Hypertension can creep up on you slowly and quietly, giving off very few — if any — warning signs about the impending devastation. Most of the time you don’t realize your body has been infiltrated until you feel the fallout like heart attack, stroke or even kidney failure. For optimal health condition, avoid smoking, manage stress and exercise regularly. One of the most overwhelmingly helpful decisions you can make is to improve the quality of food you put in your mouth because diet has a huge effect on blood pressure balancing. Small, quantifiable changes in food or diet like the four below can help reduce risk of high blood pressure and improve heart health overall
(1) SNEAK A FRUIT OR VEGETABLE INTO EVERY MEAL OR SNACKS YOU
Consuming three to five servings of both fruits and vegetables each day, along with less sodium, may help to reduce systolic pressure by five to 13 points. How that looks: At breakfast, top yogurt with fresh blueberries or melon. Add a side salad at lunch and carry a banana with you as you head out the door for an easy snack. At dinner, aim to fill half your plate with your favorite fresh or frozen vegetables that are sautéed, steamed, grilled or served raw in salad. Skipping fried versions can help cut back on calories and sodium from breading.
(2) SKIP THE SALT
Cutting back on how much salt you slurp up will improve the heart health of most people with high blood pressure. Sticking to the recommended levels of 6 grams per day could provide a major boost. Most sodium overload comes from packaged foods and condiments, like soy sauce, frozen meals, breads, snack bars and even cereals.
(3) REACH FOR THE NUTS
A handful of nuts a day may help save your heart and lower blood pressure. Nuts are not only great sources of the important minerals like potassium, calcium and magnesium, but they’re also loaded with plant-based antioxidants and amino acids. To increase your intake, try tossing a handful of nuts into a salad or stir-fry.
(4) SIP A CUP OF JOE
If you have been shying away from coffee over the concern that it could elevate your blood pressure, you will probably be happy to hear otherwise. Coffee and tea are both amazing sources of antioxidants, potassium and polyphenolic compounds, which have been linked to reducing blood pressure.
BY PRINCE IKECHUKWU(prinsoo2016)