Foods Against High Blood Pressure

Jan 07, 2013 05:56 PM EST

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Berries against high blood pressure
(Photo : Flickr: Rubbermaid Products)

According to CDC(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), about 1 in 3 U.S adults - an estimated 68 million people - has high blood pressure. High blood pressure was listed as a primary or contributing cause of death for about 348.000 Americans in 2008. Having high blood pressure puts you at risk for heart disease and stroke, leading causes of death in the United States. People of all ages and backgrounds can develop high blood pressure, However, fortunately it is mostly preventable.

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Here are several tips to help lower your blood pressure numbers while you eat delicious food.

1. Berries

Berries such as blueberries, raspberries and strawberries, decrease your high blood pressure. They contain natural compounds(Anthocyanins) that protect against hypertension, according to British and American study of about 157,000 men and women published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

2. Whole-grain, high-fiber Cereals

Whole-grain, high-fiber cereals like oatmeal, oat squares, bran flakes or shredded wheat, can reduce your high blood pressure according to Harvard University researchers. You could double your health rewards by topping your cereal with berries.

3. Potato

A baked potato is high in potassium and magnesium. These two minerals help fight high blood pressure. If Americans boosted their potassium intake, adult cases of high blood pressure could fall by more than 10 percent. Here are some other foods high in both these minerals: halibut, spinach, bananas, soybeans, kidney beans and plain nonfat yogurt.

4. Beet Juice

A cup of beet juice can lower blood pressure within just a few hours, according to a Queen Mary University of London study published last year in the American Heart Association journal Hypertension. The nitrate in the juice has the same effect as taking a nitrate tablet. Other nitrate-rich foods include spinach, lettuce, cabbage, carrots and, whole beets.

5. Skim Milk

Eating low-fat dairy products can reduce a woman's risk of developing hypertension. The women who ate the most low-fat dairy products - yogurt, low-fat cottage cheese, frozen yogurt, skim or low-fat milk - were 11 percent less likely to develop high blood pressure.

6. Dark Chocolate

1 ounce square of dark chocolate daily can help lower blood pressure, especially in people who already have hypertension, according to Harvard researchers. Dark chocolate is high in flavonoids that cause dilation of the blood vessels.

Additionally, if you reduce sodium in your diet, it controls your high blood pressure. Even a small reduction in the sodium in your diet can reduce blood pressure by 2 to 8 mm Hg. Limiting the amount of alcohol also lower your blood pressure by 2 to 4 mm Hg. Drinking caffeinated beverages can temporarily cause a spike in your blood pressure.

If you check your pressure within 30 minutes of drinking a cup of coffee or another caffeinated beverage you regularly drink and your blood pressure increases by five to 10 points, you may be sensitive to the blood pressure raising effects of caffeine. The reduction of caffeine prevents your high blood pressure.


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