When your doctor tells you that you have a high blood pressure or hypertension, it signals that your health is at risk. Hypertension exposes you to heart diseases and stroke. These two belong to the top three conditions that kill many Americans annually.
How Do You Know That You Have Hypertension?
A simple blood pressure test done by a doctor or nurse will determine if you have hypertension or not. Or if you have a device to check it at home, you can do that too. A reading below 120/80 is considered the normal blood pressure.
Once your blood pressure hovers over the 120/80-139/89 level, then you have what is called prehypertension. You don't have hypertension yet, but unless you take steps to lower it, then your chances of having it will increase in the future.
Finally, if you reach the 140/90 level and above, then you already have hypertension. You should now take serious steps to normalize it. Otherwise, you run the risk of suffering from heart diseases and stroke, as we mentioned earlier.
How Can You Lower Your Blood Pressure?
Changing your diet is one of the first steps you should take to lower your blood pressure. This is especially the case if you are accustomed to eating foods that are high in fat and cholesterol since these two things contribute a lot to having hypertension.
There's a diet plan called DASH which stands for "Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension". This diet plan involves eating foods that are low in saturated and total fat, and cholesterol. Also, people under this plan are required to eat whole grains, fish, poultry, fruits and vegetables, among other healthy foods.
Eating Fruits and Vegetables to Combat Hypertension
Eating fruits and vegetables is one of the most effective ways of dealing with hypertension. Why? Because these foods are effective in flushing cholesterol out of your system. Aside from that, they do not contain cholesterol. Thus, you don't add more cholesterol to your body when you eat fruits and vegetables.
Vegetables that are Effective Vs. Hypertension
If you're looking for vegetables that should be a part of your diet, then refer to the list below.
- Spinach - this green leafy vegetable is a rich source of fiber which helps flush out cholesterol from your blood stream. High cholesterol levels contribute to hypertension because it clogs your arteries, making your heart work harder to pump more blood through these narrow arteries.
- Sweet potatoes - are also a good source of fiber so always have them on your menu to counter hypertension.
- Tomatoes - are rich in potassium. Although the relation between potassium and lower blood pressure is only suggested and not completely established, potassium-rich foods such as tomatoes are still widely considered to prevent hypertension and stroke.
How You can Fight Hypertension Effectively
Of course, it isn't enough that you just eat healthy in the hopes that it will lower your blood pressure. You should also combine it with regular exercise and healthy living to maximize your chances of putting up a better fight against hypertension.