Hypertension occurs when arterioles, small blood vessels that branch off from the arteries, become constricted making it difficult for blood to pass through them. As a result, blood pressure rises causing your heart to work harder
If you have hypertension, a physician can help you manage the condition effectively. Unfortunately, hypertension usually presents no clear symptoms. Some people may experience headaches or dizziness in the morning but, for most, there are no symptoms at all. The easiest and most reliable way to find out if you have hypertension is to have your blood pressure checked regularly.
- Expansion of the Main Artery (Aortic Aneurysm)
- Thickening of the Heart’s Left Chamber (Left Ventricular Hypertrophy)
- Heart failure
- Renal failure
- Vision loss
Food/Diet Therapy for Hypertension
Following a healthy eating plan can both reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure and lower an already elevated blood pressure.
Vegetarians, in general, have lower blood pressure levels and a lower incidence of hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases
A typical vegetarian’s diet contains more potassium, complex carbohydrates, polyunsaturated fat, fiber, calcium, magnesium, vitamin C and vitamin A, all of which may have a favorable influence on blood pressure.
A high-fiber diet has been shown to be effective in preventing and treating many forms of cardiovascular disease, including hypertension.
The types of dietary fiber are important.
Fibers such as oat bran, apple pectin, and guar gum. These fibers, in addition, to be of benefit against hypertension, are also useful to reduce cholesterol levels, promote weight loss, chelate out heavy metals, etc.
Take one to three tablespoons of herbal bulking formula containing things as oat fiber, guar gum, apple pectin, ginger root powder, fenugreek seed powder, and fennel seed powder.
Sucrose, common table sugar, elevates blood pressure.
The diet should be low in saturated fat, sugar, and salt. In general, a whole food diet emphasizing vegetables and members of the garlic/onion family should be consumed.
Use a basic vitamin/mineral formula and supplement it with several nutritional supplements that are proven useful for hypertension.
A high potassium-low sodium diet reduces the rise in blood pressure. Sodium restriction alone does not improve blood pressure control; it must be accompanied by a high potassium intake.
Potassium helps to prevent and control blood pressure. Be sure to get enough potassium in the foods you eat. Some good sources are various fruits, vegetables, dairy foods, and fish.
Foods High in Potassium: Apricots, lean pork, Prunes and prune juice, Bananas, Pumpkin, spinach, milk, stewed tomatoes, dry peas and beans, orange juice, sweet potato, peaches, green beans, plantain, potato yogurt.
Magnesium deficiency has been implicated in high blood pressure.
Leafy greens, legumes, whole grains, poppy seeds, and string beans are good dietary sources for magnesium.
Foods High in Magnesium: Beans, okra, soy milk, broccoli, oyster, spinach, plantain, tofu, whole wheat bread, nuts, and seeds.
Calcium is an important nutrient for overall good health. Good sources of calcium are dairy foods such as milk, yogurt, and cheese. Foods High in Calcium: Broccoli, turnip greens, cheese tofu, spinach, yogurt, milk.
A number of common vegetables and spices have beneficial effects in controlling hypertension. Incorporate these into your cooking.
Celery: celery has been used for lowering high blood pressure. Eating as few as four celery stalks were found to be beneficial in lowering blood pressure
Garlic: Garlic is a wonder drug for heart. Quantities as small as one clove of garlic a day IS found to have beneficial effects on managing hypertension.
Onion: Onions are useful in hypertension.
Tomato: Tomatoes are high in gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a compound that can help bring down blood pressure.
Broccoli: This vegetable contains several active ingredients that reduce blood pressure.
Carrot: Carrots also contain several compounds that lower blood pressure.
Saffron: Saffron contains a chemical called crocetin that lowers the blood pressure saffron can be used in cooking. You can also make a tea with it. Many Indians add a pinch of saffron in the brewed tea to give a heavenly flavor. Unfortunately, it is very expensive.
Spices such as fennel, oregano, black pepper, basil, and tarragon have active ingredients that are beneficial in hypertension. Use them in your cooking