Foods That Keep Your Heart Healthy

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension (HTN), is a major risk factor for heart disease. HTN is preventable.  Over 1 billion people around the world have high blood pressure according to PuBMed Central

Blood pressure medications, such as angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors are often used to lower blood pressure. It is also important to consider making lifestyle changes. Modification of diet can help to lower your blood pressure and risk of heart disease.

All people with high blood pressure, including those taking blood pressure drugs, should consider eating a balanced, heart-healthy diet to help lower and maintain optimum blood pressure levels. 

In this article we suggest 8 foods that can help you to lower and keep healthy blood pressure levels:

1.Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are small in size, but they pack a nutritional punch. They’re a concentrated source of nutrients that help to regulate blood pressure. Pumpkin seeds contain magnesium, potassium, and arginine, an amino acid.  Arginine is necessary for the development of nitric oxide, which helps blood vessels to relax and lowers blood pressure.

Pumpkin seed oil has also been shown to be an effective natural treatment for hypertension. When it was compared to a placebo community, supplementing with 3 grams of pumpkin seed oil per day for 6 weeks it resulted in substantial reductions in SBP.

2. Citrus fruits

Citrus fruits, including grapefruit, orange, and lemon, have been shown to reduce blood pressure. They’re rich in vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds that may help to keep your heart safe by lowering the risk factors for heart disease including high blood pressure.

A 5-month study involving 101 Japanese women found that the daily consumption of lemon juice combined with walking helped to lower SBP.  This benefit was attributed to the citric acid and the flavonoid content of lemons.

Drinking orange and grapefruit juice has also been shown to have a positive influence on blood pressure. Talk to your doctor before incorporating these fruits into your diet if you are taking medications for HTN as the citrus may not interact well with these drugs.

3.Beans and lentils

Beans and lentils are high in fiber, magnesium, and potassium, which help to control blood pressure. Several studies have shown that eating beans and lentils helped to reduce high blood pressure levels.

A review of 8 studies published in PubMed demonstrated that when beans and lentils were substituted for other foods, they significantly lowered  systolic blood pressure (SBP) and average blood pressure levels.

4.Salmon and other fatty fish

Omega-3 fats found in fatty fish have been shown to have important heart health benefits. These fats can help lower blood pressure by reducing inflammation and decreasing levels of oxylipins, which constrict blood vessels.

Higher intakes of omega-3-rich fatty fish has been related to lower blood pressure levels. According to a survey of 2,036 healthy people, the subjects with the highest blood levels of omega-3 fats had slightly lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) than those with the lowest blood levels of these fats. A lower risk of hypertension has also been linked to a higher omega-3 intake.

5.Berries

Berries have been linked to a slew of impressive health advantages. They are high in antioxidants, including anthocyanins, which are pigments that give berries their vibrant color.

Anthocyanins have been shown to raise blood nitric oxide levels and decrease the development of blood-vessel-restricting molecules. Berries can help lower blood pressure.

6.Pistachios

Pistachios are rich in potassium and other nutrients that are essential for heart health and blood pressure control.  An analysis of 21 studies showed that pistachio consumption had the greatest effect on lowering both SBP and DBP of all the nuts studied.

7.Broccoli 

Broccoli has a number of health benefits, including improving the health of the circulatory system. Broccoli is high in flavonoid antioxidants, which can help lower blood pressure by improving blood vessel function and increasing nitric oxide levels.

According to a study   involving 187,453 participants, those who ate four or more servings of broccoli per week had a lower risk of high blood pressure than those who ate broccoli once a month or less.                                                                                                                                                                         . 8.Chia and flax seeds

Chia and flax seeds are tiny seeds that are high in potassium, magnesium, and fiber, all of which are essential for good blood pressure control. A small 12-week study was performed involving 26 people with high blood pressure.  The participants that received 35 grams of chia seed flour per day had a significant reduction of blood pressure in both the medicated and unmedicated groups.

X