May is National Blood Pressure Month!
Blood pressure is the force applied by the blood on the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps the blood. If the pressure of the blood remains high over time, it can lead to other health problems such as coronary heart disease, stroke, heart failure, kidney failure, and more. High blood pressure develops over the years and affects nearly everyone in the long run. Since May is National Blood Pressure Month, now is the time to check your pressure. If you have high blood pressure, these superfoods can help lower it naturally.
Avocados are the powerhouses of potassium, which is necessary to maintain blood pressure. Apart from potassium, avocados provide other minerals and heart-healthy vitamins. The monounsaturated fat in them reduces your LDL, or ‘bad’ cholesterol, which is harmful to the body.
Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, which has been shown to help reduce blood pressure. An Australian study found that by getting at least 25 mg of lycopene in your diet every day, you can lower your LDL (the ‘bad’ cholesterol) by up to 10 percent. Researchers say that’s as much of a difference as a low dose statin.
Researchers have found that eating a small amount of dark chocolate every day (around 30 calories worth) can reduce hypertension by around 20 percent. Be mindful to buy dark chocolate that is over 70 percent cacao, and only enjoy a small piece to reap huge benefits!
After sipping on three cups a day of the tea for 6 weeks, slightly hypertensive participants saw a decrease in their systolic blood pressure of around 7 points. While the drop may seem modest for those with more serious cases of hypertension, doctors say that even small reductions in blood pressure can lower your risk for serious heart conditions.
There’s little that kale can’t do! It’s rich in magnesium, potassium, and vitamin C. A diet high in potassium is strongly linked to lower blood pressure. This could be because magnesium’s effect on blood pressure is enhanced when combined with more potassium.