Health experts point out that high blood pressure can often be prevented or reduced by eating healthy. There are eating habits, such as reducing sodium intake can help control hypertension.
The American Heart Association notes that when left untreated, the damage high blood pressure causes to your circulatory system is a major contributing factor to heart attack, stroke and other health threats.
Eating habits that can help control high blood pressure
1. Reduce salt intake
Salt is a source of sodium and raises blood pressure. The UK National Health Service (NHS) notes that the more salt you consume, the higher your blood pressure.
Among the saltiest foods are processed meats such as ham, sausage and bacon, breads, pizza, sandwiches, hamburgers and burritos. Some cheeses are also high in salt.
For people with high blood pressure, the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends an ideal limit of no more than 1,500 mg of sodium per day. Half a teaspoon of salt equals 1,150 mg of sodium.
2. Increase the consumption of foods with potassium
“Potassium-rich foods are important for controlling blood pressure… The more potassium you eat, the more sodium you lose through urine. Potassium also helps relieve tension in the blood vessel walls, which helps lower blood pressure even more,” explains the American Heart Association.
Foods that provide potassium include fruits, such as dried apricots, prunes, raisins, orange juice, and bananas; vegetables, such as acorn squash, potatoes, spinach, tomatoes, and broccoli; lentils, kidney beans, soybeans and nuts; milk and yogurt; meat, poultry and fish.
3. Limit alcohol consumption
Alcohol can lower or raise blood pressure. The Mayo Clinic notes that one drink a day for women, or two a day for men, can lower blood pressure by about 4 mm Hg. But when drunk above moderate consumption, alcohol can raise blood pressure by several points.
High alcohol consumption can also reduce the effectiveness of blood pressure medications.
4. Cut down on caffeine
Coffee is a healthy drink when consumed in moderation and unsweetened. Nevertheless, drinking more than 4 cups of coffee a day can increase blood pressure.
Coffee is not the only drink with caffeine, tea, colas and some energy drinks also contain this stimulating substance, so it is advisable to moderate its consumption.
5. Eat enough fruits and vegetables
“A diet rich in vegetables and fruits can lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, prevent some types of cancer, reduce the risk of eye and digestive problems, and have a positive effect on blood sugar” , publishes the Harvard Nutrition Source.
The NHS recommends eating 5 servings of fruit and vegetables every day.
6. Reduce the consumption of unhealthy fats
Too much fat, especially saturated fat, raises blood cholesterol. Blood Pressure points out that having high blood pressure and high cholesterol together speeds up the process of atherosclerosis.
The NHS notes that eating a low-fat diet that includes plenty of fiber, such as brown rice, bread and pasta, and plenty of fruits and vegetables helps lower blood pressure.
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