Sunday, 12 April 2015

10 Natural Remedies for High Blood Pressure

Dark Chocolate by Simon A. Eugster from Wikipedia Common

High blood pressure is no longer an illness affecting the older segment of our population due to the added pressure put on the younger generation and the change in our daily diet. High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is when your blood pressure is 140/90 mmhg or more for a sustained period of time. The symptoms you may experience with hypertension include headaches, nausea, dizziness, blurred vision, nosebleeds, breathlessness and palpitations.

Common Causes of High Blood Pressure

  • Obesity causes the heart to work harder increasing your blood pressure.
  • Excessive salt in snacks and food will impair nitric oxide in your body, nitric oxide regulates blood pressure by dilating arteries which improves blood flow.
  • Smoking is another cause of hypertension which narrows your arteries thus increasing your blood pressure.
  • Drinking more than four cups of caffeinated drinks a day increases your blood pressure over time.
  • Excessive consumption of alcohol will eventually lead to high blood pressure.

Other causes of high blood pressure include mental stress, pregnancy, lack of exercise and exposure to cold climates. However 10% of high blood pressure cases have some underlying medical condition such as diabetes, kidney disease, lupus or even recreational drug use.

Natural Remedies For Hypertension

  1. Sunflower Seeds contain vitamin E, folic acid and magnesium that lower your blood pressure but ensure you use unsalted seeds.
  2. Banana which is rich in potassium helps in lowering your blood pressure.
  3. Watermelon which contains an amino acid called L-citrulline and potassium lowers your blood pressure.
  4. Avocado contains oleic acid, vitamins, potassium and folate which regulates and reduces blood pressure.  Also see the recipe for kachumbari
  5. Beetroot is rich in nitrates that relax blood vessels to improve blood flow; a glass of beetroot can lower your blood pressure in a matter of hours.
  6. Spinach is packed with fibers, potassium, folate and magnesium which not only lowers but maintains your blood pressure.
  7. Carrots are high in potassium and beta-carotene that also lowers and maintains blood pressure effectively.
  8. Garlic contains organosulfur compounds such as allicin which acts on the body’s nitric oxide system that relaxes arteries and lowers systolic blood pressure.
  9. Fish contains omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D that lowers your blood pressure over time.
  10. Dark Chocolate, the best for last, is rich in flavonols which affects the nitric oxide system resulting in vasodilation (the widening of blood vessels) and lowers your blood pressure.

These foods are effective in lowering and maintaining your blood pressure however it is important to also reduce your salt and caffeine intake as well as your alcohol consumption. Taking up exercising and ensuring you get your 8 hours of sleep will be beneficial in lowering your blood pressure. 

1 comment:

  1. Love this post, its always fun to hear that chocolate can still be healthy (even if its dark chocolate).