One of the very effective lifestyle change for someone who is over weight and also suffering from hypertension, is to shed a few pounds. Losing weight even in small measure can have dramatic effects in lowering your blood pressure. A lot of experts prefer using pharmaceutical drugs while prescribing a weight loss programme in order to treat high blood pressure. The best and safest way to maintain your blood pressure is to eat right. Normal blood pressure is 120/80 and should not exceed the count of 140/90 in order to stay fit and free from strokes and heart attacks. Food like garlic, vegetables, fruits play a very important role in maintaining blood pressure.
Garlic: Garlic dilates the muscles of blood vessels, which helps in lowering blood pressure. It consists of a compound called adenosine which helps in vaso dilation and is also a muscle relaxant. Although, both raw and cooked garlic can benefit blood pressure, raw garlic is more potent and benefits faster. Garlic also interferes with the formation of blood clots and helps in reducing cholesterol. It not only helps lower the risk of colon, gastro intestinal tract and stomach cancers but also improves immunity and prevents gas formation. To get these numerous effects of garlic, all you have to do is finely chop 3-4 cloves of raw garlic and gulp it down with warm water or just extract the juice and drink it. And don’t worry about the strong smell of garlic. People believe that garlic results in body odour, but it’s not true.
Fruits and Vegetables: Fruits and vegetables have certain remarkable properties that have a magical effect on blood pressure. Research studies show that switching to a vegetarian diet lowers blood pressure. Fruits are concentrated with potassium, Vitamin C and loads of soluble fibre, all of which contribute to lowering blood pressure. Apart from this, fruits are low in sodium, which favours lowering of blood pressure. People who eat little or no fruits are prone to high blood pressure. Fruits are the best source of natural vitamin C. Make sure you eat fruits everyday to get your daily dose of vitamin C. Although, synthetic vitamin tablets do help to a certain extent, fruits have other properties which in unison lower blood pressure.
Potassium: Studies show that a potassium rich diet lowers blood pressure and one deficient in potassium increases blood pressure. In addition to a low potassium intake, excess salt intake could also lead to hypertension. In order to get the right amount of potassium, increase intake of foods like bananas, watermelon, potatoes, tomatoes, oranges, spinach, skimmed milk, soya bean, and almonds. Eating three to six servings of these foods would ensure sufficient potassium intake and regulate blood pressure.
Calcium: Some experts feel that hypertension is more likely due to calcium deficiency rather than due to excess sodium. They feel that consuming adequate calcium rich foods like milk, curd, spinach, leafy vegetables, Kabuli chana (Chick peas), Rajma, Matki, Jowar, Bajri and Nachini can neutralize the hypertensive effect of excess sodium.
Fish: has always been considered health food. Fish oils are known to maintain blood pressure. Consuming fish like Mackerel (Bangada), Tuna and Surmai at least thrice a week will help you reduce your daily dose of medicines.
But, health benefits that can be derived from minor changes in eating patterns will be effective only if you follow them as a part of your daily routine. Weight loss coupled with an intake of fruits, vegetables and fish is the key treatment for anyone suffering from high blood pressure. Avoiding excess salt & alcohol will help tremendously in achieving good results. In other words, it requires a change in lifestyle, eating habits and sheer determination to work towards perfect health.