Did you know that one billion people currently have high blood pressure? High blood pressure is the “number one risk factor for death and disability in the world.”
In some cases, there are no symptoms, so that’s why it is important to be tested regularly by your trusted doctor and ensure that they are monitoring your condition.
What is high blood pressure?
It is something that your doctor will often check. The test that they undertake measures how hard your blood is pushing against the walls of your blood vessels.
If your vessels are stiff, the pressure increases. It’s important to get your blood pressure checked regularly because for many people there can be no symptoms as the levels get higher.
This measurement is important because elevated high blood pressure for too long can cause serious damage.
Here are a few of the foods and drinks that can help with blood pressure.
Eat more plants – This is key
Plants increase your intake of many critical nutrients. Especially vitamins C, E, and folate; and minerals like magnesium, potassium, and sulfur. As well as the all important, fibre. All of these nutrients are needed for optimal heart and blood health.
Some plants to eat more of include leafy greens (kale in particular), legumes, nuts/seeds, broccoli, cauliflower, and tomatoes.
Two plants I want to highlight in particular are flaxseeds and beets. By adding a small amount of ground flaxseed into your daily food routine, you will assist in lowering your blood pressure.
Eat fewer processed foods
Excess sodium plays a very big factor in high blood pressure, and processed foods are often extremely high in sodium.
We’ve all heard the advice to reduce sodium intake for high blood pressure. Not surprisingly, most of the sodium in our diet is from the salt added to processed foods. Reducing processed food reduces your sodium and sugar intake, while also increasing nutrients from other foods.
Coffee has been shown to temporarily increase blood pressure and the effects of this can last for up to three hours after drinking it. Caffeine can at times also have adverse symptoms such as shaking, feelings of worry, irregular heartbeat, or difficulty sleeping.
Switching to decaf or eliminating coffee all together may assist with this.
In addition to food, know that a number of lifestyle factors can be helpful too.
● Smoking can affect your blood pressure
● Drinking alcohol can also play a part in elevated blood pressure
● If you’re seriously stressed, try meditating, yoga, deep breathing, walking in nature, or any other way that works to burst your stress
● If you don’t exercise, start small. Also try not to overdo exercise if you already have high blood pressure.
High blood pressure can be a silent, and very common issue that puts you at risk for very serious conditions.
It is extremely important to have your blood pressure monitored by your healthcare professional and create lifestyle habits to put you on a good path to better health.
Try this recipe for a balancing Smoothie Bowl.
1 cup kale
½ cup berries (your favourite kind)
½ cup beets, raw, diced
2 tbsp flaxseeds, ground
1 dash cinnamon
½ cup almond milk, unsweetened
Add all ingredients to blender in order listed. Blend until smooth.