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The High Blood Pressure Fruits and Vegetables Connection

Posted in Uncategorized on June 21st, 2007

Many people whom their doctors have diagnosed as having high blood pressure generally first look at ways of modifying their eating habits in order to help control it.  In this article we are going to take a look at the link between good diet, high blood pressure, fruits and vegetables and see how they help to control this high blood pressure.

A diet that is high in fruits and vegetables is already understood by most people to be healthy, as they contain many of the essential nutrients and are packed with immune boosting substances like antioxidants, minerals and vitamins.  Fruits and vegetables are also high in fiber, which can help to suppress your appetite.  Plus they are essential in helping to keep your cholesterol levels in check as well as regulating blood sugar levels too. 

A simple technique to ensure that you are getting a good mix of fruits and vegetables is to eat at least 3 different colored ones at each meal.  This will mean that there is a good mix of healthy nutrients being taken in by the body.

Generally try and chose fresh fruit and vegetables, preferably in season and organic.  In this way you know that you are getting the best and most nutritionally strong foods.

Whenever possible eat fruit and vegetables raw, or lightly cooked.  If they are boiled, baked or fried they can loose a lot of their beneficial nutrients and become less wholesome.  Try steaming vegetables to keep the levels of nutrients high.

Certainly green leafy vegetables such as spinach, lettuce, Swiss chard and also mustard greens are extremely beneficial in helping to control a person’s blood pressure levels.  Whilst the vegetables of the cruciferous group such as cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts (I know not everyone likes them) and kale and bok choy also are extremely beneficial. 

Whilst the most beneficial fruits available are citrus fruits such as limes, oranges, lemons and grapefruits.  Which can either be eaten as they are or juiced and enjoyed at any time of the day.

Even if you were to increase the amount of vegetables or fruits that you have each day by just one serving you will be amazed at the impact this will have on helping to regulate high blood pressure. 

Certainly, studies carried out by the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) found that there was a strong association with people eating more fruit and vegetables in their diet along with low fat dairy products as an effective way of lowering blood pressure levels. 

During the course of the study the diet that DASH advocates not only contained high amounts of fruit and vegetables as well as low fat dairy products but also actually restricted the amount of saturated and total fat products the people taking part consumed. 

The researchers found that those people who followed a diet rich in fruit and vegetables, low in fat and low in sodium, lowered both their systolic and diastolic blood pressure readings, and they were reduced in much the same way as if they had used blood pressure medication.

So from the evidence garnered during their study it seems quite emphatic that there is a link between high blood pressure, fruits and vegetables and diet. You should discuss any change in diet with your doctor or nutritionist.

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