Tips for lowering blood pressure

High blood pressure may have no obvious cause.

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a known cardiovascular disease risk factor. This means that the condition is associated with heart attack and stroke. Lifestyle modifications are encouraged if blood pressure is elevated over the normal levels of 120/80 mm Hg.

Essential hypertension is the name for the condition where there is no single identifiable cause and the risk factor for essential hypertension is increased by obesity and a high dietary salt intake.

What to eat if you have high blood pressure

Avoid known triggers such as high coffee and alcohol consumption, reduce salt and trans-fats in the diet by removing processed foods and eating natural wholefoods cooked at home.

Increase your intake of fruit and vegetables, particularly green leafy veggies, broccoli and citrus fruits. Eating these nutrient-rich foods will supply your body with fibre, calcium, magnesium and vitamin C. Concentrate on your intake of omega-3 essential fatty acids, either from flax seeds and chia seeds or wild/organic oily cold water fish such as salmon. Combine protein with complex carbohydrates at each meal to ensure a balanced blood sugar release throughout the day.

Include celery (for 3-n-butyl phthalide), garlic and onions for sulphur and plenty of nuts and seeds. There have been a number of studies into beetroot juice and hypertension. Beetroot contains inorganic nitrate just like lettuce and cabbage. This compound coverts to nitric oxide which relaxes and dilates blood vessels. A glass of beetroot juice a day will support your body if you have a diagnosis of high blood pressure, just make sure you follow a nutritious plant-based diet to optimise your chances of maximum cardiovascular health.

A beetroot and celery juice recipe:

  • four beetroot
  • one stick of celery
  • large handful of spinach, kale or lettuce (any green leaves you have to hand)
  • broccoli
  • five carrots
  • three to four apples depending on sweetness (the juice needs to be palatable though a high veg to fruit ratio is optimal for blood sugar balance).
  • juice of one lemon.

Lifestyle recommendations:

  • Switch from a sedentary to an active lifestyle.
  • Avoid cigarettes.
  • Tackle chronic stress.
  • Supplements for high blood pressure.
  • Supplement with a food state magnesium or magnesium citrate and a well tested pure fish oil or vegan algae omega-3.

By Eli Sarre.
Wildfare Nutrition
Bristol UK

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Nutritionist Resource are reviewed by our editorial team.

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