10 Best and Worst Foods for Blood Pressure

healthy food - FishOne reason for essential hypertension is western-style dietary habits. If you notice that people living in rural areas of China, Brazil, and Africa show no signs of essential hypertension, even with advanced age. To help you solve this problem, here are top food you should eat and 4 foods that should be avoided.

Top 6 foods to choose

Fish is the healthiest animal product; it has high protein and low fat content. The omega-3′s fish and with other nutrients can protect blood vessels from plaque, reduce inflammation, and prevent high blood pressure.

Olive oil
Olive oil has been shown to have beneficial effects on blood lipids and may also lower blood pressure. Consuming more olive oil is linked with lowered blood pressure. Use olive oil for cooking and on salads.

Apple cider vinegar
Vinegar alkalizes the body and lowers your blood pressure. First thing in the morning, when your stomach is empty, drink 8 ounces of warm water mixed with 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar and 1 tsp honey regularly. The honey ensures regularity of bowel movement, which is helpful since constipation may aggravate high blood pressure.

Flaxseed oil
Flaxseeds are full of omega-3 fatty acids that protect your blood vessels from plaque.

Celery juice
Two to three 8 oz glasses a day for a month can help prevent high blood pressure or restore it to normal. In addition, celery is known to prevent gout and other arthritic conditions. Studies have found that this stalk is packed with over a dozen anti-inflammatory agents, including apigenin, a cox2-inhibiting compound similar to some anti-inflammatory drugs. Who knew celery was more than just a garnish?

A natural diuretic, cucumber will help hydrate and lower the pressure in the arteries. Eat 2 fresh cucumbers every day for 2 weeks.

Top 4 foods to avoid

Recent studies have shown that increased salt intake is proportional to an increase in cancers of the stomach, esophagus, and bladder, besides heart disease, high blood pressure, and osteoporosis.

Alternative: Herbs and spices.
Best choices are fennel, garlic, ginger, oregano, black pepper, basil and tarragon, all of which possess active ingredients that are beneficial for hypertension. Vinegar is another flavorful option.

Some researchers have suggested that caffeine narrows blood vessels by blocking the effects of adenosine, a hormone that helps keep them widened. Caffeine may also stimulate the adrenal gland to release more cortisol and adrenaline, which causes your blood pressure to increase.

Alternative: Green tea
Green tea can help reverse some of the risk factors associated with heart disease, including high blood pressure and abnormal blood clotting. Much of the research on green tea has been conducted in Japan, where men and women drink a high daily intake of green tea, and also have one of the lowest incidences of heart disease in the world.

Refined Sugar
Most of the excess sugar ends up being stored as fat in your body, resulting in weight gain and elevating heart disease and cancer risk. Sugar makes blood pressure rise, especially in people who are overweight.

Alternative: Honey
Honey contains vitamins and minerals that are lacking in refined table sugar, making it much healthier for you. Instead of refined sweets, go for the natural delicious flavors of fresh fruit and berries.

Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can raise blood pressure to unhealthy levels. Also, keep in mind that alcohol contains calories and may contribute to unwanted weight gain — a risk factor for high blood pressure.

Alternative: Non-alcoholic drinks
Filtered water with a lemon or lime is going to be much better for your health in the long run.

By Dr. Mao

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