9 foods that help lower your blood pressure
Blood pressure is determined by the amount of blood your heart pumps and the amount of resistance to the blood flow in your arteries. The more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your arteries, the higher your blood pressure.
High blood pressure is mainly found in those who consume a diet high in sugar, animal protein and fat. Blood pressure medications are one of the most widely prescribed drugs in the world. As with any type of drug therapy, side effects are common, and are often negative. While medication can be necessary in many cases, there are also ways to both prevent and treat the underlying causes of high blood pressure: through our diet.
The first step to preventing and treating your blood pressure is to get it checked so that you know your baseline. Then, it’s a great idea to update your fridge and pantry with some go-to, cardiovascular supporting foods to help you on your path to wellness.
Here are a few ways you can adjust your diet to help lower your blood pressure:
Eat healthy, lean proteins: Try free-range chicken, turkey, bison, eggs and legumes.
Include essential fatty acids: Due to its anti-inflammatory effect, I recommend incorporate more nuts, seeds, healthy oils and cold-water fish. Consume fresh fish once or twice weekly.
Look for naturally-occurring potassium: Foods like leafy greens, avocado, pomegranate, banana, acorn squash and sweet potatoes all have a high potassium content that help to balance out the negative effects of artificial sodium.
Reduce artificial sodium intake: Too much sodium reduces your kidneys’ ability to remove water, resulting in high blood pressure due to the extra fluid and strain on the delicate blood vessels leading to the kidneys. Limit the use of table salt and foods that are high in sodium, such as canned foods and frozen dinners.
Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables
Reduce or eliminate caffeine: Since caffeine constricts the blood vessel walls, it may increase blood pressure. Try replacing that extra cup of coffee with a herbal tea.
Get enough fibre: Whole grains and legumes provide excellent fibre which have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body.
Up your vitamin C intake: Vitamin C acts as a diuretic which helps the body flush extra fluids. Citrus fruits provide an excellent source.
Regularly eat garlic, onion and ginger: Garlic helps to relax your blood vessels by stimulating the constriction of hydrogen sulfide and nitric oxide, onion’s antioxidants and quercetin have an anti-inflammatory effect, and ginger acts as a natural blood thinner.