your doctor or head to an urgent care center. Medical complications of a hypertensive crisis can include strokes or aneurysms. Be sure to check your blood pressure regularly.
Blood Pressure-Lowering Beet-Apple-Carrot-Ginger Smoothie
You will LOVE this amazing blood pressure-lowering healthy, delicious Beet-Apple-Carrot smoothie rich with magnesium, potassium, nitric oxide, lycopene, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and healthy bacteria:
- ½ large fresh raw beet or 1 whole small to medium beet, chopped or grated
- 1 medium sized carrot, chopped or grated
- 1 thumb-sized (more or less) piece of fresh ginger, chopped
- ½ green organic Granny Smith apple
- 1 big handful fresh, raw, organic spinach
- 1 ginger kombucha or sparkling water
- Handful of ice
Blend, and enjoy this refreshing drink as often as you wish!
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