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Stroke is a silent killer and one of its major predisposing factors is a consistent high blood pressure reading. As a matter of fact, hypertension is the fifth major cause of morbidity in the Philippines according to DOH. This is the reason why people must take their battle against hypertension into a higher notch. Aside from maintaining an active lifestyle, choosing the best food that lowers blood pressure naturally can also give them lasting benefits. Transform these foods into delectable recipes with minimal salt and the battle against hypertension will not be as discouraging as everyone thought it is. Here are seven of the best foods that can give you your ideal blood pressure reading anytime of the day:
Aside from being a perfect, guilt-free, fruit dessert, banana can also be your best friend in fighting off hypertension. It naturally contains fiber that decreases one’s risk of developing cardiovascular disorders and is also rich in potassium that will help you get rid of excessive sodium (a major cause of hypertension) in your body.
2. Potatoes/Sweet Potatoes
When I say potatoes, I’m not pertaining to those fatty and oily french fries you usually eat in fast food chains. Of course, those will just increase your blood pressure reading a little bit higher due to its rich sodium and fat content. However, if cooked in a healthier way (e.g. steamed potatoes), these root crops can be a perfect source of fiber, antioxidants and potassium, nutrients than can help you kick your high blood pressure away.
Have you ever wondered why Popeye gets stronger every time he gets a munch of spinach? Well, aside from being a great source of energy, spinach also offers essential nutrients that are important to fight off hypertension. It naturally contains magnesium that lowers one’s risk of getting hypertension and cardiovascular disorders. In addition to that, spinach is also a great source of folate, a nutrient that lowers the amount of homocysteine (an amino acid that is being linked to hypertension) in the body.
Just like spinach and banana, beans are also a rich source of both magnesium and potassium, two nutrients that have been found effective in fighting off hypertension by decreasing the amount of sodium in the body.
Consuming small amounts of dark chocolates can give you a significant supply of flavonoids, nutrients that are known to increase the concentration of nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide, in turn, relaxes the muscles surrounding blood vessels and allows blood to freely flow without unnecessary pressure.
Avocado, just like banana and potato, is also a great source of magnesium and potassium. Moreover, avocado is also a natural source of oleic acid which is known to decrease cholesterol levels in the body. Hypertension, if combined with high levels of bad cholesterols (LDL), can be fatal for anyone regardless of age.
This is another source of magnesium which can significantly decrease the level of excess sodium in the body. In addition to that, sunflower seeds, especially those with no salt content, naturally contain phytosterols, a nutrient that will help you get rid of excess cholesterol in the body.
Hypertension should not be taken for granted because a high blood pressure can always lead to severe heart-related diseases or even death if left unattended. The seven foods above are just some ways to maintain an ideal blood pressure but let us all remember that diet is just one part of the portrait. Exercise, balanced diet, weight management, social connection and effective stress management are other essential ways to kiss hypertension away. Everyday is a battle so we must always watch what we do and what we eat to benefit not just ourselves but those who love us tenderly.
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