High blood pressure is known as the “silent killer” because there are often no associated symptoms. High blood pressure, over time, is thought to lead to stroke, heart attack and other kinds of cardiovascular disease, but it can also affect your kidneys and your eyes. Nearly 1 American in 5 is thought to suffer from high blood pressure, and of those 1 in 6 do not know they have it.
High blood pressure is in part due to poor diet, lack of exercise, and other mitigable lifestyle factors. Regardless, many opt for drugs. Because of the risks associated with high blood pressure, for some this may be a good option. (Never get off your high blood pressure medication, and always check with your physician before changing your diet or eating new foods as some foods can interfere with blood pressure medication and cause serious health problems.)
There are some simple lifestyle changes, however, that might help you control your high blood pressure and eliminate your need for medicines. These include regular exercise, stress mitigation, and proper diet. Below are some foods that are on all Phases of the Kaufmann Diet that may assist you in controlling your high blood pressure.
Leafy greens are high in calcium, potassium and other nutrients and can include kale, spinach, romaine, arugula, swiss chard, and other leafy vegetables. Getting the recommended amounts of calcium and potassium is beneficial to combat high blood pressure.
Quinoa is high in protein, but it is also high in magnesium, another heart-healthy nutrient that is useful for maintaining healthy blood pressure.
Fish high in omega 3 fats, like salmon and tuna, are known to have cardiovascular benefits. Many studies point to the inclusion of these fish in the diet as also having blood pressure-lowering benefits as well. The studies indicate that low-fat fish did not provide the same benefit, indicating that the omega 3s are the key factor in the cardiovascular benefit.
Beets have been shown in multiple studies to assist in lowering blood pressure. Beets boost nitric oxide, which acts a vasodilator, opening blood vessels and relaxing the flow of blood through them.
Olive oil is known to be beneficial for heart health; the polyphenols that are responsible for that benefit are also useful for maintaining healthy blood pressure.
Flax seeds are high in healthy fats, fiber, lignans and peptides, all which may be assist in lowering blood pressure; regardless, the inclusion of flax seeds in the diet was associated with lowering blood pressure according to some studies.
Plain yogurt is rich in calcium, which is an important nutrient for blood pressure control.