High blood pressure? Try these foods
Q: I recently found out that I have high blood pressure. Are there any foods that can help with this? Thanks, Greg
There are many lifestyle factors that can influence blood pressure, and diet is certainly one of these.
There are a few different dietary patterns that are associated with lowered blood pressure, but the common thread among these is a high plant consumption – plenty of vegetables as well as some nuts and seeds, fruit and wholegrains (for people who digest these well).
There are also certain nutrients that have been shown to affect blood pressure.
Blood pressure is essentially a measure of the resistance in the blood vessels to the flow of blood, so it is influenced by the diameter of our blood vessels. Magnesium has a relaxing action and helps to regulate blood pressure by minimising constriction of the blood vessels. Food sources of associated with elevated blood pressure. This is regardless of the type of alcohol. Commit to having no more than two standard drinks per day and at least two alcoholfree days per week, or better yet, save it to enjoy in moderation on special occasions only.
So by amping up your intake of plant foods, particularly plenty of vegetables, and avoiding processed foods and drinks, the balance of nutrients that you consume will better support your body to regulate your blood pressure.
High blood pressure can also be a result of stress, so addressing sources of stress and including stress reduction practices can also be important. Incorporating more movement into your day is also very beneficial for blood pressure.
Dr Libby is a nutritional biochemist, best-selling author and speaker. The advice contained in this column is not intended to be a substitute for direct, personalised advice from a health professional. See drlibby.com