Did you know that May is National Blood Pressure Month? While we often celebrate Cinco de Mayo and Mother’s Day in style, many of us forget that this month is dedicated to raising awareness about high blood pressure. Blood pressure measures how hard your blood pushes against your artery walls as it moves through your body. Normally, your blood pressure rises and falls through the day, but if it consistently stays up, you may be diagnosed with high blood pressure. Hypertension (high blood pressure) can contribute to several life-threatening diseases. Fortunately, there are ways to maintain it through exercise and diet. Check out these foods that naturally lower your blood pressure.
Flaxseed – Studies show that flaxseed reduces both systolic blood pressure (when the heart contracts) and diastolic blood pressure (when the heart relaxes) due to four important compounds: alpha linolenic acid, lignans, peptides and fibre. These substances are great anti-inflammatory and antioxidants for the cardiovascular system.
Dark chocolate – Flavanols in cocoa products are associated with the formation of nitric oxide, a compound that widens blood vessels and eases blood flow. Take it easy on the chocolate though – aim to only have one or two small squares now and again and look for dark chocolate with at least 70 percent cocoa.
Beetroot – Beets are an excellent source of nitrates, which are converted to nitric oxide within the body. Nitric oxide relaxes the blood vessels, allowing for a smoother blood flow.
Pistachios – Pistachios contain monounsaturated fatty acids and high amounts of phytosterols, which reduce LDL cholesterol oxidization. Additionally, healthy diets that include nuts have been shown to enhance the effectiveness of exercise and hypertension medications, and may result in lowering the dosage of some medications.
Whole Grains – Whole grains include the entire grain kernel and haven’t had their bran and germ removed by refining. As a result, they are a rich source of healthy nutrients, including fiber, potassium, magnesium, folate, iron, and selenium. In addition, whole-grain foods are filling, which can result in weight control.
From the team at Humble & Davenport Insurance, we hope you enjoy learning all about high blood pressure this month and taking charge of yours! For all of your insurance needs in Renton and beyond, visit us today!