Food to Eat to Fight High Blood Pressure

Food to Eat to Fight High Blood Pressure

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in three American adults are either diagnosed with prehypertension, a warning that hypertension (high blood pressure) is on the rise, or have high blood pressure. Only about half diagnosed get their condition under control and in 2013 hypertension was the cause of the death of 360,000 Americans, almost 1,000 per day.

These are disconcerting numbers and even more disturbing is the fact that most people can prevent this condition by making some easy lifestyle changes. In fact, most people know exactly how to make such changes but would rather put themselves into the hands of a conventional physician prescribing the likes of diuretics, beta-blockers, angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, and calcium channel blockers (CCBs).

Knowing what to eat for high blood pressure could turn around a potential time bomb waiting to happen without the potential side effects of prescription drugs.

Go Omega

More and more research is showing that getting a daily dose of omega-3 fatty acids could make a significant difference in healthy blood pressure. A meta analysis of controlled clinical trials testing fish oils on the system, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, concluded that,

“Our analyses indicate that diet supplementation with a relatively high dose of ω-3 PUFA [omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids], generally more than 3 g/d, can lead to clinically relevant BP reductions in individuals with untreated hypertension.”

Best sources of omega-3 are: salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, squid, clams, chia seeds, flaxseeds, soybeans, tofu and walnuts.

Handful of Berries

Fresh, organic berries, particularly blueberries, act like tiny, powerful orbs of hypertension killers. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a 14 year combined study of how flavonoids affected blood pressure.

Flavonoids are compounds found in botanicals found to enhance cell signaling pathways and antioxidant effects. Anthocyanins, color pigments associated with potent flavonoids were cited in the study stating that,

“In pooled multivariate-adjusted analyses, participants in the highest quintile of anthocyanin intake (predominantly from blueberries and strawberries) had an 8% reduction in risk of hypertension [] compared with that for participants in the lowest quintile of anthocyanin intake; the risk reduction was 12%…Anthocyanins and some flavone and flavan-3-ol compounds may contribute to the prevention of hypertension.”

All it takes is a handful of blueberries per day to potentially decrease high blood pressure.

Purple Spud Study

It turns out that the compounds found in potatoes just may be an excellent anti-hypertension remedy. The American Chemical Society recommends purple potatoes as the best choice for decreasing blood pressure by about 4% without contributing to weight gain.

These potatoes are also high in anthocyanins, once again contributing to powerful antioxidant effects. In fact, purple potatoes have been a popular folk medicine remedy in Korea for centuries.

Simply bake or microwave three or four small, purple potatoes and add to your diet several times per week.

Feel the Beet

Beets are another deep color vegetable linked to blood pressure reduction. However, these unassuming, underrated roots not only contain anthocyanins but a study at the Queen Mary University of London stated that,

“the nitrate found in beetroot juice was the cause of its beneficial effects upon cardiovascular health by increasing the levels of the gas nitric oxide in the circulation.”

Amrita Ahluwalia, Professor of Vascular Biology at Queen Mary’s William Harvey Research Institute comments,

“We gave inorganic nitrate capsules or beetroot juice to healthy volunteers and compared their blood pressure responses and the biochemical changes occurring in the circulation…We showed that beetroot and nitrate capsules are equally effective in lowering blood pressure indicating that it is the nitrate content of beetroot juice that underlies its potential to reduce blood pressure.”

Beets can be found in your local supermarket packaged and ready to eat. Slice up a few and add them to salads, stir fry or even a vegetable smoothie.

Try these foods for what to eat for high blood pressure to see if you can naturally take control of your health. Of course, add in a regimented exercise program, reduce your processed food intake and level out your stress with some daily meditation and you could be feeling great in no time.