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Hypertension is a common disease in India. One in every three Indians has high blood pressure. It is a long term medical condition where the pressure of blood against your artery wall is always elevated. Despite being common, this disease can go unnoticed and hence untreated for years.
It causes damage to your blood vessels, which increases the risk of heart diseases, kidney disease, and stroke. To manage this disease, some lifestyle changes are very important. Daily exercise and a diet rich in potassium, magnesium, fiber and low in sodium, will be great as initial treatment.
Given below are the 5 best foods you can include in your diet to manage hypertension.
Oat flakes: Having oats in breakfast is a great way to start a day. They are gluten-free and a great source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They are high in fiber, low in both fat and sodium, which makes them a perfect meal for hypertensive patients. Moreover, they consist of a soluble fiber called “Beta-Glucan”, which the studies prove is strongly linked to controlling blood pressure. You can make oatmeal in breakfast, with the oat flakes and some berries or cinnamon added to it for taste. Even adding a banana to it would be a very healthy option as it is rich in potassium.
Flax seeds: Flax seeds are a great source of potassium. Potassium has a double effect in lowering the blood pressure. It helps to reduce the sodium in the body through urine and eases tension in the blood vessels. High in fiber (20 grams of flaxseeds provide 6 grams of fiber), they help to suppress hunger as they make you feel fuller for a longer time. Hence, eating unsalted flax seeds between the meals can help you lose weight which can have a positive impact on your blood pressure.
Moringa leaf powder: Moringa leaf powder is made from the leaves of Moringa Oleifera, a tree native to tropical regions. Sprinkling it in your soup or salad, using it as a seasoning or mixing it into smoothies, can make your meal much healthier. It is rich in minerals like magnesium and zinc that helps the muscles of blood vessel relax, to maintain healthy blood pressure. It also contains Vitamin C, which helps with the normal functioning of blood vessels. Moringa powder consists of a powerful flavonoid that is effective in reducing blood cholesterol which in turn regulates blood pressure.
Chia seeds: Chia seeds are tiny black seeds, which are considered as a “superfood”. Mixed into healthy juices, yogurt or oatmeal, they elevate the nutrient profile of the meal. They are high in omega-3 fatty acids that can only be obtained from a healthy diet. These essential acids, also known as Alpha-linoleic acid (ALA) blocks down the formation of substances that instigates the blood pressure and also helps to normalize the heartbeat. Chia seeds are also a great source of soluble fiber which slows the absorption of sugar and fats to balance the cholesterol. This has a beneficial effect on the circulation of blood which ultimately lowers blood pressure.
Dates: It is necessary to cut down the intake of fat and sugar if you are suffering from hypertension. Dates are a natural source of sweetness. You can use dates in your meals instead of sugar. They also reduce triglyceride levels, which is a type of fat in the blood. They contain 20% RDA* of potassium and 14% RDA* of magnesium which helps the muscles to relax and lessens the likelihood of abnormal heart rhythms.
They are also rich in B complex vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6, and pantothenic acid as well as folic acid. According to research studies, B complex vitamins have a positive impact on blood pressure as they are known for being stress relievers. (*RDA – Recommended Dietary allowance)
Summing it up
Alongside this five food, it is very important to form an all-around diet strategy for hypertensive patients. Sugar and refined carbohydrates should be replaced by plenty of fruits and vegetables. Intake of sodium and alcohol should also reduce. Diet is one important factor that can be controlled in such a long-term disease like hypertension and it should not be taken lightly.