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Top Ten Diet Tips for Hypertension Relief

Submitted by Nick on April 14, 2011

Hypertension (also called blood pressure), is quite a serious condition, that can be life-threatening. It is caused by increased pressure in a person’s arteries. It is a very common problem, but can be quite complex, often leading to other, more serious heart and health related disorders. Therefore, it should be checked and controlled as soon as possible, with a combination of the right medication, diet, relaxation techniques and exercise routine. People who suffer from hypertension should reduce their consumption of salt, sugar and fatty foods.

Foods that are rich in fiber, potassium and magnesium are very good for controlling hypertension.

Foods for Hypertension:

The DASH (Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension) includes hypertension diet and foods that improve blood pressure levels, like:

  • Vegetables and fruits: Fresh vegetables and fruits are often high in minerals, vitamins, fiber and antioxidants. Moreover, they are low in sodium and fat.

    Increasing your intake of fresh vegetables and fruits can help you avoid unhealthy foods, thereby enabling you to keep your blood pressure in check. Make sure you include spinach, potatoes, avocados, bananas, apples and pears in your diet.
  • Beans: Most beans like kidney beans, black beans, lima beans, white beans and pinto beans contain high amounts of magnesium and potassium, which lower blood pressure.
  • Lean meats: Chicken and turkey, cooked without the skin are high in protein. If cooked with less salt and fat, these meats are low in calories, which is good for blood pressure.
  • Herbs and spices: There are many herbs and spices that can add taste and flavor to food, allowing you to reduce your intake of salt.

    Spices like garlic and onion and herbs like parsley and oregano are especially good, as they can help stabilize your blood pressure.
  • Cereals: Cereals like brown rice and whole wheat pasta are good for your diet, as they are low in salt and sugar. Whole-grains are good for heart related diseases and therefore, consumption of bagels, whole wheat bread and English muffins is very helpful.
  • Skimmed milk: Milk is high in calcium, protein and Vitamin D and is known to alleviate hypertension by about 3% to 10%.
  • Fish: Fish contains omega 3 content that protects the heart.

    Fish like tuna, cod, salmon and halibut are high in potassium.
  • Soy Products: Soy contains isoflavones that has been known to reduce hypertension and cholesterol.  
  • Dark chocolate: The flavonoids present in dark chocolate reduce hypertension levels, by stimulating the production of nitric oxide, which helps in relaxing the muscles that surround the blood vessels. Half an ounce of dark chocolate a day is enough to reduce blood pressure.
  • Sunflower seeds: Consumption of unsalted sunflower seeds is a great way to increase your intake of magnesium. They also contain Phytosterols, which can reduce cholesterol levels in your body.
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