Shopping For These Foods Will Help You Keep Blood Pressure Low

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a condition that if left unchecked can lead to serious health complications and may even be fatal. Hypertension can cause a heart attack, stroke, or chronic heart failure.

High blood pressure can be aggravated by smoking, eating high fat and greasy foods and drinking too much alcohol. Also, not getting enough exercise can cause blood pressure to spike. Those who are diabetic or obese are vulnerable to hypertension. Often times high blood pressure is asymptomatic and because of this, it is important to monitor the blood pressure levels regularly. Practicing healthy lifestyle habits will greatly reduce high blood pressure and keep it at a stable level. These habits include getting daily physical activity and limiting alcoholic and tobacco usage. Another effective method to naturally prevent high blood pressure is through diet. Eating certain foods can help lower high blood pressure. What follows are some of the best foods to shop for to keep high blood pressure away.

1 - Whole Grains

Foods that contain whole grains can help lower high blood pressure in several ways. Whole grains contain a lot of fiber and that helps the person eating it feel full much faster. When one’s appetite is quenched quickly, they are less likely to eat junk food for instant gratification. Junk food is often full of sodium and that can contribute to high blood pressure. Whole grains also contain an abundance of potassium. Potassium helps to balance the high sodium levels that can build up in the body. When a person eats too many salty foods, their sodium levels can increase drastically and the kidneys are unable to filter out the excessive sodium properly and this can lead to high blood pressure. The potassium found in whole grains can help alleviate this problem.

2 - Chocolate

Cocoa and chocolate contain a large number of polyphenols called flavanols. Flavonols can help reduce high blood pressure because they contribute to the creation of nitric acid. Nitric acid has dilation properties that help widen blood vessels. When the blood vessels are expanded, it allows blood to flow through easily and this can help lower high blood pressure. Be sure to get chocolate that has at least 60-70% cocoa in it. Bittersweet chocolate is a good choice for someone to pick if they are trying to lower their blood pressure naturally. Milk chocolate contains very little unsweetened cocoa and therefore is not effective in lowering blood pressure.

3 -  Fruits

There are certain fruits that can help reduce high blood pressure. Citrus fruits, like oranges, grapefruit, and lemons are packed full of nutrients. They are loaded with vitamin C, dietary fiber, and potassium. All of these nutrients are known to help lower blood pressure that is high. Berries, like blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries, contain vibrant flavonoids that produce a lowering effect on blood pressure. Aim to eat about 2 cups of these fruits daily. Pomegranates are another fruit that is helpful in lowering high blood pressure. This fruit has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that help fortify the heart. Drinking about 2 oz of pomegranate juice can really benefit the cardiovascular system.

4 - Leafy Greens

Eating green vegetables that are leafy can lower high blood pressure. They contain a large amount of potassium. The potassium helps the kidneys get rid of excess sodium that could easily build up in the blood vessels and lead to high blood pressure. Vegetables like arugula, collard greens, spinach, and kale can significantly decrease blood pressure that is too high. Try not to eat canned green vegetables, as there is a high sodium content in them. Buy fresh or frozen vegetables if possible. Consider buying frozen vegetables because they contain the same potency as fresh ones, but keep longer and are easily accessible.

5 - Beets

These red root vegetable are jam-packed with nutrients that are good for the body. One nutrient that beets contain is nitrates. Once consumed, nitrates converts into nitric oxide in the body. This chemical, in turn, causes the blood vessels in the body to dilate. The dilated blood vessels enhance blood flow throughout the body and lessen the chance of blood pressure building up. Beets can be made into juice and drinking a cup a day can help control high blood pressure. Beets also help improve endurance and stamina when exercising. This is important because exercising can boost the overall health of blood vessels and keep blood pressure at a safe and normal level.