Real Good Foods to Help Lower Blood Pressure
- Arugula, or rocket, is a very healthy leafy green that helps decrease blood pressure due to the minerals potassium, calcium and magnesium, which help relax your blood vessels and, in turn, help reduce blood pressure
- Flaxseeds, beets, celery, olive oil and cooked tomatoes also help reduce blood pressure
- Hypertension, affects 70-M people in the US and 1-B people worldwide, and is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke and dementia
Yes, vegetables are on the short list of foods we should be eating more of to naturally lower our blood pressure. But certain fruits, nuts and seeds, also have a place in lowering our risk for not just high blood pressure, but many related illnesses such as kidney disease, heart disease, stroke and several forms of dementia.
The Mediterranean Diet has been around for hundreds of years, and it is really good for us.
The Mediterranean region is known for their rich olives and olive oil, fresh vegetables, fruits, seafood and, red meat.
People living in the Med regions are known to be some of the healthiest, longest-living people in the world.
Most of the diet’s health benefits are likely due to it being low in sugars, moderate in protein and high in fresh fruits and vegetables, along with healthy fats.
Below are some of the Real good foods in the Mediterranean that I like and eat constantly, as follows:
- Arugula is great for the heart and blood pressure: Potassium, calcium and magnesium are the Big 3 common denominators in a diet that naturally combats high blood pressure, and there are many foods you can eat that will take the stress out of how to do it right, including arugula. It is high in potassium, calcium and magnesium, and all 3 are helpful because they help relax your blood vessels, which reduces blood pressure levels. The same nutrients in arugula also decrease your risk of a stroke and heart attack, while folate assists in optimal amino acid metabolism, because a shortage in your system can promote unwanted homocysteine levels in your blood, which elevates your heart disease risk. As a crucifer vegetable, arugula helps protect against cancer, courtesy of its glucosinolate compound, containing sulfur, which also gives it a far-from-bland, peppery flavor. An important vitamin in arugula is folate, aka vitamin B9, noted for its role in preventing birth defects. Eating arugula can also help you lose weight, as it’s low in calories and provides good amounts of vitamins A, C, K and calcium and a number of valuable phytonutrients. When you eat it, chew it for the best results. On the Aggregate Nutrient Density Index, or ANDI, which ranks foods by their nutrient density, arugula scores just over 600, making it one of the Top 10, and that is 30% more nutrient dense than cabbage and 50% more than cauliflower.
- Beets, are excellent foods for our arteries: Beets, sometimes known as beetroot, and beet juice have emerged as a trendy health phenomenon, especially by athletes, as the compounds they contain increase stamina and muscle strength. Beets and beet juice also help lower blood pressure, even comparable to blood pressure medicine, due to the presence of the nitrate NO3, which in your body is converted to bioactive nitrite (NO2) and nitric oxide (NO), which in turn dilates your blood vessels. Researchers have found that the nitrates in beetroot juice lowered research participants’ blood pressure within just 24 hours. Due to the high sugar content of beetroot juice, experts do not recommend this for a long-term solution. But, fermenting beets is another way to enjoy them, and they are extremely healthy, as the nutrients they contain become more bioavailable and provide beneficial bacteria and enzymes. Although beets have the highest sugar content of all vegetables, most people can safely eat beet roots a few times a week. I do, and have for many years.
- Coriander: Coriander seeds come from the herb known as cilantro. Coriander has been shown in studies to reduce blood pressure, which is due to an interaction between calcium ions and cholinergic, a neurotransmitter in your nervous system, which is another way your blood vessels may become more relaxed. Grinding the seeds to toss into your smoothies is an excellent way to get more of their nutrients.
- Pistachios: Eating pistachios, especially those in raw form, is another delicious way to decrease blood pressure by reducing peripheral vascular resistance, or blood vessel tightening, and your heart rate. One study showed that a single serving of pistachios every day helps reduce systolic blood pressure. You can incorporate pistachios into your diet by adding them to pesto sauces and salads or by eating them plain as a snack. I eat a handful of raw pistachios at least 3X a week
- Olive Oil: Olive oil (1st cold-pressed and organic) contains inflammation-fighting polyphenols with numerous compounds to lower your blood pressure naturally. Olive oil is a great alternative to canola oil, bottled salad dressing and other vegetable oils
- Flaxseed: According to the American Heart Association, flaxseed can be eaten to help lower blood pressure in people with hypertension, and 1 study revealed that when people added 30 grams of milled flaxseed to their diet every day for 6 months, both their systolic and diastolic blood pressure dropped significantly. Scientists noted that lowered blood pressure levels from eating flaxseed could cut the number of strokes by 50% and result in 30% fewer heart attacks.
- Celery: Celery contains high amounts of potassium and is a rich source of such flavonoids as zeaxanthin and lutein, along with beta-carotene, which studies have shown lowers inflammation as well as your risk of heart disease. Again, blood vessel-relaxing blood compounds, in this case 3-n-butylphthalide, have been shown to reduce blood pressure levels.
- Tomatoes: Tomatoes may help relieve hypertension, in part due to potassium, but also because of lycopene. However, be aware that tomatoes are high in lectins, which means they should be eaten sparingly and, when you do eat them, cook them 1st, as an added bonus, cooking tomatoes increases the beneficial lycopene that can be absorbed by the body. Boy, do I like heirloom tomatoes, raw, sliced, EVO, with a little bit of sea salt and fresh cracked Java pepper.
Eat healthy, Be healthy, Live lively
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