All of the stress we undergo in our daily lives has some nasty effects on our body. Combined with all the junk food you've been stress-eating, you shouldn't be surprised to see that your blood pressure has been steadily increasing. As the cause of death of roughly 7.5 million adults every year, hypertension is known as the "silent killer." Thankfully, there are simple and delicious foods to lower blood pressure naturally.
And hey, it's been a hard year for everyone. Around the world, talk of the American presidential election has been filling our television shows, radio broadcasts, and newspapers for too long. No matter where you stand on the issues that have transpired in 2016, I think we can all agree that we just need a break.
Try incorporating some of these blood pressure-lowering foods into your favorite meals, since we all know that being stress-free is nearly impossible.
1. Non-fat or low-fat dairy
Increasing the amount of calcium in your diet is a great way to combat high blood pressure. Make sure to stick to lower-fat varieties so that you aren't taking in too many calories or saturated fats.
2. Whole grains
Like any doctor will tell you, whole grains are always better than their refined counterparts. By keeping the entire grain intact, its natural nutrients and fibre are retained. Try to aim for at least three or more servings of whole grains a day for the full benefits.
Good news, fellow carbivores–both white potatoes and sweet potatoes are rich in fibre and potassium. White varieties are even higher in magnesium than their orange siblings, so don't let other people tell you that they're just empty calories.
4. Extra-virgin olive oil
Polyphenols found in extra-virgin olive oil were shown to have reduced the need for hypertension medication in several afflicted patients participating in a study. This is one of the easiest foods to lower blood pressure you can incorporate into your diet, so use it in homemade salad dressings or to coat some roasted veggies.
When consumed, the natural nitrates in beetroot become nitric oxide in your body. This molecule is responsible for giving the signal for your arteries to relax, thus lowering your blood pressure in as little as 24 hours.
6. Dark leafy greens
Vegetables like kale and spinach have fibre, vitamin C, potassium, and many other health benefits. Aim to enjoy a variety of these darker greens to get the best variety of nutrients.
Both the fibre and the omega-3's in this tiny seed have proven to significantly lower high blood pressure. Try adding it to yoghurt or in baked goods to increase the nutrition without sacrificing flavor or texture.
This inexpensive protein source is loaded with potassium, fibre, and magnesium. Basically, they have nearly everything you need to combat hypertension. Just make sure to choose canned varieties with low or no sodium.
These yellow fruits are one of nature's best sources of potassium. This electrolyte is necessary to regulate your body fluids and can help combat a sodium-heavy diet.
Berries of all kinds are some of the best sources for lots of vitamins and minerals. Blueberries happen to be the highest in antioxidants, and their flavonoids could help reduce hypertension.
11. Dark chocolate
Cocoa is also rich in antioxidants and flavonoids that promote blood vessel dilation. The general rule is the higher the percentage of cocoa, the better it is for you. Now your late-night indulgences can be beneficial for the soul and the body.
Disclaimer: If you have any medical concerns about being at risk for hypertension, please contact your physician as soon as possible.