Healthy blood pressure is essential to your life. Hypertension is the number one risk factor for death in the world.
This is a frightening statistic. Even if you are young, that should attract your attention.
Although unhealthy blood pressure levels usually do not become apparent until middle age, the key risk factors for raising blood pressure are much earlier. Years of poor diet and unhealthy living habits will cause losses over time.
When your blood pressure rises slowly, you rarely experience symptoms. This is why high blood pressure is called the silent killer.
This highlights the importance of understanding at any age to help maintain healthy blood pressure levels.
Let us take a closer look at what blood pressure is.
Understand blood pressure
In short, blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of blood vessels. It depends on the amount of blood pumped by the heart and the amount of resistance encountered by blood flow in the arteries, veins and capillaries.
Its measured value is recorded by two numbers. The first (systolic blood pressure) is the higher number, measured after the heart contracts.
The second (diastolic blood pressure) is the lower number, measured before the heart contracts. Normal blood pressure is 120/80 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or lower.
When the pressure of your blood increases, it will push more strongly towards the artery wall, which may damage its delicate lining. Then, fat and calcium can accumulate on the walls of the arteries, forming plaque, which hardens the arteries and restricts blood flow. Poor blood flow can increase blood pressure and become a vicious circle.
Your body needs healthy blood flow to deliver oxygen and nutrients to its organs and tissues, and to take away waste products.
Blood pressure and brain
Blood pressure and the brain are inextricably linked. That’s because your brain needs about 20% of your body’s blood flow and oxygen to function. Therefore, healthy blood pressure and blood flow are the keys to active brain health.
A recent study found that even in early middle age, uncontrolled high blood pressure can damage the structure and function of the brain. The same study found that middle-aged people with mildly elevated blood pressure (but not clinically high) showed evidence of silent structural brain damage.
When blood pressure is high and blood flow is low, your entire body system will have problems. You may be at risk of low libido, and higher risk of cardiovascular disease or cerebrovascular events, visual impairment due to retinal damage, and kidney failure.
Who wants to set himself up for this?
Well, you don’t have to do this.
Starting with the food you eat, you can help control blood pressure.
Foods that lower blood pressure
Generally, health experts believe that the diet is mainly plant-based whole foods, such as fatty fish and lean poultry, moderate low-fat dairy products, nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables and unsaturated vegetable oils, which are ideal for healthy blood pressure. They also recommend avoiding saturated fat and trans fat as much as possible to minimize sodium intake, red meat intake and alcohol content. Also avoid finding refined carbohydrates in processed foods, baked goods and snacks.
But let’s be more specific. Here are six excellent blood pressure lowering foods you can start eating today.
6 natural and delicious foods that help lower blood pressure
According to multiple studies, beets can lower blood pressure. They are a rich source of nitrates. After ingesting nitrate, nitrate is converted into nitrite and helps to form nitric oxide, which has a relaxing effect on blood vessels and lowers blood pressure.
Many studies have shown that eating pomegranate juice can lower blood pressure. The ruby gem of this autumn fruit is also rich in antioxidants, which not only have healthy blood pressure levels, but also have many other benefits.
Berries are a rich source of antioxidants, including anthocyanins, which give them their vivid colors and may be related to lower blood pressure. Like nitrates, anthocyanins may help relax and expand blood vessels.
4. Beans and lentils
Beans and lentils are rich in fiber, magnesium and potassium-nutrients that help regulate blood sugar. Studies have shown that eating beans and lentils may also help reduce high blood pressure.
5. Fatty fish
Salmon, mackerel, sardines, trout and other fatty fish are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help lower blood pressure levels and reduce blood vessel-constricting compounds.
6. Green leafy vegetables
Green leafy vegetables rich in nitrates, such as spinach, kale, mustard greens, cabbage, kale, lettuce and Swiss chard, are rich in nitrates. As mentioned above, nitrates may help support loose and open blood vessels, thereby lowering blood pressure. They are also rich in other vitamins and minerals-in some cases potassium and magnesium, which further help maintain healthy blood pressure levels.
This list is by no means exhaustive, but it provides you with a starting point.
By processing these delicious and nutritious foods in your diet, you will do your best to ensure long-term healthy blood pressure levels.
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