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WHOOPING COUGH

BLOOD PRESSURE

Most people nowadays are getting concerned about their blood pressure. Blood pressure is considered as one of the principal vital signs, next to temperature, heart rate and respiratory rate. When blood that is circulating in the body exerts pressure upon the wall of the veins, this is called blood pressure. There are two measurements for blood pressure, one is the maximum pressure, called the systolic pressure, the other is the minimum pressure, or the diastolic pressure.

According to the standards set by the American Heart Association, the desirable blood pressure is 90 to 119 mmHg for systole and 60 to 79 for diastole. Anything higher than that may be considered as pre-hypertension or hypertension. While it is important to have low blood pressure, it is not good to have lower than the desirable range. Why is it necessary to have desirable blood pressure? Having hypertension can lead to several diseases. Since blood pressure is a vital sign, increased blood pressure is not a disease but merely a symptom of a disease. Some of the diseases associated with increased blood pressure are those related to the cardiovascular system, the cerebrovascular systems, renal problems and others. So that these diseases will not be developed, here are eight suggested foods that can help lower the blood pressure to a normal level. Those with hypertension are encouraged to consider these foods in their diet.

1.      Celery

Most kitchens always have carrots, potatoes, onions and celery. But before celery found its way to the kitchens, it used to be considered as medicine in the ancient times. As a medicine, it has several benefits. First, celery as a vegetable, from stalks to leaves, is rich in vitamins K, A, C and the B vitamins. It is also a good source for folate, potassium, finer and calcium. There are several studies conducted to determine the health benefits of celery. One of those studies has to do on its effect with blood pressure, as what the Chinese has long been recognized. It showed that celery contains phthalides, an active compound that can help in the relaxation of the arterial muscles. If arterial muscles are relaxed, there is dilation, and blood can easily flow into it. In the animal studies conducted, 12 to 14 percent of the animals blood pressure was reduced after it were injected with phthalides from celery. Celery may be high in sodium content, but taking celery in moderation helps lower blood pressure.

2.      Wild Salmon

It is omega-3 fatty acids that made wild salmon popular. But salmon also has several health benefits. Aside from protecting the joint, protecting the eyes, decreasing the risk of developing cancer and improving the person’s mood and cognition, wild salmon is greatly beneficial to the cardiovascular system. In a research conducted at the University of Iceland in Reykjavik, it showed that those who are eating omega-3 fatty acid rich foods, such s salmon, cod and the fish oil capsules, have reduced their systolic blood pressure, and greatly reduced their diastolic blood pressure.

3.      Broccoli

Broccoli is highly rich in vitamin C and K. A cup of broccoli can already provide more than 100 percent of the required daily allowance of a normal person. Broccoli’s benefits to the blood pressure have to do with sulphoraphane, a substance that has anti-inflammatory effects. For those having problems with blood sugar, sulphoraphane helps the blood vessels from being eroded due to increasing blood sugar. Without the inflammatory symptoms in the blood vessels, it can dilate and constrict properly, lowering the chances of developing hypertension. Broccoli also controls the cholesterol level of the body. By lowering the cholesterol, there is lesser accumulation of low-density lipoproteins in the blood vessels that causes the blood vessel to constrict causing increased blood pressure.

4.      Dandelion

The flower called dandelion is actually being used nowadays as an ingredient of vegetable salad. This plant is rich in vitamins A, B, C and D, as well as minerals potassium, iron and zinc. There are two ways dandelion can lower the blood pressure. First is with its diuretic action. Those with essential hypertension are given initially with diuretic drugs to lower their blood pressure. Other drugs are introduced when blood pressure has already reached higher levels. With dandelion having diuretic action, normalized blood pressure is expected.

5.      Berries

There are just several types of berries available in the garden, but there are specific berries that can help lower the blood pressure. One of these is the blueberries. A recent research conducted by Harvard University and University of East Anglia showed that the anthocyanin in blueberries, found largely in its skin, can protect from developing hypertension. The research that covers 14 years with 47,000 male participants and 134,999 female participants showed that consumption of different flavonoids has lowered the risk of developing hypertension. All berries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries have anthocyanin, but the richest among them is blueberries.

6.      Apricots

Apricots are known to be beneficial for the eyes because of its rich vitamin A content. But apricots have other health benefits too. Apricots are rich in fiber and potassium, some of the important substances that control the contraction and dilation of the arterial blood vessels.

7.      Black Beans

Black beans are a type of legume that is rich in molybdenum, folate, dietary fiber and tryptophan. There is several health benefits brought about by black beans. One of which is its benefit on the cardiovascular system. The soluble fiber content of black beans helps lower the blood cholesterol level of the body. With lowered blood cholesterol, there is decreased accumulation of low-density lipoproteins in the blood vessel lining, thereby lowering the chance of getting blood vessel erosion which eventually leads to increased high blood pressure. Aside from that, it also contains some of the anti-inflammatory flavonoids, which lowers the tendency of the blood vessels to be exposed to oxidative stress, as well as inflammation, which are the reasons for getting high blood pressure.

8.      Dark Chocolate

People who are suffering from hypertension has reason to rejoice after researchers at the University of Adelaide have found out that eating dark chocolate can actually lower their blood pressure. The reason for this is the flavonols that can help in the elevation of the nitric oxide in the endothelium. With increasing nitric oxide, there is promotion of vasodilation which can lead to lowering of blood pressure. The studies for those with normal blood pressure have conflicting results though. But for those with hypertension, it is time now to grab a bar of your favorite dark chocolate treat.

 

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