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We do not eat to satisfy our hunger, we eat to live, think, create, and grow. Food is our source, the energy we need. The vitamins, minerals, fiber, proteins, fats, these nutrients are mandatory for all our functions in the body. The connection between beneficial nutrients and the “mechanism” of our body and organism is strong, and unbreakable.
It is wrong to think that a healthy diet and nutrition is a choice, it is in fact a natural need. In order to maintain a healthy body, we need to understand the benefits of the food and we need to know in which way a certain food can help us.
Various foods have various influences, and control different processes in the body. Therefore, in this article, we talk about the food that could save our lives, in particular the food that control blood pressure and help heart function properly.
What foods control blood pressure and help heart?
Researchers concluded that a diet of fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, whole grains, and unsaturated fats is the one that lowers the cholesterol level and help the heart. According to studies, this diet can lower the blood pressure by up to 14 mm HG. What food is a part of this diet?
Spinach is low in calories, high in fiber, thus it is ideal for lowering blood pressure. Spinach also has magnesium, potassium and folate, the important ingredients that maintain blood pressure levels.
A great source of magnesium are unsalted sunflower seeds. Include them in snacks, but make sure to eat unsalted seeds, because salted are high in sodium, and one should avoid this mineral in order to have stable blood pressure.
Black, navy, Lima, pinto and kidney beans are all excellent food for lowering and controlling blood pressure. Beans are full of soluble fiber, magnesium, and potassium, the ingredients one needs to maintain the blood pressure at low level.
White potatoes (baked) are rich in two vital nutrients as well – potassium and magnesium. When the levels of potassium are low, the body retains extra sodium and too much of this mineral raises the blood pressure. On the other hand, potassium-rich diets help removing excess sodium content. Since they are rich in magnesium, and this mineral is necessary for blood flow, potatoes keep high blood pressure at bay.
Another great source of potassium is soybeans. As versatile as they are, soybeans are excellent choice for a healthy meal. More on soybeans, you will find here.
Bananas are the most powerful fruits that combat high blood pressure. Packed with potassium, they are great on-the-go snacks. Frozen, in salads, or for breakfast, bananas will give you the energy you need to last throughout the day. In a word, bananas are a must.
Delicious dark chocolate is a necessity if one is struggling with high blood pressure. One tiny square (30 calories a day) is lowering your blood pressure after 18 weeks, researches showed. The best is that during these 18 weeks you will not gain a pound. Remember to opt for a chocolate that has at least 70 percent of cocoa powder.
To maintain heart healthy, three kiwis a day are great benefit, as studies showed. Kiwi is lutein-rich fruit, thus has great antioxidant properties. Antioxidants are necessary to boost the immune system and to remove the harmful radicals from the body, which in turn will lower the blood pressure.
Romaine lettuce will keep your heart young, researches said. Vitamin C and beta –carotene are necessary for healthy heart, and romaine lettuce is packed with these nutrients. The two works together to prevent the oxidation of cholesterol, which is crucial for normal blood flow, because if cholesterol is oxidized, it starts to build up the walls in artery and to form plaques. Rich in fiber and folic acid, romaine lettuce is a great protector against high cholesterol. Additional benefit comes from the rich content of potassium.
Scientists experimented with olive leaves and concluded that these leaves, even in the extract or capsule form, are very beneficial for treating high blood pressure. Using olive oil in daily nutrition has two benefits – your food will be tastier and you will not have to worry about your blood pressure levels.
According to the research, red grapes are wonder cure against heart attack. Rich in antioxidants and fiber, grapes reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. The beneficial nutrients in grapes will lower the cholesterol level significantly, thus include them in your diets.
More tips on how to control high blood pressure and prevent heart illnesses
In order to have a complete control over your eating habits, think about keeping a food diary. Write down what you eat, when and why – this way you can control your intakes. Try keeping a diary for a week, and you will see the benefits – you may even improve your cooking skills.
If you want to have a healthy diet, become a smart shopper. Grocery lists are very important for healthy nutrition – it will help you avoid buying junk food and unnecessary snacks. List will also help you learn more about the food you eat and what changes you need to make in your life.
What other changes you need to make to control blood pressure?
Losing weight reduces the blood pressure and makes any blood pressure medication you take more effective. You need to remember that blood pressure increases as weight increases, thus determine your ideal weight and try to maintain it.
Regular exercising can lower blood pressure by 4 to 9 mm HG. Exercise at least 30 to 60 minutes most days of the week, and keep your blood pressure low.
Too much alcohol can raise blood pressure and it can reduce the effectiveness of blood pressure medications.
Stress and anxiety can raise your blood pressure as well. Think about the causes of your stress and try to reduce them; moreover, stress can easily trigger other problems, thus, if you cannot reduce it completely try to cope with stressful situations in a healthier way.
Heart Health: 101 Best Foods to Lower Cholesterol and Prevent Heart Disease (2012). Millwood Media.
Carroll, D. & Karmally, W.S. (2000). Controlling High Blood Pressure the Natural Way. Ballantine Books.
Jamieson, L. (2013). High Blood Pressure Demystified: Learn How To Lower High Blood Pressure Fast Using Natural High Blood Pressure Remedies.
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