Blood pressure is a far more widespread health condition than many people realize. It has been called the “silent killer” because, although it often come with no warning signs or symptoms, it can cause deadly incidents of heart attacks and strokes. However, the following foods, in combination with a healthy lifestyle can help to lower the blood pressure levels.
Bananas are a great food to lower blood pressure because they are high in potassium, which regulates the pressure and counteracts the effects of sodium on the body. One recent study showed, in fact, that two bananas a day can reduce the pressure by as much as 10%. It has also been shown to improve kidney function.
Eggs are a great way to start the day if lower blood pressure is the goal, especially if just the egg whites are eaten. Eggs whites are very high in protein, but they also contain a peptide which has been shown to help reduce blood pressure levels.
Tomatoes have been found to also be great for the heart, mostly due to a compound called lycopene. In one Australian study, it was found that 25mg of lycopene in the diet daily could lower the LDL cholesterol by around 10%, which is roughly the same effectiveness as a low-dose statin drug.
This is probably one of the most delicious ways to lower blood pressure. Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants and one study found that adults with hypertension or pre-hypertension lowered their levels by about 20% after 18 weeks of eating a small amount of dark chocolate daily.
More than just a great hot-weather treat, watermelon is another heart-healthy choice because it is rich in L-cirtulline, which modulates blood pressure and circulation. This amino acid has also been shown to have a beneficial effect on preventing hypertension from happening to the begin with.
These dried fruits are mostly thought of as added ingredients in bagels, oatmeal or cookies. However, researchers discovered that they can be effect for those with pre-hypertension: in a recent study, when these patients snacked on raisins three times a day for 12 weeks, both the systolic and diastolic blood pressure was lowered.
One easy lifestyle change that could be helpful for cardiac health is to substitute this tasty tea for coffee. One study showed that for mildly hypertensive patients, drinking three cups of hibiscus tea daily could lower the diastolic blood pressure around 7 points. Even a modest blood pressure decrease like that could significantly help the heart.
Lowering blood pressure can seem like an impossible hurdle to surmount. However, including these foods in the diet can significantly contribute to cardiac health and reduce the risk for developing high blood pressure and increase the risk of more serious health conditions.
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