There are a lot of myths around what foods lower high blood pressure and most of it has no basis in fact. High blood pressure is a condition that can affect both men and women and it afflicts thousands of people each year. Many people think that the only cause of high blood pressure is poor eating habits, when actually there are many other factors involved. Many believe that cholesterol levels are the main factor, when in fact this is not true. The main causes of hypertension are excess salt, stress, obesity, lack of exercise, smoking and alcohol abuse.
Reducing salt intake in your diet is one way to lower your blood pressure. Ingesting salt can have a dramatic effect on your blood pressure reading as it raises your pulse rate and causes fluid retention and swelling. You should limit the amount of salt you eat, especially if you already have high blood pressure.
Another myth is that eating red meats will help lower your blood pressure. Although it may reduce the absorption of lipids and cause water retention, this cannot account for the total change in your readings. You may also experience an increase in urination as well. There is no need to completely remove red meats from your diet, but it’s best to cut down on them. Fish, poultry and legumes are also beneficial when it comes to lowering your high blood pressure.
Staying away from alcohol is another requisite as it can actually increase your risk of heart attack. The occasional drink can lower high blood pressure by relaxing your muscles, but it can also cause circulatory problems. Keep in mind that alcohol in moderation does have some positive benefits. It can help with the treatment of various illnesses and can stimulate your brain.
Some people think that eating chocolate can lower high blood pressure. Actually, it can act as a stimulant. Cacao beans, for instance, contain a chemical known as epicatechin that has been shown to have an effect on blood vessels. If you are having problems with hypertension, then you may want to avoid it altogether.
Another consideration for high blood pressure is that eating too much salt is bad for your health. In reality, salt has many positive benefits including regulating body fluid levels. So, your body does need some salt. It can actually stimulate the brain to produce more serotonin, which can have a positive effect on your mood and mental alertness. The problem is that most of us ingest too much salt, leading to high blood pressure.
Other foods that may lower high blood pressure include fish and soy. These foods can actually reduce your heart rate and may even help you get rid of some of your stress. Of course, any food that decreases your heart rate is going to have a positive effect on your overall health. Eating healthier can go a long way towards lowering your blood pressure.
The above list is not exhaustive. While you should avoid some foods, there are some healthy alternatives for what foods to lower high blood pressure. Many fruits and vegetables can be substituted for high-cholesterol animal proteins, while you can still enjoy plenty of dairy products and protein-rich grains. Adding exercise to your daily routine can also help. Make sure you include activities that reduce stress and focus on meeting your overall health goals.
One last “food” that can lower high blood pressure is water. Water fills you up and keeps you hydrated, which helps you avoid excessive sodium (as salt) in your diet. If you’re getting plenty of water, you’re less likely to gain weight, which is another negative consequence of excess sodium. There are a number of other ways to get rid of excess sodium, as well as keeping your body’s blood pressure level stable. It may take a little time to learn everything, but it’s an investment in your health that will pay off for years to come.
As you can see, there are many ways to find what foods lower high blood pressure. The simplest way is to try to eat healthily and lose weight. Following a healthy eating plan can help, but if you have health issues, such as high blood pressure, it’s best to consult with a doctor first. Also, don’t forget to drink plenty of water throughout the day, as this will keep you hydrated and give your body the chance to function normally. Water is essential for optimal health.
There are a number of other natural substances that can also lower high blood pressure. Garlic, for one, has a lot of antioxidant activity. Grapes contain a compound called resveratrol, which has similar activity to antioxidants found in red wine and other fruits and vegetables. The combination of these natural substances makes for an interesting blend of what foods to lower high blood pressure. Try some of them and see what works for you.