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Lower Blood Pressure with Healthy Food

 

A diet high in sugar and grain products is a prescription for hypertension, heart disease, and diabetes. Excess dietary fructose is the main culprit behind high blood pressure and heart disease, due to it’s disastrous effects on your insulin levels.

If you have hypertension, it is possible that you also have insulin resistance and unstable blood sugar levels. As your insulin rises, so does your blood pressure. 

To prevent or help regulate hypertension, it is imperative to modify your diet and lifestyle. Following are the best foods to consume if you have this condition: 

1. Fermented Foods. An imbalance of gut flora greatly increases your risk of heart disease and other health problems. The best way to improve the health of your gut is by including naturally fermented foods in your diet, such as sauerkraut and other fermented/cultured vegetables. Make your own or purchase in the cooler section of health food stores or specialty markets.

Other sources high in friendly bacteria are kefir and natto. Yogurt doesn’t usually contain enough probiotics to make a difference. Many fermented foods are also excellent sources of vitamin K2, which is important for preventing arterial plaque buildup and heart disease.

2. Dark chocolate can reduce blood pressure. I hear you cheering, but avoid chocolate products containing milk, corn syrup and HFCS (made from GMO corn), wheat/gluten, artificial sweeteners and flavors. This lets out many commercial chocolate products, like Godiva and most candy bars.

The healthiest is unsweetened cacao nibs or powder, but sweetened dark chocolate bars are the most delicious – choose the purest brand you can, with a low amount of sugar. The caffeine in chocolate can affect certain people and chocolate itself can sometimes trigger cold sores.

3. Garlic and garlic supplements can help lower blood pressure and relax smooth muscles. According to research, garlic helps to thin the blood, prevent the blockage in blood vessels, and therefore, lower blood pressure.

 4. Spinach is rich in magnesium and folate, which can help prevent high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.

5. Sunflower Seeds are a good source of potassium, magnesium and healthy plant fats. Sunflower seeds can help reduce cholesterol levels, open up blood vessels and promote healthy blood pressure. Look for unsalted seeds or those with Himalayan or other quality salt (sea salt is no better than table salt).

6. Tomatoes are loaded with calcium, potassium, vitamins A, C, and E, and lycopene. Compounds in tomatoes can lower cholesterol buildup in blood vessels and combat the development of hypertension in many ways. Lycopene, one of the tomato’s most useful compounds, is activated by heat, so add tomatoes to your next chili or stew.

7. Broccoli contains high amounts of potassium and chromium. These help regulate blood sugar levels and weight, both related to high blood pressure.

8. Melon is rich in potassium. Cantaloupe and watermelon are especially rich sources.

Avoid the following foods if you have high blood pressure:

  • High sodium foods. The sodium from white “table” salt (and sea salt) raises blood pressure, so avoid high sodium processed foods, pickles, olives, canned salted foods, and (most) restaurant food. Himalayan salt, however, contains 84 essential minerals and actually helps to regulate high blood pressure when used in moderate amounts.
  • Trans fats and Omega-6 fats increase inflammation and blood pressure. They are found in packaged foods, most restaurant foods, and conventional meats.
  • Sugar consumption is connected to high blood pressure. Any amount of refined sugar is unhealthy.
  • Caffeine can cause an increase in blood pressure. Limit coffee and other caffeinated beverages to no more than two 6 oz cups per day.
  • Alcohol can increase blood pressure if consuming more than 2 or 3 drinks.

To learn which nutritional supplements help to naturally lower blood pressure, read this post.

The preceding information is for educational purposes only and not intended to diagnose or treat medical conditions. Always check with your doctor before making any changes. This post contains affiliate links which earn me a small “tip,” but do not change the cost to you in any way.


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