When it comes to high blood pressure you have been asked to avoid salt and that is the one ingredient that provides taste to the entire meal, that makes you wonder how long you can continue consuming food that does not appeal to your taste buds. Hold on to your seats, I am going to share with you mindblowing and tasty foods that you can add to your diet along with a few dishes that can renew your connection with food.
Potassium Rich Foods
High Potassium means low sodium, both these nutrients counterbalance each other and hence release the excess sodium into the urine causing your blood vessels or nerves to feel less contracted.
The beauty of these green leafy vegetables is not only the potassium but the ample amount of calcium, carotenoids, magnesium and folic acid which together work in lowering the blood pressure levels. Calcium helps to tighten and relax the blood vessels and nerves and modulates blood pressure.
Carotenoids naturally lower the levels of stress hormones called cortisol which is primarily responsible for the contraction of muscles increasing blood pressure. Lastly, Magnesium and folic acid together relaxes the blood vessels and promotes proper blood flow in the nerves. A green smoothie at the start of the day, and green leafy vegetables add to dal and chapatis can be a good way to include green leafy vegetables three to four times a week.
These yellow coloured fruits are your go-to fruits to see a drop in blood pressure. Cantaloupes support heart health as they are rich in fiber, potassium, Vitamin C and choline. The one fruit that is the richest source of potassium is the banana, one medium-sized banana contains almost 422 mg of potassium almost meeting half of your daily nutrient demands for potassium. Different delicacies such as fruit smoothies, fruit parfaits and pancakes can be healthier alternatives to include these two nutritious fruits and make it a delicious mid-meal snack.
These two super fruits not only lower blood pressure but also lower inflammation in the body due to their dark red colour. The darker the colour more the natural antioxidant that it contains. Beetroot provides natural nitric oxide, similar to the ones found in the commercial supplements that are known to relax the nerves thereby causing the easy passage and flow of blood through the nerves also providing increased energy level prior to any activity. The polyphenols are believed to lower blood pressure by reducing the levels of Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) that is responsible for contraction of the blood vessels and hypertension. A beetroot pomegranate drink consumed as a single shot of 30 ml in the morning unstrained can help lower blood pressure naturally in a period of two months along with a balanced healthy diet.
Apricots contain 259 milligrams of potassium, per 100gms and this helps in balancing out the negative effects of high sodium in the blood. The kidney helps in maintaining this delicate balance of sodium and potassium to extract fluids from the blood and in turn maintain blood pressure. Adding apricots and dates as a replacement for sugar in various preparations or even consuming as it is 2 each per day will naturally add-in that extra potassium in the diet.
Broccoli is rich in three basic minerals calcium, magnesium and potassium. All of them have blood vessel relaxing properties as they are electrolytes and minerals in the blood that can easily pass through the nerve channels causing the excess sodium to be eliminated from the body, thereby lowering blood pressure. Consuming broccoli cooked or raw in salads, soups, stir-fries, cutlets can add much variety to your diet.
6. Sweet Potato:
More the fluid in the body, more the blood pressure and kidneys help in maintaining the delicate balance. Your kidney does this by eliminating the excess fluids from the body so excess amounts of potassium in the body are extracted with the water out of the system. Sweet Potatoes are nutrient-dense than white potatoes. They are also rich in beta-carotene, manganese, vitamin C and vitamin B6. Sweet potato can be consumed as salads, sweet potato baked fries, sweet potato soup, can be added to rotis/chapatis.
Omega 3 Rich foods
7. Indian Mackerel/Salmon:
Several researches done on examining the effects of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA from seafood, fortified foods, or supplements on people with blood pressure found that the average systolic blood pressure (the top number in a blood pressure reading) decreased by 4.51 mm Hg in people who took DHA and EPA (compared to those taking a placebo). Diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number in a blood pressure reading) decreased by an average of 3.05 mm Hg. This clearly indicates that blood pressure can very conveniently be maintained by including Omega 3 through consuming fish or supplements in the diet. Non-vegetarians can take advantage of the omega 3 in fish by consuming fish especially Indian mackerel 2-3 times a week and if you're a vegetarian then you can add in an omega 3 supplement that at least gives you 500mgs of EPA and DHA in total.
Vegetarian sources of Omega 3 like flaxseeds and walnuts have the potential of lowering blood pressure by lowering internal inflammation. High blood pressure is a reason for internal inflammation caused due to stress caused by the stress hormone cortisol and omega 3 helps in relieving this tension on the nerves and relaxing it further. Freshly roasted/powdered flax seeds can be added to the chutneys, dals, rotis and ensured they are preserved well to prevent the fat in the seed from getting spoiled. Walnuts are best consumed as mid-meal options 6-7 walnut halves a day can help you meet 250mg of your daily intake of Omega 3.
Adding these superfoods to your diet coupled with reducing the salt consumption in the meals can lower your blood pressure naturally and prevent future complications.
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