High blood pressure is a common condition that occurs when the pressure of blood against your blood vessel walls is higher than normal. Over time, the increased pressure can make you more susceptible to serious health problems like heart disease and stroke.
There are two types of blood pressure. Systolic blood pressure occurs when the heart contracts and diastolic blood pressure occurs when the heart relaxes. Your blood pressure is determined by two things:
- The amount of blood your heart pumps
- The amount of blood flow resistance in your blood vessels
Reducing high blood pressure may be easier than you think. A few simple lifestyle changes can get your blood pressure back to where it needs to be. By tracking what you eat and watching your salt intake, you can significantly lower your blood pressure and risk of further complications. Try these foods:
The consumption of flaxseed has been associated with a lowered systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure. Though researchers are still unsure as to why this may be, they believe it could be the chemical compounds like fiber, alpha linolenic acid, peptides, and lignans found in flaxseed.
Dark chocolate has a higher cocoa content and is rich in flavonols. Flavonols have been shown to reduce systolic and diastolic blood pressure in people with high blood pressure. Researchers believe that cocoa is linked to the formation of nitric oxide, which can expand blood vessels and help blood flow.
One study has shown that drinking beet juice can lower blood pressure by reducing systolic blood pressure after the participants drank the juice. Beets naturally contain nitrates, which can lower blood pressure and promote blood flow.
Pomegranate juice has been associated with lowering systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Researchers believe this could be due to the potassium and polyphenols found in pomegranates. Pomegranates also have high levels of antioxidants, which can help reduce inflammation of the blood vessel walls.
Whole grains are rich in fiber, which helps to flush unhealthy fats from the digestive system. This works to prevent plaque buildup within the blood vessels and decreases your risk of high blood pressure.
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