High blood pressure is the biggest killer in the world. The World Health Organization estimates that raised blood pressure kills more than 7.5 million people per year – more than die from smoking or a bad diet.
High blood pressure is, however, an insidious disease. Most people who have it don’t show any signs. They can live for years with malignant hypertension, not knowing a thing about it – until it’s too late, of course.
The most sensible strategy, therefore, is to ensure that you have a regular blood pressure evaluation. By doing this, you can track whether you have hypertension or not.
If you do, your doctor will probably put you on blood pressure-lowering medications. But you don’t have to rely solely on these. You can also try introducing certain antihypertensive foods into your diet.
If you’re prone to hypertension, you might want to try including more flaxseed in your diet.
Flaxseed is, in many ways, unique in the nuts and seeds food group. Unlike most nuts, it contains an overwhelming quantity of omega-three fats, many of which are associated with cardiovascular health. When you eat flaxseeds, the nutrients that they contain directly contributes to making the arteries more flexible, allowing them to open wider with every beat of your heart. The beneficial compounds in the plant incorporate into the endothelium – the lining of the arteries – making it more pliable and durable.
The great thing about flaxseed is that it is super simple to include in your diet. Don’t buy a bottle of flaxseed oil. It doesn’t taste very good and isn’t as good for you as the real thing. Just grind some flax up in a blender and then sprinkle in on your porridge in the morning or use in baking recipes. It has very little taste, so you can easily include it in your meals, and nobody will notice.
If you’ve ever had fruit or herbal tea, then there’s a good chance that you’ve already consumed hibiscus at some point in your life. Most manufacturers use hibiscus as the base and then add other flavors to their blends, like cranberry, orange, or cinnamon.
Nutritious science research shows that when you feed people hibiscus tea over several days, their blood pressure scores tend to go down. The effect is actually so significant that a lot of practitioners recommend that you go to your doctor first and tell them that you’ve started on hibiscus tea. When combined with drugs, the effects can be so enormous that your blood pressure drops too low.
Hisbiscus tea is available everywhere. Just pop down to your local superstore and head to the tea aisle shelves. Grab a packet of flavored tea and check the ingredients list. Usually, you’ll find that hibiscus is number one, followed by the other flavorings.
Just be warned, hibiscus tea can taste strong.
Beets – the bright purple root vegetable – is one of nature’s most potent antihypertensives. But why? What makes beetroot so powerful?
It all comes down to a substance that they contain called nitric oxide. When this compound gets into the body, it makes it much easier for the blood vessels to dilate and open up. As they expand, the volume available for the blood increasing, lowering the pressure on the artery walls.
Researchers have shown that beets can start to lower blood pressure after just 24 hours significantly. Continue eating them for days, and you can slash your blood pressure by a significant margin.
Oatmeal contains a host of powerful, health-promoting factors that help to keep your blood pressure in the normal range. One of these is beta-glucan, a type of fiber in oats that has demonstrated effectiveness in cardiovascular health.
Making oats is dead simple. You don’t have to spend ages cooking them in the pan in the morning. Many busy people like to make “overnight oats,” quickly prepping the oats the night before so that they’re ready for the next day.
Doing this is easy. Just pour the oats into a bowl and then add your choice of fruit, seeds, and milk. Fill the container so that the liquid covers the top of the oats and give it a quick stir. Then pop it in the fridge. When you return the following morning, you should find that the oats have absorbed all of the milk and creating a thick and delicious cold porridge.
The foods that lower blood pressure are very slightly exotic but surprisingly easy to incorporate into your regular diet. What could be more natural than a bowl of oats in the morning served alongside a nice warm cup of hibiscus tea?