According to a recent study conducted by the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), Indians consume way more quantities of salt every day than what is recommended by WHO. Indians, on an average, consume 9.5-10.5 grams of salt per day. Whereas, WHO recommends that one should limit salt intake at below 5 grams per day.
Due to such eating habits, most people today have hypertension, which is just another name for high blood pressure. What we eat and drink has a direct effect on our blood pressure. While it is okay to indulge in salty food once in a blue moon, regular consumption of sodium-rich foods may expose your body to many health conditions.
In such a scenario, we must opt for a diet that doesn’t stimulate our blood pressure. There are certain foods that tend to regulate high blood pressure naturally.
Research suggests that eating a small serving of yoghurt at least five times a week proves to reduce the risk of hypertension by 20 per cent. Yoghurt makes for a great snack and can be enjoyed by topping it with nuts, fruits, herbs or seasoning.
To cut down the negative effects of sodium in our body, we must consume copious amounts of potassium. Bananas are rich in potassium and they are beneficial in treating high blood pressure. Bananas can be eaten as it is or they can be added to milkshakes, smoothies or oatmeal.
What garlic really does is it increases the amount of nitric acid in your body. Due to the increased quantity of nitric acid, arteries are widened which, in turn, reduces blood pressure. Garlic is also packed with flavour. So it is great to add it to your meals.
Pistachios are helpful in reducing the tightening of blood vessels. Studies have revealed that eating a handful of pistachios is beneficial in reducing blood pressure.
5. Leafy Greens
As mentioned earlier, potassium is helpful in cutting down the harmful effects of excess sodium in our body. Green leafy vegetables are rich in potassium. Greens of beetroot and turnip and spinach leaves are highly beneficial for regulating high blood pressure.
Another veggie that is rich in potassium is carrots. Carrots also contain beta-carotene which helps in regulating blood pressure and also keeps the heart and kidneys healthy.
Beetroots are rich in nitrates which help in relaxing blood vessels and also improve blood flow. According to some researches, beetroots tend to make blood pressure drop within a few hours of consumption. They are a versatile vegetable that can be juiced or can be eaten raw as a salad.
8. Sunflower seeds
Sunflower seeds are packed with vitamin E, folic acid, protein and fibre that keep your heart healthy and also help in regulating blood pressure. But be sure to eat them unsalted. Otherwise, it might lead to an increase in your sodium intake.
Watermelons contain tons of L-citrulline, fibre, lycopene, vitamin A and potassium. All these nutrients tend to lower high blood pressure.
Oatmeal is the best food to eat for breakfast. They have a high fibre content, low sodium and low-fat. It maintains healthy systolic and diastolic pressure. Oats aren’t just healthy. They are also very versatile. They can be cooked sweet or savoury or even eaten raw by soaking them overnight in milk and nuts.