Your blood pressure keeps changing as you do different kinds of physical activity. The normal range of blood pressure is between 120/80 mmHg to 139/89 mmHg, and anything more than this range will fall under the category of high blood pressure. If the blood pressure remains on the higher side most of the time, this means the person is suffering from high blood pressure or hypertension. High blood pressure is a cause of many health complications such as stroke, kidney disorders and other fatal conditions. Therefore, if you develop this condition, it is vital that you take measures to keep it under check. There are some Dos and Don’ts that you should follow concerning your diet. The following post discusses the foods that you should avoid and include in your diet to control your blood pressure.
Foods to Avoid in High Blood Pressure
We require food to provide us nutrition; however, sometimes certain foods may do us more harm than good. This may happen especially when you are suffering from a medical condition that may make some food items out of bounds for you. Hypertension or high blood pressure is a similar kind of state that requires you to monitor the intake of certain food items. Here are some foods to avoid hypertension:
1. Packed Or Processed Meats
Processed or packed meats available at your local stores are a complete no-no. These processed meats are loaded with high amounts of sodium, and more amounts of sodium are harmful to your blood pressure. Avoid all kinds of packaged meats items.
2. Frozen Food Items
If you have been stacking up your refrigerator with all sorts of frozen ready to eat meals, it is high time that you put a check to this habit. The frozen food items such as pizzas, chicken dishes, pasta etc. are not only loaded with harmful preservatives, but these items are also filled with sodium, which is detrimental to your blood pressure.
3. Canned Foods
Are you one of those, who relish canned peas, beans or other such canned goods because of time constraints or any other reasons. Well, these products are high in salt, and if you wish to see your blood pressure within the healthier range, then you must put a stop to this habit.
Moderate amounts of alcohol may be considered suitable for your heart. However, excessive use of alcohol is terrible for your health. This is because increased amounts of alcohol in your body leads to weight gain and dehydration. Both these conditions may raise your blood pressure.
If you have bacon every day in your breakfast or you relish this meat delight on a regular basis, be ready to face the brunt. This is because bacon is not only high in fats, but it also contains relatively high amounts of sodium in it. So, next time you gobble down a piece of bacon, keep this fact in mind.
6. Processed Cheese
Fond of having your buns, bread or pasta loaded with this dairy delight! Well, cheese also contains a high amount of salt and thus it is best to avoid it. However, if you wish to eat cheese, opt for the ones with no salt and also monitor your intake.
7. Chinese Delicacies
There may be very few people in the world who may not be found of Chinese food. However, if you are a patient with a high blood pressure issue, make sure you limit the intake of Chinese food. Even when you are ordering Chinese dishes make sure you opt for steamed or boiled ones rather than deep fried or the ones sautéed in too many sauces.
8. Caffeinated Beverages
Caffeinated beverages such as coffee and tea are harmful because they cause a rapid increase in your blood pressure. The excess amounts of these beverages may trigger the adrenal glands that release adrenaline substances and excess amounts of cortisol, which in turn increase your blood pressure.
9. Ready To Eat Soups
To curb that odd hourly hunger pangs, one of the easiest ways is by opting for ready to eat soups. These ready to eat soups are not only yummy, but they can be made within no time. However, these soups contain high amounts of salt and sodium, which is dangerous for you if you have hypertension. Whenever buying these soups, look for the soup label with ‘less salt’ and ‘less sodium’.
Your day to day regular meals become more interesting with pickles. However, high blood pressure patients should keep pickles at bay because pickles are loaded with salt. You may wash the pickle under running water to get rid of the extra salt if you wish to relish it once in a while.
Foods to Include in Your Diet to Control High Blood Pressure
Where you need to make some compromises regarding certain food items when you are suffering from hypertension, there are other foods that you should include in your diet to help you control your blood pressure. Following are some foods for high blood pressure patients or some foods for hypertension that you can include in your regular diet:
Banana is a wonder food that helps in managing the blood pressure levels in the body. This fruit is high in potassium and has been proved to regularise hypertension. Also, potassium is effective in minimising the effects of sodium. However, if you suffer from any kinds of kidney ailments, you should exercise caution while consuming potassium-rich foods.
Berries also help in reducing high blood pressure. This happens due to the presence of flavonoids, a natural compound that is beneficial in preventing hypertension and lowering the blood sugar levels.
3. Green Leafy Vegetables
Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, romaine lettuce, Swiss chard etc. are high in potassium. Potassium is effective in getting rid of excess sodium from the body through urine. However, make sure you opt for the fresh vegetables because the canned ones have added salt and high levels of sodium in them.
This vibrant deep red colour vegetable is a rich source of nitric oxide. This compound helps in lowering the blood pressure by widening the blood vessels. Beetroot can be had in raw, cooked, steamed or stir-fried form. Handle this root vegetable with care as it can stain your clothes and hands.
Oatmeal is an ideal option if you are looking for a food item that can help in managing your hypertension. Oats are low in sodium, low in fats and but they are a high source of fibre, which makes them an ideal recipe in combating blood pressure issues. Oatmeal can be had in your breakfast.
If you get diagnosed with hypertension, one of the first remedial measures regarding food given to you would be garlic. This pungent smelling root vegetable is high in nitric oxide. And nitric oxide helps in vasodilatation, which means it helps in widening your arteries. Garlic is a versatile herb and can be used in many forms.
This red fruit comprises of pearly seeds, which are also beneficial in battling hypertension. According to one of the studies, it was proven that consuming a glass of pomegranate juice every day for up to a month helped in lowering the blood pressure. This fruit can be had in the form of fruit, juice or it can also be added in your salads or smoothies.
8. Dark Chocolate
If you are a dark chocolate fan, then this news may come as a pleasant surprise that eating dark chocolate can help you deal with your high blood pressure problem. This fact has also been proven in a recent study that consuming dark chocolate on a regular basis combats hypertension.
Eating fish such as salmon, mackerel and other such fish that are a good source of lean protein. Fish being a good source of omega 3 fatty acids not only help in lowering triglycerides but it is also helpful in reducing the inflammation. Fish such as trout are abundant in vitamin D, which is also useful in lowering hypertension.
Kiwis are loaded with vitamin C, a vitamin which can significantly help in improving the blood pressure levels. According to a study, people who consumed approximately three kiwis a day observed a noticeable reduction in their blood pressure by the end of eight weeks. You can eat the fruit or add in your fruit salads, shakes or smoothies.
If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, it is essential that you make lifestyle changes and adopt a healthy lifestyle that may help you in managing your condition better. Excluding and including certain foods from your diet may go a long way in dealing with your situation. Check with your health care practitioner whenever you wish to make a significant lifestyle or dietary changes.