It finally happened. Your doc uttered those three dreaded words, “You’re borderline hypertensive.”
And you knew in your gut what was coming next. The hard sell on hypertension drugs.
Now an ultimatum has been issued: bring your blood pressure down, “or else.”
However, heavy-duty blood-pressure drugs come with sickening side effects such as headaches, dizziness and fatigue. And frankly, they can make the “cure” feel far worse than the disease.
But I get it. When you’re already following your doctor’s advice and your numbers still aren’t quite where they should be, it’s frustrating. So you might feel tempted to throw in the towel.
Don’t. Picture this instead.
You add a few simple items to your diet. Foods that may even be in your own kitchen at this very moment.
And within a few short weeks, you watch the amazed look on your doctor’s face as he’s forced to admit, “You’re cured!”
Now stop imagining it and make it happen.
Battle borderline hypertension with tasty treats
Following are three common (and tasty) foods which experts say can help us beat hypertension.
Adding them to your daily routine could help you finally gain control of your own high blood pressure.
1. Dark Chocolate:
Most folks like to save the best for last. I prefer to start with it instead. Which is why dark chocolate is number one on my list of hypertension busting foods.
It may seem too good to be true. But I assure you, it’s not. Eating a modest amount of dark chocolate really does have health benefits. And chief among them is battling hypertension.
According to a study published in the British Medical Journal dark chocolate naturally lowers blood pressure. Experts say flavonols are the key. Dark chocolate is loaded with them, and they can help improve both blood pressure and cholesterol.
If you’re concerned about hypertension, indulging in a few squares of dark chocolate (the darker the better) from time to time could be an affordable, natural insurance policy against high blood pressure drugs.
The typical Western diet is practically a recipe for inflammation and hypertension. Dump in a bunch of high carbs, stir in a ton of processed foods, add in a truckload of sugar and finish with a few gallons of unhealthy vegetable fats. And before you know it, you have yourself a full blown case of high blood pressure.
But it turns out snacking on walnuts could help turn the tide.
Penn State researchers had volunteers eat three different carefully-controlled diets for six weeks each.
- For the first six weeks, volunteers ate the typical Western high-fat high-carb diet.
- The second six weeks it was the same diet, but with walnuts replacing some of the not-so-healthy snacks. And a tablespoon of walnut oil in place of some of the unhealthy fats.
- For the final six it was the same diet once again but with the walnuts, walnut oil and now 1.5 tablespoons of flaxseed oil.
Throughout the study, the researchers tracked blood pressures. And after each diet block, participants took both a mental and physical stress test.
The results were remarkable.
The walnut-enhanced diet brought resting blood pressure levels down by three points on average.
In other words, in the real world it could be the difference between someone with borderline hypertension being forced onto a blood pressure drug or being able to skip the meds.
Plus after adding walnuts to the volunteer’s diets, they had significant improvements in their diastolic blood pressure numbers while taking both stress tests.
Try replacing a few of your weekly snacks with a fistful of walnuts. And mix up your cooking routine by using some walnut oil from time to time too.
3. Black tea:
Green tea and coffee tend to suck up all the good press. And both beverages do come with a bunch of health benefits. But black tea is packing some impressive credentials too. And when it comes to lowering high blood pressure it turns out black tea may be a superstar.
Just three cups of black tea a day could significantly reduce your blood pressure and risk for heart disease, according to a study published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine.
For six months, volunteers drank either three cups of black tea or a black-tea flavored placebo drink with the same amount of caffeine daily.
Incredibly, with no other changes to their diets the black tea group had an impressive 10 percent average drop in both their systolic and diastolic blood pressures.
And if you’re battling borderline hypertension that improvement could be all it takes to avoid risky blood pressure pills. (And FINALLY get your doctor off your back!)
If your doc is harassing you about your blood pressure, and threatening you with drugs, don’t toss in the towel. Head hypertension off at the pass with these three blood pressure improving foods.