Characterized by abnormally high blood pressure in the vessels, arterial hypertension is one of the most common chronic diseases in USA. According to experts, it would affect one in three adults and only half would be aware of it. And for good reason, hypertension can develop silently, until it seems innocuous. However, it is one of the leading causes of cardiovascular, neuro-degenerative or cerebrovascular complications if it is not controlled. For this purpose, prevention is beneficial, in particular through hygienic and dietary measures. Asked by our colleagues, nutritionist Michel Cohen takes stock of these foods that are good for our arteries.
If medical treatment is often needed to cure hypertension, prevention is and will always remain the best solution. In addition to certain factors considered inevitable such as age, family history or certain diseases, risky behaviors can be corrected to prevent its occurrence. And the sooner the better.
High Blood Pressure: Why Should One Correct His Diet?
While some foods should be banned to reduce the risk of high blood pressure, others are advised to lower blood pressure. According to Dr. Cohen, these are essentially foods low in sodium and high in potassium, namely a majority of fruits and vegetables. The fat consumed must, on the other hand, be of quality and of vegetable origin to promote the fluidity of the vascular membranes and avoid the formation of atherosclerotic plaques that can lead to obstruction of the arteries. The expert also cites vitamin P, the bioflavonoids found in fungi, fatty fish or offal to promote the dilation of blood vessels.
Dietician nutritionist Gabrielle, explains that despite the importance of a treatment to avoid complications of hypertension, the diet can, on the other hand, act as a preventive measure. In moderate cases, it would even improve it, emphasizes the specialist. Thus, among the recommended hygienic-dietary measures, she believes that priority should be given to “home-made”, as this is the only way to really control the amount of salt consumed. An opinion shared by Dr. Cohen that presents us with concrete solutions to put on our plate.
1. The Avocado
Although it is often considered too caloric, avocado is actually a true ally to care for its cardiovascular system thanks to its content of linoleic acid, an unsaturated fatty acid beneficial to heart health. Dr. Cohen adds that it also contains traces of beta-sitosterol, which helps reduce the level of LDL cholesterol in the body, namely bad blood cholesterol. On the other hand, it is not recommended to consume it with mayonnaise or any other high-calorie sauce that may hinder its positive action.
Asked about its fetish foods to alleviate hypertension, garlic is at the top of the list for Gabrielle who explains that it acts as a blood thinner. Dr Cohen agreed with his opinion that this condiment “reduces platelet aggregation” and added “also contains a hypotensive substance” benefits that, combined, promote cardiovascular health.
3. The Artichoke
Ideal for transit thanks to its diuretic action, artichoke is also formidable for lowering blood pressure by eliminating excess fluid in the body. It is also a good source of calcium, iron, copper and magnesium.
Low in carbohydrates and high in water, mushrooms contain only very few calories, about 15 kcal for a weight of 100 grams. They are nevertheless rich in potassium and phosphorus, with a low amount of sodium, which gives them a diuretic action favorable for lowering blood pressure. In addition, their lipid fraction contains plant sterols, beneficial for blood cholesterol levels.
5. The Sweet Potato
Rich in fiber, carbohydrates and vitamins B9, B6, C, E and manganese, sweet potato is a dietary ally of size but its benefits do not stop there. It is its potassium content that makes it an outstanding vegetable for maintaining blood pressure at an adequate level, provided of course not to use too much salt when cooking it.