IndianSpice

HEALTH: Superfoods To Help With High BP

High blood pressure has been named the ‘silent killer’ and with good reason. What’s even more startling is that although high blood pressure is easy to detect, a vast majority of these patients were not even aware that they had a condition.

Uncontrolled hypertension can be dangerous as it can lead to a heart attack or a stroke. The bad news is using medications to tackle this threat can be just as risky. A 2010 study published by The Journal Of The American Medical Association revealed that less is more (preferably) when it comes to taking high blood pressure medication, as it does more harm than good.

Experts suggest that instead of using drugs to throw a blanket over the problem temporarily, it is better to address the issue at its cause. One of the key elements to lower your blood pressure is to eat foods that have a proven track record of lowering blood pressure naturally. With one-third of our population set to get afflicted by hypertension by 2020, it is about time you added these super foods to your grocery list, if you have not already.

Pomegranate
A 150 ml glass of pomegranate juice a day between lunch and dinner for a couple of weeks keeps your blood pressure at bay, established a 2014 study in Physiotherapy research. It seems like the antioxidants and bioactive polyphenols in this delightful fruit possess more medicinal properties than we can guess.

Watermelon
Low blood pressure narrows your blood vessels, and the nitric oxide in the amino acids packed in this wonder fruit does exactly the opposite by widening them. A 2010 study in the FASEB Journal found a reduction in blood pressure when people with hypertension ate watermelon twice a day for six weeks. It also found a loosening up of the arteries to allow for ease of blood flow.

Beetroot
One of the go-to super foods of Olympians, beetroot can pack a punch if you are battling hypertension due to its ability to convert the nitrate organically present in it to nitric oxide. A 2008 study in Hypertension found that healthy people who consumed beetroot experienced a plunge in their blood pressure three hours later.

Garlic
Ancient Greek physician, Hippocrates, who fashioned the statement, “let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food,” used to prescribe garlic to treat several medical conditions due to an organic compound called allicin that develops when you crush or chop garlic. Various studies, including a 2008 study in BMC Cardiovascular Disorders, found that garlic can effectively reduce your blood pressure apart from just leaving behind a pungent aftertaste in your mouth!

Oats
Oats has long been touted as a fibre-rich food and has an extensive list of health-related benefits. These include the lowering of your blood pressure and reducing the levels of bad cholesterol in your body according to a study in the Journal of Family Practice.

Dark chocolate
This sinful snack packs more benefits than its infamous reputation of leaving you aroused. Flavonoids, an organic compound found in cocoa, are also shown to increase the production of nitric oxide in your system, which dilates your blood vessels and helps lower your blood pressure. A 2008 study in the Journal of Nutrition found that consuming dark chocolate rich in flavonoids (at least 70 per cent or above) for 15 days could bring down hypertension. Now there’s another reason for you to indulge in some dark chocolate!