How to Keep Your Blood Pressure Down: Five Diet Tips

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What should be the ideal diet for the people with high blood pressure? The author applied these tips and got healed.

Hypertension is a malady that affects a lot of people. It is usually associated with age and is largely genetic in origin, but eating the right kinds of food appears to normalize high blood pressure. A well-designed diet can keep the blood pressure down.

One of the well-known causes of hypertension is the build up of fatty substances or cholesterol along the inner linings of the blood vessels thereby narrowing them. People with poor metabolism tend to accumulate this cholesterol build up. It is therefore necessary that they follow a strict diet that will help prevent this condition.

What should someone with hypertension supposed to eat to regain back his normal blood pressure? Here are five diet tips on how to prevent high blood pressure or keep it down.

1. Eat low salt diets.

While there is ongoing debate about the role of salt in hypertension, many studies show that salt can significantly increase blood pressure. This is because salt retains water through a process known as osmosis. Too much salt keeps the blood volume higher than it should be, exerting excess fluid pressure on blood vessel walls. Blood vessels react to this stress by thickening and narrowing, leaving less space for the blood to flow through, and requiring higher pressure to move blood to the different organ systems. Thus, high blood pressure results.

Investigators from Germany at the University of Erlangen, the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch and Regensburg, collaborating with researchers from Finland and Austria have shed new light on the relationship between salt intake, bodily processes, and blood pressure regulation. They have detected a new storage area for salt within the skin. If the process behind this storage is defective, animals become hypertensive.

To make sure that you eat less salt, check the labels of condiments and convenience foods, many of which are absolutely loaded with salt. Processed food like sauces, canned vegetables, among others usually have high salt content. Look for low sodium brands. Cook without salt whenever possible; if you must add salt, add at the end of the cooking process. 

2. Eat more fruits and raw vegetables.

Among the most desirable fruits is banana. Banana is best because it contains a lot of potassium, an effective substance to lower blood pressure. It is best taken in the morning, thirty minutes before breakfast. Other fruits like pineapple, apple, and oranges are also beneficial. The potassium contained in these food items helps to balance the effect of salt in the diet.

Vegetables contain glutamic acid, a very important substance able to control blood pressure. Research findings published in Circulation, a Journal of the American Heart Association, showed that a nearly 5% higher intake of glutamic acid as a percent of total protein in the diet was linked to lower average blood pressure. Systolic blood pressure was lower by an average of 1.5 to 3.0 points and diastolic blood pressure was lower by 1.0 to 1.6 points. Even though these values are small, the good news is that there is evidence that indeed, adopting a vegetarian diet can help people with hypertension.

3. Drink natural fruit juices.

Drinking natural fruit juices can lower blood pressure. Beet juice, for example, was shown to lower resting blood pressure in people who had just exercised. University of Exeter researchers in the United Kingdom found that the nitrate in the juice caused a reduction in oxygen uptake. This allowed people to boost their stamina by 16 per cent. 

Concentrated juices sold in supermarkets that claim health benefits that could be derived from their "natural" juice drinks should be avoided. Actually, many of these commercial juices have harmful chemicals in them (see 12 Harmful Ingredients in Power Drinks, Colas and Artificial Juice Drinks) if you take time looking at the ingredients in the labels.

4. Avoid high cholesterol foods.

High cholesterol foods like crabs, lobsters, sausages, and foods hurriedly cooked in fast foods, among others can speed up the build up of cholesterol in the lining of the blood vessels. This narrows the passage of blood thereby causing high blood pressure. 

5. Drink lots of water.

Water is the key to treatment of any illness. No other liquid can be more beneficial than water because of its many amazing properties. Water can dissolve almost any substance the reason why it is called a "double-edged sword." This water property prevents build up of substances that might clog the blood vessels.

Clear Water

When the body becomes dehydrated, 66% of the water loss is from the interior of the cells, 26% is from the environment around the cells, and only 8% is lost from the vascular system. Regularly drinking pure, fresh water balanced with enough salt and minerals to expand the capillary beds can help control and even get rid of hypertension.

Keeping these things in mind will ensure you of long, quality life free from hypertension, a disease largely due to distorted diet regimes in the fast-paced, hectic modern world.

References

Adams, M., 2004. Hypertension caused by chronic dehydration, says doctor; but pharmaceutical industry prescribes drugs that cause further water loss. Retrieved on May 2, 2010 at http://www.google.com.ph/search?hl=tl&q=water+%2B+hypertension&meta=&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=.

Editorial Team, 2009. Resting blood pressure lowered by beetroot juice. Retrieved on May 2, 2010 at http://www.epgonline.org/medical-news-article.cfm/article/19302212/title/Resting-blood-pressure-lowered-by-beetroot-juice.

Fadem, S. Z., 2010. Why does salt cause high blood pressure. Retrieved on May 2, 2010 at http://www.aakp.org/aakp-library/why-does-salt-cause-high-blood-pressure-/.

Fogoros, R. N., 2009. Salt wars - Is salt restriction necessary? Retrieved on May 2, 2010 at http://heartdisease.about.com/cs/hypertension/a/saltwars.htm.

Machnik, A., et al., 2009. Salt intake and hypertension. Retrieved on May 2, 2010 at http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/148913.php.

Warner, J., 2009. Vegetable protein lowers blood pressure. Retrieved on May 2, 2010 at http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=103576.

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