When it comes to controlling blood pressure, the first tip we hear is that we should reduce the intake of salt and foods that contain sodium, as they can worsen the condition. However, did you know that there are foods that help lower blood pressure too?
This effect is due to some characteristics of these foods, whether the high fiber content, antioxidant properties, or the presence of hypotensive substances (that is, that reduce blood pressure).
However, there is a component that deserves to be highlighted for having the opposite effect to that of sodium: it is potassium, a mineral found in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.
While sodium causes the body to accumulate fluid within the vessels, which causes swelling and raises blood pressure, potassium favors the elimination of this fluid by the kidneys by promoting relaxation of the arteries. In this way, foods rich in potassium help to reduce circulating volume, also reducing pressure.
Get to know some foods rich in potassium and other substances that contribute to maintaining healthy blood pressure:
Avocado is often seen as a villain because it is a very caloric fruit, but the truth is that it can be a very healthy option if consumed in moderation and without the addition of ingredients such as sugar or condensed milk.
2. Coconut water
Coconut water, especially in its natural version, is rich in potassium, as well as having a high hydration power. In this way, this drink reduces bloating and helps maintain healthy blood pressure levels.
Garlic contains substances that have a hypotensive effect, that is, they contribute to lowering blood pressure. It is recommended that it be consumed raw or added to the food at the end of preparation, in order to better preserve its properties.
Banana is the first fruit that comes to mind when we think of foods rich in potassium, and it really is a good choice for blood pressure control.
5. Egg white
Eggs were once considered one of the villains of cholesterol, but a study carried out by Spanish researchers showed that egg whites contain proteins capable of exerting a very potent vasodilation effect.
It is still not sure if these properties are maintained after cooking, so the recommendation is that the white is consumed in moderation, alternating between boiled egg, poached egg and “fried” egg with water or just a drizzle of vegetable oil.
Dark green leaves are known for their beneficial properties in preventing various diseases, including cancer.
For those who are looking for options that still help to control blood pressure, the tip is to invest in spinach, which stands out for its high potassium content.
7. Wheat bran
As a result of their high fiber content, whole grains and cereals can help lower blood pressure, since they reduce fat absorption by the body and favor a balance between good (HDL) and bad (LDL) cholesterol.
Wheat bran stands out among cereals as it also offers a good amount of magnesium, zinc, and B vitamins, which promote blood vessel dilation and, as a result, contribute to lowering blood pressure.
8. Red fruits
Fruits such as strawberry, blackberry, blueberry, and raspberry have their characteristic color due to a pigment called anthocyanin.
This substance has an antioxidant function and helps to reduce bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol, which favors circulation and blood pressure control.
In addition to its water and fiber content, which already contributes to the elimination of excess liquids and the reduction of fat absorption, watermelon is rich in a substance called citrulline.
This component is metabolized by the body and favors the production of nitric oxide, a molecule that exerts a relaxing effect on the walls of blood vessels and, in this way, helps maintain pressure at healthy levels.
Salmon is a fish known for its good fats, such as omega-3, which has anti-inflammatory properties, contributes to the balance of good and bad cholesterol levels and protects the body against cardiovascular disease.
In addition, salmon is rich in potassium, which has the opposite effect of sodium and acts directly in reducing blood pressure.
11. Pumpkin seed
Roasted pumpkin seed is an excellent alternative to salted peanuts served as an appetizer. Again, the secret lies in the high potassium content, which helps to relax the blood vessel walls.
Soy contains a substance called isoflavone, which is already famous for fighting the discomfort associated with menopause.
However, more than that, this component has a vasodilating action and hinders the formation of plaques inside the arteries, reducing the chances of clogging of the vessels. Thus, the blood can circulate without major obstacles, contributing to well-regulated blood pressure.
Now that you know some of the main foods that help lower blood pressure, you have one more very important resource to combat this problem. Remember to associate your new diet with physical exercise and make regular appointments with your trusted doctor to check your blood pressure.