High blood pressure: Adding a certain type of food shown to lower reading ‘in 24 hours’

Phillip Schofield gets blood pressure checked in Istanbul in 1991

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High blood pressure does not usually have any symptoms. The only way to find out if you have it is to get your blood pressure checked. It’s imperative that you are aware of where your reading is at because having hypertension is often a precursor for far more serious and potentially life-threatening conditions such as a heart attack or stroke.

Changing the diet can significantly reduce high blood pressure.

Research has shown that certain foods can lower blood pressure, both right away and in the long term.

Its well known that too much sodium in your diet can cause your body to retain fluid, which increases blood pressure.

What is a healthier type of diet to lower your blood pressure?

Leafy green vegetables are rich in nitrates, which help to manage blood pressure.

According to Medical News Today: “Some research suggests that eating one to two servings of nitrate-rich vegetables every day can reduce hypertension for up to 24 hours.”

Nitrates are a vasodilator. Vasodilators widen (dilate) the blood vessels, improving blood flow and allowing more oxygen-rich blood to reach the heart muscle.

Nitrates also relax the veins to ease the workload on the heart when blood is returning to the heart from the arms and legs.

In a study published in AHA Journals, dietary nitrate to help with sustained blood pressure to lower reading in hypertensive patients was analysed.

The study involved 68 patients with hypertension in a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial to receive daily dietary supplementation for four weeks with either dietary nitrate (250 mL daily, as beetroot juice) or a placebo (250 mL daily, as nitrate-free beetroot juice) after a two-week run-in period and followed by a two-week washout. 

Daily supplementation with dietary nitrate was associated with reduction in blood pressure, found the study.

It concluded: “These findings suggest a role for dietary nitrate as an affordable, readily-available, adjunctive treatment in the management of patients with hypertension.”

In another study published in the National Library of Medicine, a traditional Japanese diet looking at foods to help lower blood pressure was investigated.

Japanese traditional diet contains considerably more nitrate/nitrite than the European foods.

According to the study, 80 percent of dietary nitrate originates from vegetables.

“Nitrate/nitrite is attributed multiple health benefits,” noted the study.

It added: “Japanese people have an exceptional longevity and the lowest rate of heart diseases.”

Nitrate foods to add to your diet include:

  • Berries
  • Bananas
  • Beetroots
  • Dark chocolate
  • Watermelon
  • Kiwis
  • Oats
  • Garlic.

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