High blood pressure is one of the biggest widespread diseases in Germany. Almost every third German is demonstrably affected by this, and according to experts the number of unreported cases is significantly higher. Many secondary diseases such as strokes, heart attacks and kidney diseases could be prevented with the right diet and sufficient exercise. Many foods contain nutrients that can help lower blood pressure. We’ll show you what should be on your menu if you want to get your blood pressure back under control.

First of all, it should be said: In addition to diet, there are other factors that influence blood pressure and that you should also take into account. Without exercise and sport, even a DASH diet, i.e. a diet to control high blood pressure, will not have the desired effect. Predisposition also plays a role in high blood pressure and secondary diseases.

While there is little you can do to change your disposition, the stress factor can be actively influenced. So take care of your mental health before it is too late and high blood pressure leads to a heart attack. Declutter your everyday life and make a decision not only for your mental well-being, but also for your physical health.

Before we go into more detail and introduce individual foods that can lower high blood pressure, let’s start a little more generally: Mediterranean food will definitely benefit your cardiovascular health. This doesn’t mean greasy pizzas and pasta dishes, but rather fish, seafood, olive oil, tomatoes, citrus fruits and other fresh fruits and vegetables.

Foods that contain a lot of potassium also lower blood pressure. Potassium promotes the excretion of sodium via the kidneys. This regulates the water balance in the body, reduces the pressure on the blood vessels and promotes the relaxation of the vessel walls. A lot of potassium is contained in spinach, bananas, legumes and avocados, for example.

The DASH diet is not just about favoring certain foods, but also avoiding or reducing others. Salt is one of them. Of course, the salt doesn’t have to be left out completely. But most Germans consume far too much of it, often as an ingredient in sausage products or ready meals. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that adults consume a maximum of 5 grams of salt per day.

Sufficient fluid intake (at least two liters per day) is also important for stable blood pressure. This supports your kidneys and allows excess sodium to be flushed out of the body more easily. However, you should avoid soft drinks and sweet juices and prefer water instead. They provide variety with unsweetened teas.

However, the fluid intake for your body should under no circumstances consist of alcohol. Even though some people claim that, in moderation, wine, beer and other alcoholic drinks have a positive effect (e.g. relaxing or aiding digestion), the negative effects always outweigh the negative effects and every sip of alcohol is essentially one too many. Alcohol consumption is one of the main risk factors for hypertension.

Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, chard, endive and arugula are rich in potassium and therefore contribute significantly to balancing the sodium levels in the body and maintaining a healthy blood pressure level. In addition to potassium, the vegetables mentioned also contain nitrates, which expand the blood vessels and make blood flow even easier.

The miracle cure potassium is also contained in bananas, making the crooked fruit from the tropics just the right meal for anyone who has problems with high blood pressure. The banana is perfect as a snack, especially in combination with exercise, because it provides quick energy in the form of glucose and fructose.

Even a portion of delicious berry fruit can relax your blood vessels. The flavonoids contained in strawberries, blueberries and raspberries have antioxidant properties and have a positive effect on blood pressure and blood flow. They can also reduce the buildup of plaque in the veins and arteries.

Garlic does more than just cause bad breath. Its positive effects on health have always been valued. The ingredient allicin, which is contained in the tuber, is particularly helpful in lowering blood pressure. This sulfur-containing compound has blood-thinning properties and has a similar effect to blood pressure tablets – but in a natural way.

Oats are rich in the fiber beta-glucan. This ensures that cholesterol levels fall and a long-lasting feeling of satiety occurs. This not only helps against hypertension, but also helps you lose weight. So how about an oatmeal yogurt muesli? The calcium in yogurt promotes contraction and relaxation of blood vessels, which further stabilizes blood pressure.

Legumes such as beans, lentils and peas are real all-rounders when it comes to health promotion. They contain a lot of fiber – magnesium and potassium and are also a plant source of protein. Among other things, they help lower blood pressure. But they also help you lose weight because they keep you full for a long time and contain comparatively few calories.

Which specific foods make the Mediterranean diet so healthy and why? Olive oil, for example, contains monounsaturated fatty acids and polyphenols, which have antioxidant effects. Tomatoes provide lycopene, which strengthens the blood vessel walls. Fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which relax blood vessels. Arugula contains potassium, calcium and antioxidants.

What do you snack on in front of the TV in the evening when you have to watch your blood pressure? You should avoid the classic potato chips. These are extremely salty and fatty. The better choices for your blood pressure are unsalted almonds, walnuts, pistachios and other types of nuts. They contain B vitamins, healthy fats, vitamin E, magnesium and many secondary plant substances that have a positive effect on vascular health.

The effect of beetroot on blood pressure is at least as significant as its color. Beetroot contains nitrates, which the body converts into nitric oxide. This in turn dilates the blood vessels. Beetroot juice in particular has a significant lowering effect on blood pressure. Regular consumption reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Chocolate isn’t exactly the first thing we think of when it comes to any form of diet or healthy eating. And yet: At least the dark version can be beneficial for blood flow in moderation. Cocoa contains flavonoids that have vascular relaxing properties. However, conventional milk chocolate or white chocolate does not have a positive effect on blood pressure because the cocoa content is comparatively low, but the sugar content is high.

Citrus fruits are also part of Mediterranean cuisine. In addition to many other positive effects on health, they also help stabilize blood pressure. Lemons, oranges and the like contain a lot of vitamin C and flavonoids. In this way, they help regulate blood pressure and protect blood vessels. They also stimulate the production of nitric oxide, which dilates blood vessels.

So you have a variety of foods to choose from that provide enough variety in your diet and can curb your blood pressure problem – or ensure that you don’t get any at all. The list could go on for a long time and include, for example, delicacies such as avocados, watermelons, kiwis, pomegranates or pumpkin seeds.

By the way, a DASH diet can not only reduce hypertension and prevent secondary diseases such as a stroke or heart attack. The diet is generally health-promoting and, in addition to more stable blood pressure, will also give you more fitness, a slimmer figure and a generally increased sense of well-being.

From teleschau

The original for this article “Lower high blood pressure – these foods have a similar effect to tablets” comes from Teleschau.