High blood pressure shouldn't be taken lightly because possible consequences are heart attacks, stroke and aneurisms*. Some of these are quite dangerous and many folks take high blood pressure medication to control their symptoms. But it's great news that you can help your high blood pressure symptoms with food and there are six/seven in particular that are quite helpful.
Include These In Your High Blood Pressure Diet
CHOCOLATE: Rejoice and scream hallelujah because chocolate will definitely help high blood pressure symptoms. Chocolate stimulates the body to produce nitric oxide, which causes the muscles around blood vessels to relax. However, before you run to eat your child's entire stash of Halloween candy in one sitting, know that it's dark chocolate that contains the flavenoids that stimulate nitric oxide, not milk chocolate. Many of the natural health books recommend that you choose chocolate that is at least 70% chocolate. And keep in mind that devouring huge amounts of chocolate candy loaded with sugar and fat isn't advisable because of the 'extras'. However, there is lots of high quality chocolate bars that are beyond delicious and you don't need huge amounts of it to feel satisfied (yes, really).
POTATOES: Who doesn't love potatoes? Another piece of good news … the potato, IF COOKED PROPERLY, is a substantial source of fiber and minerals, especially potassium which is very necessary for a healthy blood pressure and heart. However, to be part of a high blood pressure diet, know that frying a potato in hot oil is useless to bring down your blood pressure. Either bake your potato in a 'real' oven (meaning a non-microwave) or boil it and eat it with the skin on. Right beneath the skin is where the nutrients are located and if cooked too long, or at too-high a heat, the valuable goodies will be lost. This speaks to the myth that potatoes are "fattening": they're not! It's the cheese, butter, sour cream and so forth that makes it such a calorie disaster. The poor, little, much-maligned potato can be wonderful for all of us.
BANANAS: Another storehouse of potassium is the lowly banana. It's also rich in fiber and can be used in so many ways that it can never be boring – if you like bananas, of course. In fact, some research has suggested that one banana per day is enough to prevent high blood pressure. I'm no researcher so I can't testify to that but I eat a banana every day, just in case. :-)
AVOCADOES: Most people feel strongly about the beautiful, luscious, green avocado – they either love it or hate it. But the oils in avocado are very helpful for the skin and health of the body, because in spite of the low-fat-is-good idea, we definitely need some fat. It alss contains potassium and folic acid, which the human heart adores. Further, it's loaded with oleic acid which helps to regular the body's production of cholesterol.
SPINACH: If you've ever watched Popeye, you'll know this famous sailor considers spinach the world's most perfect food. And he's so right. As a kid I reluctantly ate spinach (mostly because my mom insisted) because I didn't much like the texture. As an adult, though I discovered raw spinach and my whole attitude changed. When I fix salad, which is almost every day, I add a wide variety of lettuce, watercress – and fresh, green spinach leaves. All greens are very alkalizing and help to reduce excessive acidity in the body.
Plus, spinach is loaded with magnesium, which is one of the most deficient minerals in the human body and is directed related to an irregular or too-fast heartbeat. Spinach also contains folate which helps in protecting the body against amino acids called homocysteine. When the levels of homocycsteine are very high, it can cause strokes as well as heart attacks.
NUTS: Nuts – all kinds of nuts – are powerhouses of magnesium and potassium. As mentioned in the foods above, these two minerals are very effective in lowering high blood pressure.
SOYBEANS: Soybean are highly recommended by many people because they contain isoflavon and other phytochemicals which can help in lowering bad cholesterol as well as high blood pressure. However, I'm not so impressed with them myself.
For one thing, they are definitely not advised for older women because of their influence on hormone production.
Secondly, the way most of us eat them is definitely not the way Asians consume them. Many authors have raved about soybeans, pointing our that the Japanese, for instance, eat lots of them and have much lower heart attack rates than Americans. That's true – but they eat fermented soy, like natto. Have you ever eaten natto? No offense to any natto lover, but I find it absolutely revolting. The smell is horrible, it has a very strong fermented flavor and the texture is slippery and disgusting. Eating a soy burger or hot dog is NOT going to give the same effects. I admit this very reluctantly because I love those foods and frequently eat burgers with soy cheese and a whole wheat bun or a 'hot dog' with bean chili. But I'm not kidding myself that the soy I'm eating is helping me out.
If you want to ease your high blood pressure symptoms, consider the possibility that some of the best high blood pressure treatment you can have is to pay attention to your diet. At least six of the above foods can help.
* Aneurism: a blood vessel is damaged or there is a weakness in the wall of the blood vessel. As blood pressure builds up it balloons out at its weakest point. The swelling can be quite small or very large. As the aneurysm grows there is a greater risk of rupture which can lead to severe hemorrhage, and other complications, including sudden death.