High blood pressure often has no symptoms, many people do not know they have it, hence the Silent Killer label. High blood pressure can be a significant risk of stroke, atherosclerosis, kidney disease, dementia, blindness…
We don’t want high blood pressure.
We all know what we should/should not eat. But for the most part we ignore this knowledge – cliches are not for us, we are young(ish), and healthy(ish), and active(ish), we deserve those chips and biscuits! That’s until we get a simple blood test and it hits us: actually age does not really matter, “being active” is very subjective, and the time has come to get one’s health under control.
The first thing to do to consult your doctor and get a plan of action. HBP is bad but can be controlled, important thing is to be aware of it’s presence. Here are a few helpful nutrition-related things I’ve seen coming up again and again, all to be discussed with your doctor, of course, but might help clarifying things.
Reduce salt – we do need sodium but most of us consume too much, and for blood pressure sufferers it is a very important thing to do.
Reduce sugar – not just sugar in your drink, high-carb foods. Simply put you eat high-carbohydrate and processed foods and your body produced too much insulin and leptin in response. As your insulin and leptin levels rise they cause increase of blood pressure.
Omega 3 oils – best consumed from fish but supplements help too. Studies show than consuming 3mg of fish oils helps reduce high blood pressure but high doses must be taken under specialist supervision.
Kale – it is a plant-based source of magnesium, an important mineral that most people don’t get enough of, eating plenty of magnesium may be protective against type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Kale contains of potassium, which has been linked to reduced blood pressure and a lower risk of heart disease.
Avocado – like kale, avocados are a good source of potassium. Studies show that avocado consumption helps reduce blood cholesterol and triglycerides, as well as lower potentially harmful LDL cholesterol and increase “good” HDL cholesterol. Positive news for blood vessels.
Chia seeds – studies of type 2 diabetes have found that incorporating chia seeds into daily diet reduced systolic blood pressure (SBP) by 6.3 ± 4 mmHg . Included this link as wondrous properties of chia seeds are quite new for me, didn’t know about research.
Oatmeal – plain oats. Not instant, not sugar-coated, not the muesli with loads of dry fruit and choc bits… Good old porridge or a concoction of overnight oats.
Cashews and almonds – magnesium and potassium again. Needless to say it’s the raw nuts that help, not the salted or candied ones 🙂
Rooibos tea – many great properties are attributed to this great tea, most importantly, it does now does not have caffeine, which needs to be avoided if HBP is an issue.
And here is an article on High Blood Pressure from the Precision Nutrition specialists, which will help understand what is happening and why.
Main thing – once you know what you are up against, you can find many ways to beat it! Wonderful, exciting, stress-free, tasty ways 🙂