Hypertension or high blood pressure is defined as systolic blood pressure averaging or above 140 mm hg and diastolic blood pressure averaging or more than 90 mm hg. It is one of the common lifestyle disorder now. There can be further contraindication of long-term hypertension which can put you at risk for certain health conditions like stroke and heart disease.
Dietary approaches to stop hypertension diet ( DASH diet) involves specific principles which aims at eating healthy along with reduction of sodium in diet & add variety of foods that are rich in nutrients like potassium, calcium and magnesium which lowers blood pressure. Certain examples of such foods are yogurt, tilapia fish, banana, red bell pepper, broccoli and sweet potato.
There some specific foods which helps in relaxation of blood vessels thus lowering down the blood pressure. Following are the foods :
- Beetroot : Nitrates in foods can be converted to nitric oxide which signals the cells in arteries to relax and thus reducing blood pressure. Nitrates when not exposed to high temperatures can become nitric oxide. A good example of naturally occurring nitrates is Beetroot. Consumption of beetroot juice daily tend to lower your pressure.
- Garlic : Quite known for its taste in Indian cooking , it also does wonders when eaten raw. Allicin – the sulfur compound which is active ingredient in garlic is formed when garlic is crushed or chopped. It helps in reducing blood pressure. Supplement your diet by eating 2-3 cloves of raw garlic daily.
- Fish oil : Fish along with A class protein also provides healthy fats – Omega 3 fats. Omega 3 fats are effective in controlling blood pressure . Other sources are nuts and seeds. Fish oil capsules are effective however by consuming fish 2-3 times a week you can get the benefits naturally.
- Cashew & Almonds : Yes, cashew and almonds can also help in treating blood pressure. The ingredient in them which helps to control high blood pressure is Magnesium. So a daily intake of 15-20 nuts as a small meal is recommended to fulfill the magnesium requirement.
- Green Tea : Green tea is majorly known for its antioxidant properties. The compounds which give these properties are polyphenols. The main polyphenol in green tea is Catechin which has same mechanism as of beetroot on blood vessels. Daily 2 cups of green tea is recommended.
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Ratika Vinchurkar is a Clinical and Lifestyle dietitian, currently practicing at RxDx. Experienced in treating nutritionally all kinds of degenerative and lifestyle disorders like Diabetes, Hypertension, Thyroid Disorders, Cardiovascular disorders, renal disorders and other chronic diseases; Her practical approach towards the lifestyle diet modification rather than just prescribing strict regimens endear her to her patients. She holds a master’s degree in Food and Nutrition and favors the theory of “you are what you eat”.