Hypertension is a very wide spread disease worldwide, as more than a billion people suffer from it. It is one of the main causes of cardiovascular diseases that causes premature death, since, if hypertension goes unnoticed and untreated, it causes vascular complications on the long term. Increased blood pressure puts a strain on the heart, damaging the vascular walls, which can cause serious complications such as heart attacks, strokes, heart failure, peripheral vasoconstriction or kidney failure. Nearly 2.7 million people in Romania suffer from hypertension and its consequences.
High blood pressure can also come from genetic predisposition, but in 80% of cases it develops due to lifestyle. Therefore, regular exercise, healthy eating, reduced alcohol consumption and no smoking play a special role in its prevention.
With a proper, balanced diet that provides intake of key nutrients, and vitamins, we can also normalize our blood pressure.
If we have high blood pressure, it would be highly recommended that we adhere to the following rules:
- leave out refined carbohydrates;
- reduce our salt consumption and avoid salt-flavored, preserved foods;
- increase protein intake;
- increase potassium and vitamin intake by eating a lot of non-animal origin foods such as vegetables, mushrooms for example.
Foods rich in potassium, magnesium, calcium have an antihypertensive effect.
By high blood pressure, dry legumes such as beans, peas, lentils, fresh vegetables such as potatoes, celery, tomatoes, kale, carrots, spinach, spinach, mushrooms, fruits such as pomegranates, citrus fruits, avocados, bananas, dark berries, grapes, oily seeds, low-fat milk and dairy products are highly recommended, not to forget fish and whole grains.
For example, drinking a glass of pomegranate juice or beetroot juice, or 30 grams of ground flaxseed per day, can already significantly change results, according to various scientific researches.
The consumption of flaxseed oil and olive oil has also been proven to lower blood pressure.
Sugar-free dark chocolate with a cocoa content of at least 70% reduces blood pressure due to its high antioxidant content, of course not in exaggerated amounts (1-2 cubes per day).
Here are five examples of the best antihypertensive meals and their recipes:
It contains an amino acid called Alliin, and when garlic is crushed, a compound called allicin is released, which has a vasodilating effect, helps prevent atherosclerosis, heart disease, and lowers blood pressure. Allicin, by the way, is also sold in tablet form for blood pressure-regulation dietary supplement, but it is always best if you eat it fresh, in its raw state. Taking into consideration the above mentioned, it is a must that we have this herb in our household, it goes well with meats, mushrooms and vegan dishes.
Try our garlicky grilled mushroom recipe, for example!
One glass of beetroot juice per day, will assure our vitamin, minerals and antioxidants intake, according to research, and it lowers blood pressure and improves blood circulation.
By many, it is considered a miracle food that contains a huge amount of nutrients that help manage blood pressure. It is rich in potassium, that helps us maintain our electrolyte balance and has a vasodilating effect. It can be used to make many delicious dishes, it is very versatile, for example, paired with mushrooms – another excellent source of potassium and protein – you can have a quick, simple, filling for a sandwich instead of buying a burger!
4. Spinach, kale
Green leaf vegetables are very rich in magnesium, which are responsible for many functions in our body, and can also help lower blood pressure. Spinach is legendarily healthy, but at the same time, as a classic vegetable, it is so unpopular with children that as early as 1932, one of the very first cartoon heroes, Popeye the Sailor, had to promote its consumption. Popeye always ate a can of spinach before performing a task that required a lot of physical exercises, which then made him extremely strong. There’s no research on how many kids started to eat spinach after watching the cartoon, but here we come with three spinach-and-mushroom recipes that put spinach, which is declared a children’s horror, into a whole new light!
5. Fatty Fish
According to some experts, in case of hypertension, it is worth including dishes made from fatty fish such as salmon or mackerel in our diet up to twice a week. Since they are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, they have a beneficial effect on the health of the cardiovascular system. According to a study, eating salmon three times a week can lower blood pressure.
This mushroom salmon recipe, for example, contains a number of ingredients with antihypertensive effects, and if you want to have it even healthier, use low-fat dairy products in the preparation!
In addition to the fact that eating certain foods or healthy, balanced diets will definitely improve our overall health and may even complement the treatment of hypertension, nutritionists also advise us that if we notice symptoms of hypertension, we should definitely consult a doctor!