Sunday, February 12, 2012

8 Foods That Can Lower Blood Pressure

Adopt a healthy diet and balanced is one way to prevent and reduce high blood pressure and hypertension. Experts believe that the consumption of foods derived from vegetable (plant) and a diet high in fruits is closely associated with low blood pressure.

Given the importance of the influence of diet on the development of hypertension, the experts who are members of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends 8 (eight) foods that are believed to help lower blood pressure:

1. Celery
A physician and medical director of the Institute of Hipertension Saint Thomas Hospital in Nashville, Mark Houston, recommends celery can be a natural remedy for lowering blood pressure. These recommendations are not new. Traditional Chinese medical experts have even been prescribing celery or celery root as a cure for patients with hypertension for more than a century.

How it works: Celery contains phytochemicals known as phthalides, which can relax the muscle tissue in the artery wall, thereby increasing blood flow and in turn lowers blood pressure.

How much: Research shows that eating four stalks of celery every day may help in lowering blood pressure. To increase protein intake, add a tablespoon of fresh peanut butter or almond butter - both are known to have a high content of monounsaturated fats (good for the heart).

2. Marine fish
Content of marine fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, known for its benefits in cardiovascular health. In particular, omega-3 to treat hypertension and reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Salmon, tuna, mackerel, cod, herring, and sardines are one of the best sources of omega 3.

How it works: omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids. The human body can not produce omega 3, so we need to get from the food we eat. Omega-3 acts as a natural blood thinner, making it easier for your heart to pump blood around your body.

How much: According to the joint guidelines of the FDA and EPA, two to six-ounce servings of fish per week is a safe number for most people, including pregnant women and nursing mothers. If you bruise easily, have a bleeding disorder or take blood-thinning medication, you should consult your doctor first.

3. Broccoli
Many nutrition experts hailed as a super food because broccoli contains a powerful antioxidant and serves as an anti-inflammatory. Even the vegetables are also quite effective in lowering blood pressure.

How it works: Broccoli is a food with a complete nutrient content because it contains fiber, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and vitamin C, all the nutrients that help lower blood pressure. A cup of steamed broccoli provides more than 200 percent of vitamin C you need every day.

How much: For optimal benefit you can eat on a regular basis. For variety, you can eat them raw with salsa or hummus, or steamed with olive oil and lemon.

4. Dandelion
For more than a century, dandelion has been used as a drug used to treat various disease conditions and widely used in several countries in Asia and Europe. All parts of this plant is edible, from leaves to roots. In addition to lower blood pressure, this plant is also good for the heart, eyes and skin.

How it works: Dandelion is a natural diuretic, which helps reduce blood pressure by removing sodium without loss of potassium. Excess sodium in the body can increase blood pressure by constricting blood vessels, while potassium helps regulate it. Dandelion is also loaded with magnesium, which dissolves blood clots and stimulates the production of nitric oxide, helping you to relax and dilate blood vessels so blood flows better.

How much: You can eat fresh dandelion leaves in salads, sauteing root, or dried in the form of drinking dandelion tea. Enter a dandelion in your diet as often as you can.

5. Oat grain
Many research showed that consumption of wheat in hypertensive patients may be an alternative antihypertensive drugs, or reduce it by half. Even patients who regularly consumed a variety of grain products tend to experience a significant decrease in blood pressure.

How it works: oat fiber and magnesium both have beneficial effects on blood pressure. Regular consumption of oats may destroy existing plaque buildup in blood vessels.

How much: Consumption of at least one serving (about three-fourths cup) of whole grain oats per day, or at least six servings per week.

6. Black beans
Black bean can work like a magic potion to regulate blood sugar and lowers blood cholesterol levels, both of which contribute to maintaining blood pressure remained within normal conditions.

How it works: black beans is a solid food source of fiber and magnesium, which is important to keep the pressure remains healthier. In addition, folic acid content in it also helps in lowering blood pressure (particularly systolic blood pressure) by relaxing blood vessels and improve blood flow.

How much: One cup of cooked black beans provide 256 micrograms of folate.

7. Berries
Berries are one of the most nutritious foods on the planet because of the high content of fiber and antioxidants. Blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries are the types of berries that have a great ability to help lower blood pressure, thanks to fiber content, vitamin C, potassium, and other plant compounds.

How it works: A cup of strawberries offers 136 percent of the daily value for vitamin C. And blueberries contain a compound called pterostilbene that helps prevent the buildup of plaque in arteries.

How much: Eat at least one serving (one cup) of fruit per day, fresh or frozen.

8. Low-fat milk
In a Dutch study with adult respondents 55 years and older, researchers found that low-fat dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt can help prevent hypertension.

How it works: The amount of fat in a simple low-fat milk is important because it increases the bioavailability of calcium, making it easier for the body to absorb.

How much: In a 2006 study at Harvard Medical School, researchers found that people who eat more than three servings per day of low fat milk showed a decrease in systolic blood pressure by 2.6 points. The fall is better than those who ate less than half a serving per day. So, it would not hurt if you include skim milk, cheese, and yogurt into the daily diet.

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