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The Role that Diet Plays in Managing Hypertension

When left untreated or overlooked, hypertension can lead to many serious conditions such as coronary heart disease, heart failure, stroke and kidney failure. Incorporating healthy habits and dietary changes into your lifestyle can lower the likelihoo

Heart Health By Himanshu Sharma / Apr 12, 2018

Hypertension and Diet

Hypertension or high blood pressure is a medical condition in which the blood force against your artery walls gets high enough to cause many health ailments. When left untreated, the condition can lead to coronary heart disease, heart failure, stroke, kidney failure and other health problems. Incorporate healthy habits and dietary changes tp lower the likelihood of serious complications.

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For those with high blood pressure, health professionals will recommend sodium restriction to bring blood pressure within the healthy range. Foods high in sodium can cause fluid retention which increases blood volume and makes the heart work harder.

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Some studies postulate that diet rich in macrominerals (potassium, magnesium and calcium) is more beneficial than strictly focusing on avoiding sodium. Low intake of potassium, magnesium and calcium is one of the reasons behind high blood pressure. The macrominerals appear to replace and eliminate excess sodium from the body's tissues, and thus, enabling dilation of blood vessels and lowering of blood pressure.

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As high blood sugar and insulin resistance are the key contributors of high blood pressure, you will be advised to cut back on the intake of carbohydrates. Your carbohydrates must come from nutrient-dense whole foods like fruits and starchy vegetables.

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Omega-3 Fats

Fish is high in essential omega-3 fats can help reduce the risk of hypertension and cardiovascular conditions. Besides, fish oil supplementation is known to reduce both systolic and diastolic blood pressure significantly. High doses of fish oil may increase cardiovascular risk. You should only be eating at least one pound of fatty fish like salmon, sardines, halibut and mackerel in a week.

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Vitamin K2

Vitamin K2 is one of the most important nutrients you should include in your diet to manage hypertension. The nutrient lowers vascular stiffness and arterial calcification to ensure that calcium is deposited in the bone where it belongs.

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Herbal Teas

There are certain herbal teas that can help reduce blood pressure. Hibiscus tea is one such tea that manages high blood pressure owing to the presence of flavonoids, minerals and other nutrients in it. Hawthorn, oolong and green tea may also benefit those with high blood pressure.

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Important Lifestyle Changes

Exercise is one of the effective ways to get your high blood pressure down. Maintain a healthy weight by exercising every day. Avoid smoking as it could constrict blood vessels and raises heart rate to cause spike in blood pressure. Dietary modification and lifestyle changes are preferable, but sometimes, high blood pressure needs immediate treatment and medication may become necessary.

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